K-Stater Isch Named NCAA Interim President

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State graduate James L. Isch has been named NCAA interim president and will serve the association in this capacity until a permanent replacement for Myles Brand, who died September 16 after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer, is found.

As senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer, Isch has been responsible for accounting, budgetary matters, benefits, human resources, payroll, information technology, risk management, facilities and operations.

In addition to his primary responsibilities, Isch also has served at various times as primary liaison to the Executive Committee, as liaison to the Executive Committee Presidential Search Committee and on the Finance Committee.

He also has led numerous national efforts in the areas of strategic planning and fiscal responsibility. Those efforts have included, among other things, work with the NCAA strategic-planning effort in 2003-04 and the NCAA Presidential Task Force in 2006.

The strategic-planning task was Brand's first major initiative as NCAA president. As the primary staff member responsible for developing the plan, Isch led a year-long initiative that engaged more than 800 constituent groups and more than 10,000 individuals. The process has served as a model for other nonprofit organizations and continues to guide Association decision-making.

Isch also served as the lead on a project from Brand's Presidential Task Force in 2006 to develop "dashboard indicators" that provide presidents and chancellors more accurate financial data upon which to base athletics budgeting decisions.

The system takes financial data compiled through uniform reporting procedures developed by the NCAA and the National Association of College and University Business Officers and presents them in ways that allow presidents and other campus leaders to compare their athletics spending with peer groups.

Isch joined the NCAA staff after the Association had announced its decision to relocate from Overland Park, Kansas, to Indianapolis. He was instrumental in the relocation, being primarily responsible for moving the Association's business and technology functions. He was required to accomplish the task in the face of significant staff turnover while also re-creating almost all business relationships in a new city. Those business relationships included banks, auditors, phone services, vendors and other service providers.

Before joining the NCAA, Isch was vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, from 1994-98, one of four vice chancellors reporting to the chancellor.

Previous to that, he was vice president for administration at Montana State University, Bozeman, from 1986-94. Before that, he served at Kansas State, where he assistant vice president for facilities planning and budget (1985-86), budget director (1982-85) and assistant budget officer/accounting instructor (1977-82).

Isch, an Army veteran, earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State and his master's from Boston University. He holds a doctor of philosophy, also from Kansas State.