With the recent passing of NCAA President Myles Brand to cancer, the NCAA will be looking to find a new face for the organization. While many names, including Michigan’s own Mary Sue Coleman, have been thrown around, the one name that I keep coming back to is Condoleezza Rice.
While many in the U.S. associate Mrs. Rice only with her role as Secretary of State in the Bush Administration, Condoleezza actually has quite the resume for a position with the NCAA. In 1987, She began her career as an assistant professor at Stanford University in political science.
After six years of teaching and national defense consulting, she would volunteer to be a part of the search committee for Stanford’s new president. After the group had selected Gerhard Casper, Casper would appoint Condoleezza to the position of Provost of Stanford University. As provost, Rice would be the top academic and budgetary official on campus.
Rice (pictured to the right by Stanford News) spent 1993-1999 as the provost, and she accomplished many notable achievements. At the time of her promotion, Stanford was facing massive budget deficits. The general consensus was that it would be years before it could be fixed. Condoleezza came right out and said she would have it eliminated in two years, and she did just that. At the end of the second fiscal year, Mrs. Rice balanced the multi-billion dollar budget and even provided a $14.5 million surplus.
The time at provost is probably the most important qualifier for the NCAA job, but for the sake of adding her political achievements:
- 2001-2005: National Security Advisor
- 2005-2009: Secretary of State
Obviously she can handle stressful jobs.
After leaving office, there was ample speculation that Condi might take over as commissioner of the Pacific 10 (PAC-10) conference. She expressed no interest at the time as she wanted to return to teaching and writing at Stanford.
It’s been seven months since the Pac-10 speculation, and one wonders if Mrs. Rice would be interested in taking the job with the NCAA if it were offered to her. The job definitely offers prestige, while allowing her to keep close to academics.
Add that she’s a tremendous sports fan, and it’s definitely a thought.