The Senior Woman Administrator Designation in the NCAA

By Jennifer Lee Hoffman.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the United States, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the largest governing organization for intercollegiate athletics. All NCAA member institutions must designate the highest-ranking woman in athletic administration as the Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). The SWA role is “intended to encourage and promote the involvement” of women in decision-making, enhance the representation women’s experiences and perspectives, and support women’s interests in intercollegiate athletics (NCAA, n.d.). This theory focus paper uses a feminist poststructural policy analysis of the NCAA’s SWA policy. First this paper introduces the historical background of women’s leadership in higher education and Title IX policy that frame the context of the SWA designation. Next, previous research related to the SWA is discussed, revealing inconsistency in this policy’s impact on women in leadership and governance of athletics. From the presentation of the historical framework and previous research this paper concludes with an analysis of the SWA designation using a feminist poststructural lens and offers recommendations for policy reform.

Keywords: Women, Athletic Administrators, Feminist Perspectives

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.117-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 598.076KB).

Dr. Jennifer Lee Hoffman

Research Associate, Center for Leadership in Athletics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

I am an Assistant Professor in the Center for Leadership in Athletics at the University of Washington. My research focuses on leadership and policy in intercollegiate athletics. My recent work focuses on the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and the lack of women in senior levels of leadership in intercollegiate athletics. I also examine the unintended consequences of state and federal gender equity policy, including inequities for women of color. My work appears in the Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education and in “Reconstructing Policy in Higher Education: Feminist Poststructural Perspectives” (Allan, Iverson, & Ropers-Huilman, Eds., 2009). I have also presented at the Association For the Study of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Association.