Add Bylaws Article I, Section E as follows:


All NAIA institutions will name a senior woman leader to promote meaningful representation of women in the leadership and management of intercollegiate sports on NAIA campuses. This role provides an identifiable female presence at each member institution with whom staff and student-athletes can communicate. The role of senior woman leader may be held by a female administrator or coach who will serve as a key participant in senior-level management decisions regarding intercollegiate athletics on campus. The athletics director may designate the role to any female within the athletic department as they deem appropriate.

A senior woman leader’s functions shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) Communicate regularly with the athletics director, not only for leadership development, but also to consult on major departmental and university initiatives;

b) Participate in providing leadership and guidance in the area of Title IX and gender equity planning for the overall department, to include both men’s and women’s sports;

c) Assist the athletics director and senior management with strategic planning processes and decision making for the athletics department;

d) Participate in budget development and major financial decisions for the athletics department operations and initiatives; and

e) Advocate for student-athlete well-being while also serving as a mentor and resource for direct reports and other athletics staff members.

As assigned by the athletics director, a senior woman leader’s functions could also include the following:

a) Fully engage in the hiring, onboarding, and evaluation processes for coaches and staff;

b) Meet regularly with institutional senior leaders (e.g. president/chancellor, vice presidents, etc.); and

c) Assist in providing leadership oversight for both men’s and women’s sports.

NOTE: NAIA member institutions will develop and fully integrate the senior woman leader role into their athletics department structure by August 1, 2023.

(Renumber sections accordingly.)


Add Bylaws Article X, Section C, Item 11 as follows:

10. Senior Woman Leader Association (SWLA)

This association is responsible for the professional development of senior woman leaders, and for assisting in responsible growth of the position across the association. In addition to promoting the growth and development of senior woman leaders, this association will initiate professional development opportunities for female staff and student-athletes. The association will meet annually at the NAIA National Convention, and membership is open to all individuals of member institutions holding the role of senior woman leader as described in Article I, Section E.


Intent: To create a designation for a senior woman leader within each athletic department assigned to a female administrator or coach who will be involved in various departmental leadership functions, and create a corresponding association.

Effective date: August 1, 2021

Submitted by: Conference Commissioners Association

Co-sponsored by: Council for Student-Athletes


Leave a Reply