Division I Exploratory Committee
On October 8, 2021, a 24-person committee appointed by University of Southern Indiana (USI) President, Dr. Ronald Rochon, met for the for the first time to explore the feasibility of a move from Division II to Division I for the USI Athletic Department. The Division I Exploratory Committee included USI faculty, staff, students and alumni, and the committee developed a charge that read as follows:
To assist with the feasibility study that will explore the possibility of transitioning from Division II to Division I Athletics at the University of Southern Indiana
On January 13, 2022, the Board of Trustees met in executive session to review the committee's findings. Among the data provided were the results of the internal survey conducted at the end of last year in which more than 2,200 USI community members participated. Additionally, the Board received a report from the DI Exploratory Committee that is based upon the NCAA Readiness Assessment. The NCAA provides this self-assessment template to interested institutions to complete and the document serves as the foundation for a strategic plan should an application be made by an institution to be considered for DI membership.
The Board will consider this information, as well as perspectives offered from the external consultants on the National Landscape in Intercollegiate Athletics, including conference realignments, the NCAA Constitutional Convention and their overall observations as experts in these arenas. These external elements in collegiate athletics are changing on a regular basis and may even affect our generous assumptions in the Exploratory Committee report on acceptable spending levels needed to be not just a contender, but highly competitive at the DI level in certain conferences.
It goes without saying that the decision to advance to Division I or stay in Division II athletics is of vital consequence to USI. We continue to monitor the dynamic external athletic environment, evaluate what ongoing changes may mean for USI, and communicate these updates to the Board members. We expect a public meeting and vote of the Board of Trustees in the first half of February on this issue. Until then, thank you for your patience.