FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama board of trustees today approved a resolution stating the university’s intent to move to NCAA Division I status upon completion of a series of benchmark goals. UNA currently competes in the Gulf South Conference of the NCAA Division II.
The board’s approval of this resolution comes on the heels of several major advancement initiatives, including construction plans for a new science and technology center and a new academic center and student commons, as well as its groundbreaking for a new black-box theatre.
“This is an exciting time in the history of UNA – a time of growth and momentum, for academics, for student life and for athletics,” said Dr. William G. Cale Jr., UNA president. “As we move forward with the board’s decision today, I am excited about our future. We have a plan to move ahead strategically and to build upon our very successful athletics program. University concerns were heard from our faculty, staff, and students, and the resolution that was passed today includes benchmarks to address those concerns. I encourage everyone among our university family, alumni, the Shoals community and throughout the region to support this transition as we launch into a new era.”
UNA president pro tempore Steve Pierce said the board’s decision is a “visionary move for the university, coming at a time when UNA is building and growing in so many exciting ways. This decision was not made for its immediate impact. The full benefits of actions like these are rarely seen for many years. This move, I am confident, will bring to this university and this area a level of strength, of competition and of growth that will be felt generations from now, long after each of us is gone.”
Benchmarks UNA must meet for a transition include meeting the new requirements for Division I membership, capping institutional spending for athletics operations, increasing athletics funding from outside sources, and capping a phased-in student athletics fee.
Read More: UNA.edu