The leader of Daemen College has been elected as vice chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley says Daemen is the only Division II school in the Western New York region.
"It does bring the name of Daemen to the national theater when it comes to all the various colleges and college presidents,” said Daemen President Gary Olson.
Olson said is "very rare" for a collage president from the western New York region to serve on this council.
The NCAA board is made up of a relatively small group of college leaders from across the country. The Board of Governors is the highest governance body in the NCAA, overseeing issues pertaining to all levels of NCAA-sponsored intercollegiate athletics.
"For example concussion and how to avoid them, mental health as in trying to balance your activities and sports with all the other pressures of college, promoting leadership and also compliance with rules that ensure fairness so that there aren’t abuses that you sometimes read about. We will set all those policies, nationwide, for the Division II colleges,” Olson explained
With Olson's leadership, Daemen achieved NCAA Division II membership in July of 2015. The school now provides a variety of sports programs to students.
"We have 16 sports and they all have their own individual fine points. They’re all doing well in their own way,” said Olson.
WBFO asked Olson if Division II status attracts more students to the Daemen campus.
"I think students are very much attracted to Division II. Division II though, their whole philosophy is the healthy balance of academic excellence and athletic excellence,” Olson responded.
Olson noted, being a Division II school is attracting “highly talented students” both academically and athletically.