Upper Iowa University

Not to be confused with University of Northern Iowa.

Coordinates: 42°50′17″N 91°48′00″W / 42.838°N 91.800°W / 42.838; -91.800

Upper Iowa University
Motto Deo Duce
Motto in English
With God For A Leader
Type Private
Established 1857 (1857)
Endowment USD $15.0 million[1]
President William R. Duffy II
Academic staff
Students 6,158
Location Fayette, Iowa, USA
Campus Rural
100 acres (0.40 km2)
Colors Blue and White          
Athletics NCAA Division IINSIC
Nickname Peacocks
Affiliations Council of Independent Colleges, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Website www.uiu.edu

Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a private institution of higher education with its residential campus located in northeast Iowa, United States near the Volga River in the rural community of Fayette, where around 900 students are enrolled.

UIU offers distance education programs that include 15 centers in the U.S., an online program, an independent study program, and centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. UIU has a total student enrollment of more than 6,000 students with a 24:1 student-to-faculty ratio (based on university-wide enrollment).

Upper Iowa offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 40 majors, including art, business, conservation management, education, higher education administration, human services, information technology, liberal arts, math, nursing, psychology, science, and more.[2] It operates on two eight-week terms per semester, allowing students to take two classes per term.

UIU is the only NCAA Division II Athletics Program in the state of Iowa and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

Upper Iowa University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Alexander-Dickman Hall, built in 1855, is the oldest building on the Fayette Campus and constructed of native limestone.

In 1854, Elizabeth Alexander, a pioneer living near what is now Fayette, Iowa, proposed the idea of a college to her husband, Robert, who donated $10,000 toward the cause. Their son-in-law, Samuel Robertson, donated $5,000 and 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land. In 1856, the first Board of Trustees meeting was held; articles of Incorporation were adopted; and classes began January 7, 1857. The university was affiliated with the Methodist Church until 1928.

In 1861, a company of male students and faculty members enlisted in the Army to fight in the American Civil War. Student-soldiers participated in 17 major battles, carrying a flag hand-sewn by UIU women students. In 1917, UIU male students joined the armed forces during World War I, while women students organized American Red Cross classes on campus; the UIU gym became a barracks, and the athletic field was the scene of military drills. By 1920, a systematic program of extension work throughout northeast Iowa had begun, with Upper Iowa referred to as "a pioneer in the field."[3] Those students who joined the service to fight in World War II took advantage of the G.I. Bill to complete their education, which dramatically increased Upper Iowa enrollment between 1947 and 1950. Record enrollments were also seen after the Vietnam War (1952–1970).[4]

In 1972, Upper Iowa launched an external degree program that included Independent Study and Online Programs. In 1984 to present, UIU expanded to open locations across the U.S. Upper Iowa was approved by North Central to offer graduate degrees in 1995, and in 1999 started its International Program by establishing centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vancouver, Canada.

The Andres Center for Business and Education was built in 2004

It was also during 1994 to 2003 that UIU underwent an aggressive landscaping and building renovation that brought changes to its Fayette campus. This included the construction of Lee Tower Residence Halls, the acquisition of a new physical plant building and the construction of a recreation center. In 2004, the new Andres Center for Business and Education was built, and Alan G. Walker was appointed the 20th president of the University. During summer 2009, the largest capital improvement project broke ground on the Fayette campus $75 million which will include a new student center, suite-style housing, and a Liberal Arts academic building.[5]


Upper Iowa's traditional 100-acre (0.40 km2) residential campus is in Fayette, Iowa. Fayette County is ranked at 26th in the Midwest list of “Best Places to Live.”[6] Student-faculty ratio is 14:1; teaching is by tenured or full-time faculty of whom nearly 75 percent have doctorate degrees; advising is done by faculty; there are free on-campus tutor centers; and there are more than 40 registered fraternities, sororities, clubs and organizations on campus.

The Fayette campus is primarily for undergraduate students, but a master's degree in education is also offered, along with two-week IXEL classes in the summer. Students can choose from 40 majors, with the most popular being Elementary Education and Teaching, Marketing/Marketing Management, General, and Natural Resources/Conservation. The Pleggenkuhle Prairie, donated by the Pleggenkuhle family to UIU, is 3 acres (12,000 m2) of virgin prairie northwest of Hawkeye. It is used as a teaching tool for students to learn about the prairie ecosystem and to conduct prescribed burns and research projects at the site.

The academic facilities on the Fayette campus are state-of-the-art due to an aggressive renovation of the old buildings over the past decade and new construction currently underway. The Fayette campus has free wireless Internet access. The recreational facilities include free student events, a free fitness center, and free golf at the local 18-hole course. The university has rock wall climbing and specially designed ropes course.


Upper Iowa University participates in the North Central Association (NCA) Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), has a UIU chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and 165 student athletes were honored in 2010 for academic excellence.[7] Average ACT score is 22; average high school grade point average is 2.94; tuition for 2009-2010 is $22,350, with 100 percent of UIU students receiving need- and/or merit-based financial aid.[8]

Upper Iowa University awards more than $100,000 each year in merit-based scholarships to its current students.[9]

Distance education

Upper Iowa Distance Education includes 15 center locations across the U.S. in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin, an Independent Study program, as well as an Online Program recognized by GetEducated.com Best Buy Rankings since 2007 and the Online Education Database (OEDb) Online College Rankings since 2007.

UIU Center locations offer the flexibility of evening and weekend classes with a classroom experience. Independent Study and Online programs offer education "anywhere, anytime." Over 40 undergraduate courses and graduate degrees (MPA, MBA, MHEA) are offered, with the option of mixing classroom and online courses.

International program

Upper Iowa University has two international education centers located in the Pacific Rim. UIU offers undergraduate programs in business, communication and psychology to learners in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Through on-site faculty, faculty exchange, and visiting lecturers, UIU offers a program with a high level of academic rigor and quality.

In addition, UIU also offers a full on-line Master of Business Administration program with global access for students, as well as study abroad opportunities.


Upper Iowa University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in several categories for 2015:


Main article: Upper Iowa Peacocks

In 2005, Upper Iowa University was accepted into full membership of the NCAA Division II athletics and became a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Peacock colors are blue and white. UIU was a NCAA Division III member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference until 2003.

Sports teams

Baseball (guys)
Basketball (Men and Women)
Cross Country (Women)
Football (Men)
Golf (Men and Women)
Soccer (Men and Women)
Softball (Women)
Spirit Squad (Men and Women)
Tennis (Women)
Track & Field (Women)
Volleyball (Women)
Wrestling (Men)

Military friendliness

Upper Iowa University's "Team Peacock" has raised $350,000 to date riding RAGBRAI for student scholarships

UIU is recognized for being a military-friendly college by Military Advanced Education (MAE) magazine’s “3rd Annual Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities” and the 2010 list for top military-friendly schools published by G.I. Jobs online magazine.[11] UIU is a member of the Post 9/11 GI Bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program and works closely with Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, GoArmyEd, Navy College Program Distance Learning Program, Army National Guard Education Support Program, Coast Guard Institute, and the Air Force AU ABC program. UIU offers credit for military training, military spouse scholarship opportunities, and tuition discounts for the Total Military Family.

Notable alumni

The statue of Colonel David B. Henderson stands in front of the Upper Iowa University library. Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 to the University to honor his friend.


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  2. Archived October 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Alderson, S. 1965. The Palimpsest, vol. XLVI, no. 3, pp. 166/167.
  4. Regan, S. 2008. The Pioneering spirit: Upper Iowa University celebrating 150 Years 1857-2007. Cedar Rapids: WDG Publishing.
  5. Archived March 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "The Official Athletic Website of Upper Iowa University". Upperiowaathletics.com. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  7. Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. 2009 Recipients Listed Alphabetically
  9. "Upper Iowa University | Overall Rankings | Best College | US News". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  10. Military Advanced Education (MAE) at http://www.military-advanced-education.com/ml and G.I.Jobs Online at http://www.gijobs.com/
  11. Gifford, Jody (2012-11-07). "Rob Taylor Wins Iowa House District 44 - Government - Waukee, IA Patch". Waukee.patch.com. Retrieved 2013-12-19.

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