Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 15, 2007 -- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman today announced he has asked UNL Athletic Director Steve Pederson to step down from the post he has held since January 2003. Perlman said he believes Pederson is no longer positioned to move the Athletic Department forward.
"We are of course disappointed about the progress in our football program. Steve has done many positive things for Husker athletics during his tenure but I think only new leadership can objectively assess the state of our program and make the decisions necessary to move us forward," Perlman said.
Pederson's contract was renewed for five years at the end of July.
"You make the best decision you can with the information you have," Perlman said. Since then, Perlman says he has noted a decline in morale in the Athletic Department, and growing concern about retention of key personnel.
Perlman said he will immediately initiate conversations to identify an interim athletic director with full authority to assess the state of the Athletic Department and its athletic programs and to make any decision necessary to advance those programs. He also indicated his intention to consult with a national search consultant to begin the process for selection of a new permanent athletic director.
"It is not clear how long such a process will take or its precise form. It is important it be done expeditiously but thoughtfully," Perlman said.
"The selection of Steve Pederson in 2003 as athletic director was widely thought to be the only clear choice because of his experience, his roots and his knowledge of our traditions. I know Steve made the decisions he thought best for the interests of the program and the university. I am disappointed that I had to come to this decision."