Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. appointed to NCAA’s top governing body

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) proudly announced the selection of Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I Board of Directors.  

With his term set to commence on August 7, 2024, the native Dr. Ross brings a wealth of experience from his current role on the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics to the Board, which serves as the pinnacle authority for Division I, orchestrating strategy, policy, and legislative oversight. 

Comprising 20 esteemed leaders, including presidents and chancellors from both the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the remaining NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and Division I conferences, the Board also includes the chair of the NCAA Division I Council, a faculty athletics representative, a senior woman administrator, and two student-athletes. 

Expressing his gratitude, Dr. Ross stated, “I’m extremely honored to serve on this board. The NCAA Division I Board of Directors is an essential and critical component of the NCAA governance structure and its positive impact on the world of intercollegiate athletics can be seen daily. I look forward to working with the members of this board to implement programs and initiatives that will enhance the overall student-athlete experience in all facets.”    

Dr. Ross, in his fifth year leading Alabama State University, has been celebrated for his transformative leadership since taking the helm on October 3, 2017. Under his guidance, the university has seen a surge in fundraising efforts, expanded global partnerships, and reinforced its commitment to student success through strategic initiatives branded as “CommUniversity.” 

A proud three-time ASU alumnus, Dr. Ross has dedicated over 28 years to education, both in higher education and the public school system, prior to his presidency at ASU, where he served as the 15th president. His political acumen was honed through four terms as an elected state senator in the Alabama Legislature. 

In a significant acknowledgment of his leadership and dedication, President Joe Biden appointed Dr. Ross to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2022, a move aimed at enhancing the capacity and quality of education at HBCUs. 

Dr. Ross, whose roots trace back to Pontiac, MI as the child of educators, initially aspired for a career in politics rather than teaching. However, guided by his mother’s advice, he pursued a teaching certificate alongside his political science studies, a decision that paved the way for his impactful career in education and leadership. “I wanted to study political science, become a lawyer, and save the world,” he remembers. “But my mom, she knew best, and she told me, ‘Look, I don’t care what you get your degree in, just make sure you get a teaching certificate, something to fall back on.’ So I did.” 

Reflecting on his journey, Dr. Ross remarked, “The path has been something I say that only God could have scripted for me. When I look at my journey and those things that have put me on this trajectory, it’s truly because of the experiences I had in Pontiac and growing up with two educators as parents.” 

Dr. Ross journey to Pontiac began with his parents, who were recruited directly from Alabama State University for their teaching expertise. “That’s how we came to be in Pontiac. And they both taught there for over 30 years apiece.” he explains. 

His worldview was significantly shaped not only by his parents but also by the guidance he received from various coaches and teachers during his school years. Reflecting on his early education, Dr. Ross shares, “Even in elementary school, I was on the student safety patrol, and the teacher who supervised us was really instrumental,” he recalls. “She taught us how to treat people, how to be kind and respectful. She modeled that warmth, and those little things help develop you and the way that you see the world, that it’s a place you should give back to.”  

Dr. Ross has spent a significant portion of his career nurturing relationships and bolstering communal bonds throughout Alabama, yet Pontiac holds a distinctly special and dear place in his heart. His narrative is one of resilience, vision, and unwavering dedication to education and leadership, making his appointment to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors a fitting acknowledgment of his contributions and potential to influence the future of intercollegiate athletics. 

“I think it’s important for young people to realize, today, that they need to embrace all experiences—some of them might not be good, but we can learn from all of them,” Dr. Ross shares. “The youth talk about swag, about it being the way you dress, the way you look. But it’s really about how you hold yourself, with confidence, with knowing that you have a larger purpose, that you are valued, and that you value others. My definition of S.W.A.G is Students with Ambitious Goals. So, I tell them to focus on that. Set ambitious goals, and stick with them.” 

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