November 24, 2020

Iowa Wesleyan to find out SLIAC fate at upcoming meeting

SLIACA vote was taken by St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference administrative council members at their Nov. 16 meeting regarding Iowa Wesleyan College’s potential membership within the SLIAC.
Three Iowa Wesleyan representatives — Vice President Linda Buchanan, Athletic Director Mike Hampton and NCAA Faculty Representative David Siebert — made a presentation to the administrative council and fielded members’ questions.
The administrative council then voted whether to recommend Iowa Wesleyan to the presidents of the SLIAC’s nine member institutions. Buchanan said she was not present at the meeting when the council voted, and she did not know the outcome of the vote.
SLIAC Commissioner Will Wolper, Webster University Director of Athletics Tom Hart and Fontbonne University Athletic Director Maria Eftink declined to comment on the outcome of the vote. Eftink is also chair of the administrative council executive committee.
“I don’t have a vote, so I can’t tell you how I would vote or what my vote would be,” Wolper said. “There would be a lot of positives (Iowa Wesleyan) would bring to the conference. There are a lot of concerns our members would have. I think it really comes down to the presentation from their president to our presidents.”
Wolper and Buchanan said Iowa Wesleyan President Jay Simmons will make a presentation to the nine SLIAC presidents at their Dec. 5 Presidents’ Council meeting. The SLIAC Presidents’ Council would then vote on whether to accept Iowa Wesleyan as a member of the conference, taking into account the administrative councils’ recommendation.
Iowa Wesleyan would need a 75-percent approval rate from the Presidents’ Council to be accepted into the SLIAC.
“I think we’re still hopeful that we will be able to join the SLIAC,” Buchanan said. “We’re still hopeful that we will have an invitation, because we believe that it’s an outstanding fit for our institution and a really wonderful opportunity for our student athletes.”
The administrative council is made up of athletic directors, NCAA faculty representatives and senior woman administrators from each of the nine SLIAC school — 27 members total.
Hart said the SLIAC bylaws say the administrative council must have a quorum, which is two-thirds of the council, present at meetings to be able to vote. He said there were enough people at the Nov. 16 meeting for a vote to occur.
“We have to have 18 members voting in order to have a quorum so that we can conduct business, and we had a quorum,” Hart said. “Any recommendations for membership have to be approved by 75 percent of the voting members, so it’s a little bit of a higher number.”
Iowa Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted to apply for membership as an NCAA Division III provisional member by Jan. 15, 2012. Iowa Wesleyan is currently the smallest member in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Midwest Collegiate Conference.
With its application to the NCAA, Iowa Wesleyan elected to pursue admission to the SLIAC. Geographic location was a factor in Iowa Wesleyan’s decision to apply to the SLIAC. Located in southeastern Iowa, Iowa Wesleyan is less than a three and a half hour drive to all SLIAC schools except Spalding University.
Iowa Wesleyan’s NAIA membership will be suspended at the end of the 2012 spring athletic seasons. If Iowa Wesleyan is not accepted into the SLIAC this year, Buchanan said the school’s athletic teams will compete in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association next year.
“We really believe the SLIAC is a good fit for us, and I think we will push ahead with our exploratory year of NCAA Division III,” Buchanan said. “If not admitted this year to the SLIAC, we would come back (to the SLIAC) next year.”

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