JOINT BIG 12 STATEMENTS

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2010

GOVERNOR, REGENTS, K-STATE, & KU ISSUE JOINT BIG 12 STATEMENTS

“This outcome is a win-win for our universities, their students and alumni, and the state.”

(TOPEKA) – Today Governor Parkinson, the Kansas Board of Regents, Kansas State University (K-State), and the University of Kansas (KU) issued the following statements regarding this morning’s announcement that the Big 12 Conference will remain intact:

Governor Mark Parkinson:

“This is great news to Kansas universities, student athletes, fans and our entire state. Today we solidify the future of the Big 12 Conference. In fact, we are in a better position than ever before. Chancellor Gray-Little, President Schulz and the Kansas Board of Regents provided outstanding leadership during this process. It was my pleasure to answer their call for assistance, and I appreciate their continued commitment to the state.”

Regents’ Chair Jill Docking, of Wichita, and Vice Chair Gary Sherrer, of Overland Park:

“We are delighted that an agreement to maintain the Big 12 Conference has been reached. Although there are a variety of details to be ironed out in the coming weeks, the strong commitment of the ten institutions involved ensures a bright future for the Big 12. The Board certainly applauds the collaborative efforts of K-State and KU to preserve the Conference. They share an intense rivalry on the field, which they skillfully re-focused on this successful and cooperative effort. This outcome is a win-win for our universities, their students and alumni, and the state.”

K-State President Kirk Schulz and K-State Athletics Director John Currie:

“Obviously, we are buoyed by the commitments of our existing colleagues and league institutions to preserve the Big 12 Conference and its position as one of the nation's top leagues. This was a very important moment in the history of Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. We both saw the significant value of keeping the Big 12 intact and we worked together diligently to help bring about this outcome. Together, we look forward to new levels of growth and opportunity in the conference. Our sincere appreciation goes to all of our league partners, and certainly Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe and his staff, for their hard work during this process.”

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins:

“The University of Kansas is excited about the bright future of the Big 12 Conference and its ability to provide long-term strength and vitality for the league and its members. The conference going forward offers schedule and travel choices that exhibit a concern for the student-athlete, as well as maintaining the rivalries that mean so much to our fans. This outcome is a result of the hard work and collaboration of many people, including presidents, chancellors and athletics directors, as well as Commissioner Dan Beebe and leaders inside and outside Kansas. It was particularly gratifying to work with our friends at Kansas State, because while we may compete on the field, we both understand the importance of working together to advance the best the interests of the State of Kansas.”

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About the Kansas Board of Regents:

The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

For more information, contact Kip Peterson at (785) 296-3421 or at kpeterson@ksbor.org.

Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.