Text of Presidents Letter

Following is the text of the latest public communication from the presidents of five Big East conference schools. The letter was sent to President of Clemson University, James Barker, who is currently serving as the Chair of Presidents of the ACC.

We are writing to you in your role as Chair of the Council of Presidents in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Just a few short weeks ago, essentially on the eve of its implementation, we learned of an expansion plan targeting the Big East Conference and developed within the ACC over the course of an extended period of time. Since then, we have worked with intensity to learn more about those plans and their likely consequences - for the institutions we lead, for the conference we have built to a position of national prominence, and for intercollegiate athletics more broadly. As we have communicated in a range of ways, we believe that the ACC's contemplated actions will be highly destructive on all of these fronts.

Unfortunately, our efforts to discuss these issues have not included any opportunity for face-to-face conversations with you or with our other presidential colleagues in the ACC. We now are requesting that you work with us to arrange for such a discussion. We do so respectfully and in the spirit of collegiality and open communication that has long been one of the hallmarks of American higher education.

Obviously, we are not fully informed of the forces that have taken you to this point. In that sense, meeting with you could be instructive for us. However, we also feel quite certain that no ACC president or chancellor would want to rush to judgment on such a potentially harmful plan without having complete information, and we believe we have insights to share that could not be effectively communicated by anyone else.

Hoping it will help relieve the burden of communicating within your own group, we are sending copies of this letter to each ACC president and chancellor. You, in turn, can feel free to respond to any or all of us, and we will share your message within our own group. Clearly, we hope that your response will be a positive one, and we look forward to hearing from you.


Richard L. McCormick, President, Rutgers University

Philip E. Austin, President, University of Connecticut

Mark A. Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh

Charles Steger, President, Virginia Tech

David C. Hardesty Jr., President, West Virginia University

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