University News

SUU’s Benson Appointed as Summit League Leader

Published: June 24, 2008 | Category: Administration

In its annual meeting on Monday, The Summit League Presidents Council appointed Southern Utah University President Michael Benson as its new vice chair. Benson will begin working in this League leadership capacity on July 1, 2008.

Benson was appointed after a unanimous vote of approval by the League’s current executive committee. Looking forward to working with Benson, Summit League Commissioner Thomas Douple said he is confident Benson “will do a great job with this appointment and we’re excited to have him in this leadership position.”

Along with this appointment, SUU’s Athletic Director Ken Beazer will now become vice chair of the League’s Athletic Directors Council, and SUU’s Faculty Athletic Representative Deborah Hill will become vice chair of the League’s Faculty Athletic Rep. Committee.

This also means that in two years, when the current Presidents Council chair’s term expires, President Benson will become the Council’s new chairman, to serve an additional term of two years in that capacity.

This advancement will also impact Beazer and Hill, who will step in as chairs of their respective committees in two years.

Benson’s, Beazer’s and Hill’s appointments mark SUU’s first opportunity see SUU administrators in leading advisory roles within the League’s leadership. Southern Utah University has been a member of the Summit League, formerly named the Mid-Continent Conference, since 1997.

Benson describes his appointment as “an honor,” explaining, “It’s an exciting time for the League as we continue to improve our academic and national reputation in addition to considering the League’s future membership growth.”

Benson will join Dr. Kenneth Schwab from Centenary College in the Council’s presidency. Beazer will join Dr. Tom Tallach from Centenary as leaders for the League’s athletic directors. And as faculty representative leaders within the League, Hill will join Dr. David Hoaas, from Centenary as well. All six leaders will comprise the Summit League’s Executive Committee.

According to the League’s Director of Media Relations Hope Wagner, the Summit League’s Executive Committee, which will include Benson, Beazer and Hill for the next four years, is responsible for working with the League’s commissioner to monitor League operations, developing an agenda for the League, advising the League commissioner on code of ethics and sportsmanship issues, and advising the commissioner in the selection of League representatives to NCAA leadership roles.

In the same meeting, Southern Utah University was selected as the official site for the 2008-09 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

According to a press release from the Summit League organization, The Summit League collegiate athletic organization is comprised of 10 member institutions - Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, South Dakota State University, Southern Utah University and Western Illinois University.

The Summit League, renamed from the Mid-Continent Conference, celebrated its 25th year as an NCAA Division I athletics conference during the 2006-07 academic year. The League’s strategic plan places a renewed emphasis on improving the academic and athletic performances of all its student-athletes. The League hosts 19 championship sports and 10 member institutions. The Summit League is the third name the conference has held in its 25 years as an NCAA sanctioned league.

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