University of Jamestown is one of five schools forming a new National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) conference in the Upper Midwest.
“During a two-year transition as a member of the independent conference, we have fared very well in our athletic programs,” says Jamestown College President Robert S. Badal. “Now that we have the makings for a strong new conference, the outlook for Jimmie athletics is brighter than ever.”
The North Star Athletic Association will debut in the 2013-14 academic year. Jamestown College’s fellow charter members in the conference are Dakota State University (Madison, S.D.), Mayville State University, Presentation College (Aberdeen, S.D.), and Valley City State University.
Presentation College was previously an NCAA Division III independent, but was admitted into NAIA membership at the NAIA’s National Convention on April 22. The other four institutions are long-time NAIA members which competed in the NAIA’s Association of Independent Institutions (AII) Conference the past two years.
The NAIA officially recognized the establishment of the new conference during a meeting of the Council of Presidents (COP) on April 22. The COP, the NAIA’s chief governing body, voted to formally recognize the North Star Athletic Association as an NAIA-affiliated conference beginning in 2013-14. The five schools are also announcing that a sixth member has been invited to join their conference. Dickinson State University, currently a member of the NAIA’s Frontier Conference, has been asked to join the North Star Athletic Association beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
“This is a positive day and an exciting day,” says Jamestown College Athletic Director Lawrie Paulson. “This is only the beginning, and there is a lot of work to do in the coming years.”
The North Star Athletic Association plans to hire a commissioner later this spring and be in full-time operation by July 2013.