General Lindsey Williams, Assistant Commissioner

GLVC Admits Upper Iowa University as Full-Time Member

INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced on Tuesday that Upper Iowa University has been admitted to the Conference for full-time membership, following a vote of approval by the GLVC Council of Presidents on November 28.

“The GLVC Council of Presidents is pleased to endorse the recommendation from the league’s faculty athletic representatives to accept Upper Iowa University as our 14th member,” said Dr. Sue Thomas, Truman State University President and Chair of the GLVC Council of Presidents. “Throughout the evaluation process, our institutional representatives were impressed with UIU’s passion, enthusiasm, and focus on the student-athlete experience. We welcome the Peacocks to the GLVC family.”

Upper Iowa will officially become the 14th GLVC member upon receipt of initiation fees, entitling the institution to voting privileges, and will begin regular season competition and be eligible for GLVC Championships in 2023-24.

“We are quite pleased to welcome Upper Iowa University as the newest member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “Their addition to the GLVC for the 2023-24 academic year will expand the league’s geographic footprint into the state of Iowa and provide scheduling stability for sports such as football and wrestling. Upper Iowa boasts outstanding leadership from President Bill Duffy and Vice President for Athletics Rick Hartzell and embraces the Division II attributes that our current members value.” 

Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit corporation providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the classroom, online, and via self-paced learning (both web and mail) to an average of about 5,000 students annually. UIU’s residential campus is located in Fayette, Iowa, which includes an undergraduate enrollment of 572, 475 of which are student-athletes.

Upper Iowa has been competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) since 2006 and has been a member of NCAA Division II since 2003 when it reclassified from Division III. The Peacocks have captured six NSIC titles in the sports of wrestling (three), women’s golf (two), and women’s tennis (one), as well as one Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) conference championship in men’s soccer and one NSIC tournament championship in softball. Additionally, the wrestling team has earned three NCAA trophies for a third-place finish and a pair of fourth-place results over the last 10-plus years.

Since 2019, Upper Iowa has competed in women’s bowling as an associate member of the GLVC.

“We greet this move to the Great Lakes Valley Conference with a great deal of excitement and energy,” said Upper Iowa President Dr. William R. Duffy. “The GLVC is comprised of institutions similar in size and scope to UIU and joining the conference will open up new strategic opportunities for the University.” 

The Peacocks currently sponsor 18 of the GLVC’s 24 sports, including all seven of the league’s core sports: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball. UIU will also compete in women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and wrestling. Additionally, the Peacocks sponsor a coed program in cheer and dance, as well as shotgun sports.

“Commissioner Naumovich and his staff at the GLVC, along with several members of the GLVC, have been very supportive during this membership process,” said UIU Vice President for Athletics Rick Hartzell. “On behalf of the University, I can’t thank them enough not only for the extension of the membership offer, but for their detailed review of the University and their visit to campus. The move to the GLVC allows us to bring all our NCAA-sponsored sports into the same conference, and we look forward to joining this great league for competition in the fall of 2023.”

The GLVC is currently one of the largest NCAA Division II conferences in the country, featuring 13 schools and 24 sports. The Conference was established in 1978 and made up of six schools in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, but has moved westward to include four Illinois schools and eight Missouri schools among its membership. The current members of the GLVC are: Drury University (Springfield, Mo.), University of Illinois Springfield (Springfield, Ill.), University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Ind.), Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.), Maryville University (St. Louis, Mo.), McKendree University (Lebanon, Ill.), Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla, Mo.), University of Missouri-St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo.), Quincy University (Quincy, Ill.), Rockhurst University (Kansas City, Mo.), Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.), Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.), and William Jewell College (Liberty, Mo). 

The GLVC last expanded in 2018 with the addition of Southwest Baptist and Lindenwood University as its 15th and 16th members. However, Bellarmine University in 2019, as well as Lindenwood and charter member University of Southern Indiana in 2022 all resigned to reclassify to Division I, leaving current membership at 13 full-time institutions.
The Great Lakes Valley Conference is one of the premier NCAA Division II conferences, made of 13 member institutions from three Midwest states (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri) and comprised of 7,000 student-athletes, 50,000 students and 600,000 alumni nationwide. Founded in 1978, the GLVC has grown to sponsor 24 Conference championships and is among the nation’s elite in academic and athletic success. GLVC schools have captured 21 NCAA Division II national championships, including 11 on the men’s side – seven of which are in basketball – and the most recent coming for University of Indianapolis women’s lacrosse in 2022. Among the 23 NCAA Division II conferences analyzed in the November 2021 report published by the National office, the GLVC ranked tied for third in the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) at 69 percent and third for the Academic Success Rate (ASR) at 85 percent for all student-athletes. The GLVC is also home to the GLVC Sports Network (GLVCSN) – the first NCAA Division II conference-wide digital streaming network that launched in 2014. GLVCSN can be found on, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Roku devices, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps.