The CIAA is facing a $200,000 deficit and new Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter hopes fans will attend this week's basketball tournament games, not just the parties to support the historically black conference.
Carpenter, the CIAA's first appointed female commissioner, says the goal is to get the conference out of the red within a couple of years.
When she took over last summer the CIAA faced a $500,000 debt. All 12 schools donated $25,000 to cut that deficit by more than half.
But Carpenter says there's more work to be done.
She says the CIAA needs to become "more fiscally responsible" and make the tournament more attractive to sponsors.
The CIAA tournament attracts nearly 200,000 fans annually to Charlotte, the third-largest tournament in the country behind the ACC and Big East.