‘Russell Rule’ Adopted by GLVC at Urging of President Lombardi

Maryville and GLVC colleges raise the bar for minority hiring practices in athletics

In October, the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Council of Presidents voted unanimously to adopt the “Russell Rule.” The “Russell Rule” requires higher education institutions to include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community in the pool of final candidates for every athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coach position in the athletic department. The rule is named in honor of NBA legend Bill Russell and was first adopted in August by the West Coast Conference. Upon the adoption of the rule by its member presidents, the GLVC referred it to their Committee on Diversity for implementation recommendations.

Dr. Mark Lombardi, PhD, Maryville’s president and chair of the NCAA Board of Governors Committee to Promote Cultural Diversity and Equity (CPCDE), has been an ardent supporter of implementing the Russell Rule. Together with the other CPCDE committee members Dr. Lombardi is advocating that the NCAA, as the national governing body of collegiate athletics, officially adopt the rule.

“I’m proud to be part of the GLVC that wholeheartedly supported the Russell Rule for our conference,” said Mark Lombardi, PhD, president of Maryville University. “Maryville has long operated in principle and fact with its own approach to ensure that the final pool for positions across the University is diverse and representative of the St. Louis community and the nation. We, like all of society, have much work still to do but we are committed to these principles and will not waver from them.”

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