University of the Ozarks President Richard L. Dunsworth. J.D., has been appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Presidents Council, the highest governing body in the division.
Dunsworth will begin his four-year term in January, at the close of the 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
The Presidents Council sets NCAA Division III’s strategic plan and establishes and directs the general policy of the division. Division III is the largest of the NCAA divisions with more than 430 member institutions. The 18 Presidents Council members are elected in balloting open to all presidents and chancellors at member institutions.
In 1996, University of the Ozarks became a founding member of the NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference (ASC), which is made up of 13 colleges and universities in Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Approximately 40 percent of U of O students compete in one or more of the 17 NCAA Division III sports offered by Ozarks.
Dunsworth will become the first president from the ASC to serve on the Presidents Council.
“I am honored to be chosen to represent University of the Ozarks and the American Southwest Conference on the national level in my role as a member of the Division III Presidents Council,” Dunsworth said. “I look forward to being an advocate for the values and benefits of NCAA Division III athletics and working to provide support and guidance for our student-athletes to excel in their respective sports as well as in the classroom. Division III athletics is an integral part of our campus experience and I am eager to share Ozarks’ and the ASC’s perspective with other institutions.”
The council meets on a quarterly basis and has budgetary oversight, as well as the ultimate authority to establish, direct and implement policies for the division.
Since Dunsworth’s appointment as the 25th president of University of the Ozarks in 2013, enrollment has climbed 40 percent and more than $40 million has been raised for scholarships and facilities at the private, Presbyterian-affiliated University.
Dunsworth recently concluded five years of service on the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee.