UH Hilo Chancellor Tseng on Prestigious NCAA Council

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: May 2, 2003

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Dr. Rose Tseng has been named by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to fill an at-large vacancy on the Division II Presidents Council, it was recently announced by NCAA Executive Director Dr. Myles Brand.

Tseng‘s four-year appointment on the policy-making body, who are all chief executives of D-II member institutions, will run through 2007. Tseng, the only woman of Asian descent to be the CEO of an American university, is the first Asian woman to sit on the prestigious panel and is also the first CEO from a Hawaiʻi college or university to serve on the council, according to Jan Brown, NCAA Division II‘s assistant chief of staff.

"I‘m very honored by the appointment," Tseng said. "This is not something I would seek or apply for. They asked me to accept the position. But it is part of what comes with running a university.

"I will see what I can do to help Hawaiʻi because people may not understand our needs due to our geographical location and costs of travel. Sometimes we need a special rule or regulation to help us, an exemption or waiver. Hawaiʻi is different."

Tseng said that as an educator, academic issues will always be her top priority.

"I think we call them ʻstudent-athletes‘ because they have to be students first," she said. "We want them to grow in terms of being students, both academic and personal growth. I think athletic training is something that helps one to grow as a person. You have to compete, to be disciplined and to display cooperation and teamwork."

The duties of the Presidents Council are, in part, to implement policies adopted by the Association‘s Executive Committee, establish and direct the general policy of Division II, establish a strategic plan for Division II, elect a chair and vice-chair, and adopt non-controversial and intent-based amendments, administrative bylaws and regulations to govern Division II.

"I think it's just marvelous that such a personable and bright, aggressive woman is part of the NCAA Presidents Council," UH Hilo Athletic Director Kathy McNally said. "They're the most powerful group within the (D-II) organization.

"Just her exposure to national and regional requirements for a Division II program is going to be phenomenal for the institution. She'll get a huge picture of what the NCAA Division II image is, which will really help us. She's already supportive, but once she gets all this knowledge and documentation under her belt, she's going to be fighting harder for us.

"She's so intuitive and knowledgeable, her appointment will benefit not only us, but I do really believe that it will benefit the bigger picture within the system, because it gives a whole different look than the Division I football look, to what intercollegiate athletics are," McNally said.

Tseng adds this to a highly visible set of accomplishments since becoming UH Hilo chancellor in 1998. During her tenure, the University has dedicated a multi-million dollar state-of-the art University Classroom Building, a Marine Science building, a new entryway with signage, and a quadrupling of annual extramural funding from five years ago. Her proven ability as a negotiator is something that will almost certainly benefit both UH Hilo and all Hawaiʻi D-II schools over the next four years.

"I will now have the opportunity to make our case, to let (the NCAA) know and understand our situation in Hawaiʻi," she said. "I‘ll have more direct input than before."