The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2011, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2011-12 academic year. UNL will also seek admission into the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which can occur on or before July 1, 2011.
The addition of the University of Nebraska marks the Big Ten's first expansion since Penn State University joined the conference in June of 1990 and will increase Big Ten membership to 12 institutions for the first time in conference annals. Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany will join University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Director of Athletics Tom Osborne on campus in Lincoln, Neb., for press conference at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, June 11.
"By unanimous vote, the Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to the Big Ten Conference," said COP/C Chair and Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon. "We believe Nebraska is an extraordinary fit, reflecting the criteria we established at the beginning of the process - high academic quality, competitiveness, cultural compatibility and fiscal responsibility. The extensive and in-depth discussions my colleagues and I have had about Big Ten expansion permitted us to act expeditiously and prudently on the application submitted by Nebraska. We look forward to working with our colleagues at UNL in the years ahead."
"We are pleased that the Presidents/Chancellors of the Big Ten universities agree that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a proper partner from both an academics standpoint and athletics perspective," Perlman said. "This makes sense for the future of our University. We are honored to be included in the Big Ten."
"The Big Ten Conference has much to offer," Osborne said. "This is a tribute to our athletic program, our academic programs and our fans. This is the right move at the right time. This is a rare opportunity that may not have been an option for us in the future."
In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Friday afternoon. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and approved Nebraska's application."While Big Ten expansion is exciting and important both academically and athletically, what we are really excited about is building solid, long-lasting relationships with the University, its administrators and staff, its fans and the people of Nebraska," Delany said. "We look forward to reaching out to these groups in the months and years ahead."
Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska.