CHICAGO, Ill. (October 7, 2011) – Upper Iowa is ranked 45th among NCAA Division II institutions across the country in the ninth annual NCSA Athletic Recruiting collegiate power rankings thanks to both athletic and academic success. In 2010-11, the NCAA Facts and Figures showed that there were 302 NCAA Division II members.
"I often characterize the overall athletic program (taken as a whole) at Upper Iowa as strong and headed in the right direction. This important study provides objective, and compelling empirical evidence in support of this claim," said Upper Iowa University President Alan Walker.
"Being nationally ranked in the top 15 percent of all NCAA D II schools in this study is just as significant as any single sport championship because it reflects a balance between athletics and academics at Upper Iowa," continued Walker. "This emphasis on 'balance' is the hallmark of NCAA Division II philosophy. It is a philosophy that reflects what intercollegiate athletics was meant to be and it is consistent with Upper Iowa's values, culture, and goals. We are pleased to be one of two schools in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference ranked within the top 15 percent."
UIU Director of Athletics David Miller added, "The NCSA rankings confirm and validate the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Upper Iowa University places an emphasis and value in the phrase 'student-athlete.' We are fortunate to have faculty who believe in our student-athletes and invest in their academic pursuits."
The NCSA Athletic Recruiting power rankings assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA athletic programs across the country. The rankings were developed to help prospective student-athletes and their families evaluate the particular strengths of the top colleges and universities at the Division I, II and III levels.
"Upper Iowa University remains the only NCAA Division II institution in Iowa. Since the transition to D II and becoming a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Upper Iowa has won six conference championships in a variety of sports and has participated in national postseason competition. The move to D II has been a strategic success from an athletic and academic perspective. Upper Iowa has seen incoming GPA/ACT scores for incoming freshmen increase significantly over the last seven years."
The average incoming freshmen GPA has increased 14% from fall 2004 to this year's fall class. The Fall 2011 freshmen profile at UIU also shows that the average incoming ACT score for freshmen has increased by 4.3% over this same time and exceeds the national average.
Last year, the Peacock Athletics Department earned a number of awards for their academic performance. A record 189 student-athletes were named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and 43 were named as recipients of the D2 Athletic Directors Association Achievement Awards. In addition to these honors, 58 Peacocks were named to Northern Sun Conference All-Academic Teams and 8 student-athletes garnered national academic honors in wrestling, men's golf and women's golf.
"Our belief and goal at Upper Iowa University is to provide for a student-centered positive student-athlete experience that includes athletic competitiveness and championships, along with high academic achievement culminating in graduation," added Miller. I am proud of the standards and expectations that our student-athletes place upon themselves to achieve and perform at a high level athletically and academically and how they represent themselves in the community.
On the competition fields, courts, courses and mats, Upper Iowa's athletics were led by the Peacock wrestling team which placed fourth at the NCAA Championships in Kearney, Neb. Five wrestlers claimed NCAA All-American honors including a National Championship for Trevor Franklin. The women's golf team qualified for their fifth straight NCAA Regional event and the men's team sent Jon Anderson to the NCAA regional as an individual.
The Collegiate Power Rankings from NCSA are calculated for each college/university at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels by averaging the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup ranking, the NCAA student-athlete graduation rate of each college/university and the U.S. News & World Report ranking.
The collegiate power rankings based off of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup rating evaluates the strength of NCAA athletic departments, while the U.S. News & World Report rating recognizes institutions of academic excellence. The student-athlete graduation rates are based on those provided by the NCAA.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to more than 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.