Joliet, Ill. – University of St. Francis (USF) President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., has been elected as the new chair of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) Council of Presidents (COP). Johnson, whose term officially began on July 1, will serve in the role for two years.

“The University of St. Francis is a proud, 48-year member of the NAIA – an organization committed to ensuring that student-athletes are, first and foremost, students,” said Johnson.  “Being a part of the NAIA – with its commitment to developing ‘Champions of Character’ – is also congruent with our core values of respect, integrity, service, and compassion.”

Johnson has served on the COP for five years, including a seat on the COP’s Executive Committee for four years.

“As a member of the COP, Arvid has already made significant contributions to the NAIA,” said NAIA President Jim Carr in a media release issued by the NAIA on July 1. “His leadership in higher education, paired with time spent in the private sector, allow him to provide a unique perspective that will continue to benefit our association.”

According to, the NAIA’s Council of Presidents (COP) is composed of presidents and chief executive officers elected to represent conferences, independent institutions and members at-large. Council members assume active leadership roles in governance affairs within each conference and are major advocates for the unique approach that the NAIA takes to college athletics.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs dedicated to championships in balance with the overall college educational experience. Each year more than 65,000 NAIA student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports, earn over $600 million in scholarships, and compete for a chance to participate in 26+ national championships. Visit for more information.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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