President Barry Maloney, on the behalf of Worcester State University, has recently signed his name onto the National College Athletics Association presidential pledge  to promote diversity and gender equality in intercollegiate athletics.
The pledge, which has been signed by more than 600 schools and 90 conferences, specifically calls for “establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equality and inclusion, with a focus and emphasis on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics,” in an effort to reflect the diversity of the organization’s membership and the current demographics of the United States.
“In keeping with the Five Points of Action  toward a more inclusive campus climate, which I laid out in February 2016, I am pleased to sign onto the NCAA Presidential Pledge to Promote Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics,” Maloney said in a statement. “This is one more way Worcester State University expresses its commitment to a welcoming, inclusive campus.”
The pledge itself was developed in 2016 after the NCAA Board of Governors reviewed data on the racial, ethnic, and gender representation of individuals in leadership positions within intercollegiate athletics. Noting the underrepresentation of people of color and women in these positions, the board decided to draft a resolution to reaffirm the association’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in athletics leadership.
The board also created an ad hoc committee that is charged with reviewing, researching, and providing recommendations concerning matters of diversity and inclusion that impact the NCAA. The committee is composed of presidents, conference commissioners, athletics directors, and liaisons from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, and the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee.
The ad hoc committee also has formed a diversity, inclusion, and gender equity review that provides templates and suggestions for institutions to implement in their own outcome-oriented plans while accommodating their own unique needs and expectations.
As the pledge states: “We recognize and value the experiences individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to intercollegiate athletics. To that end, we will strive to identify, recruit and interview individuals from diverse backgrounds in an effort to increase their representation and retention as commissioners, athletics directors, coaches and other leaders in athletics. As part of this commitment, we will also engage in a regular diversity, inclusion and equity review to inform campus policy and diversity initiatives…we understand this to be a collective responsibility we owe to student-athletes, staff, our athletics programs and the entire campus community.”