June 10 2011
CoSIDA Corner: The Value of Partnerships (by Rich Herman, Clarion University/DII-SIDA President)
Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year and with its new partnership with NACDA at that time, the CoSIDA leadership was invited to contribute to each issue of the Athletics Administration Magazine
In October of 2009, CoSIDA President Justin Doherty penned the first "CoSIDA Column."
This month's column is penned by Rich Herman of Clarion University
who completes his term as CoSIDA DII-SIDA President at the Convention in late June. He writes about the growth of partnerships between CoSIDA and key leaders and colleagues from the intercollegiate athletic world.
(Note: Herman will receive two special honors at the 2011 CoSIDA Convention
with his induction into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame and as the recipient of the Warren Berg Award for outstanding work, leadership and commitment to the profession and CoSIDA organization.)
This academic year, several CoSIDA leaders contributed CoSIDA Corner columns. They have been authored by CoSIDA President Larry Dougherty of Temple University (in October); Eric McDowell (Union College), Chair of the CoSIDA College Division Management Advisory Committee in November); CoSIDA 3rd Vice President Shelly Poe (Ohio University) in December; CoSIDA Director of External Affairs Barb Kowal in both February and March); Joe Hornstein (Central Florida), CoSIDA 2nd Vice President in April; and now Herman.
Each Athletics Administration
issue is sent to over 10,000 university and athletics administrators, with CoSIDA's voice, thoughts and expertise shared with these key constituents. The magazine is published each October, November, December, February, March, April, June and August.
See the CoSIDA Corner archives HERE.
by Rich Herman, Clarion University SID/CoSIDA DII-SIDA President
I remember my first CoSIDA Convention — 1981 in Philadelphia. I was full of hope and promise, and a yearning to learn everything I could get my hands on. As a strategic communicator for athletics, when you get bitten by the bug, that feeling never goes away.
Shortly after that came the correctable typewriter - wow! And the first portable computers - I use that term loosely - since they were bigger than today’s backpacks.
From my earliest days as Clarion University’s director of sports information, I remember spending time at our annual Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) sports information director (SID)
meetings talking about problem-solving as it pertained to our profession and dealing with issues corresponding with the NCAA, athletics directors and conferences in general. Those SID’s included future CoSIDA Hall of Famers Paul Newman (Edinboro), John Carpenter (Slippery Rock) and Pete Nevins (East Stroudsburg)
We held great conversations, yet were not able to generate solutions that affected our conference membership and athletics communicators across the country. We always were seeking a bigger voice, but never seemed to develop the right approach on how to strategically gain access to the
collegiate athletics decision-makers.
We began making that move at the 2006 CoSIDA Nashville Convention when Tom DiCamillo, then the SID at West Chester (and soon to be CoSIDA’s 2011-12 President)
, approached key DII members about forming a DII SIDA leadership group to begin the process of tackling Division II communication issues. Roy Pickerill of Kentucky Wesleyan
became the first president and we formed our officer rotation and an official board. The CoSIDA Board of Directors embraced our group and we were off and running.
President Pickerill did a great job advancing DII SIDA issues which were annually developed from our yearly CoSIDA meeting and through membership suggestions and board calls.
Bill Wagner (DePauw)
became DIII SIDA President in the summer of 2008 and has likewise done a tremendous job in his leadership role.
Our pivotal moment, however, came at the 2009 CoSIDA Convention in San Antonio. I remember the moment that CoSIDA’s new Executive Director John Humenik
called us all together to discuss an action plan to push our leadership groups forward - and what a tremendous strategic plan it was.
In July and August of 2009, John and the CoSIDA Board reached out in letter form to all our potential partners and NCAA leadership groups across the board. Those letters, follow-up phone calls and meetings helped create our strategic partnerships with the NCAA Division II and III vice-presidents, athletics directors associations, conference commissioners groups, NCAA communications staff and various NCAA departmental leaders including statistics, championships and rules committees.
Spectacular partnerships, action and creative brainstorming have emerged from those initial contacts. They include new and valued partnerships between DII and DIII SIDA
, NCAA Division II Vice President Mike Racy and NCAA Division III Vice President Dan Dutcher
What has come out of those partnerships?
Mike Racy and Dan Dutcher are full partners with our leadership groups. Both have stepped up to support CoSIDA’s signature program, the Capital One Academic All-America program, which will double in size from two to four teams starting in 2011-12.
Both Mike and Dan have embraced divisional leadership and worked hand in hand to support a number of initiatives, including: both DII & DIII Strategic Positioning Platforms; an expansive “Toolkit” to help us with divisional promotions; and upcoming this year in Division II, a Strategic Communications Model Office document that supports and defines the roles of athletics communicators. (It is expected to be unveiled at the 2011 CoSIDA Convention in June). It is anticipated that this important document - outlining guiding principles, strategies, staffing, resources and more - will have the support of the NCAA Management Council and Division II President’s Council. With these established partnerships, we’ve taken a pivotal step in our development as strategic communicators.
The Division II ADA and Conference Commissioners Boards have supported the growth of the Capital One Academic All-America® Program; the new Strategic Communications Model; and a new
proposal to merge score and stat reporting to save SID’s time and duplication.
Special thanks to Jim Naumovich, Butch Raymond and Steve Murray of the CCA and Greg Waggoner, Fran Reidy and Eric Schoh of the DII Athletic Directors Association (ADA)
for their efforts. The new proposal to merge score and stat reporting is being reviewed by NCAA Director of Championships Roberta Page
- another of our partners.
D. Bob Williams, the NCAA’s VP of Communications
and Erik Christianson, the NCAA’s director of public and media relations
, hosted CoSIDA leadership in August 2010 for a communications leadership summit.
CoSIDA leadership and Divisional Presidents have attended the last two NCAA Conventions in January.
In the past two years tremendous progress has been made with SID leadership groups across the board. John Humenik, the CoSIDA Boards
, Presidents Larry Dougherty (Temple) and Justin Doherty (Wisconsin)
along with CDMAC Chair Eric McDowell (Union NY)
deserve a lot of credit for that development.
In another important step, we all look forward to 2013 when CoSIDA begins holding its annual convention with NACDA and its affiliates.
Let’s not be afraid of continuing to form these valuable partnerships to advance our profession and membership. These partnerships and how we use them hold the keys to advancing the mission of our universities, student-athletes and our profession.