Slive became the seventh commissioner of the SEC on July 1, 2002. He previously was the first commissioner of Conference USA from 1995-2002 and was the first commissioner of the Great Midwest Conference upon its founding in 1991.
A native of Utica, NY, Slive graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962. He earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1965 and an LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1966. Early in his career, he practiced law in New Hampshire, served as judge of the Hanover, N.H. District Court from 1972-77, and was a partner in a Chicago law firm. He was assistant director of athletics at Dartmouth College, assistant executive director of the Pacific-10 Conference, and director of athletics at Cornell University (1981-83). In 1990, he became senior partner and founder of the Mike Slive-Mike Glazier Sports Group, a legal practice specializing in representing colleges and universities in athletics-related matters.