Update from President Steger regarding BIG EAST Conference
Virginia Tech
May 23, 2003

Dear Friends and Alumni of Virginia Tech,

It is very likely you have read or heard of the proposed Atlantic Coast Conference expansion plans and the threat to the BIG EAST Conference. Without a doubt, if the ACC enacts its plan to take three schools from the BIG EAST, our league and our university will be impacted financially and otherwise. While this issue has important implications to our future, life will go on and the university will continue making opportunities through the empowerment of education like it has for more than 130 years.

Let me recount for you where we stand with the athletics conference situation. Since this story went public, we have made clear our desire for the BIG EAST to remain intact. Our affiliation with the BIG EAST has afforded us and its member schools numerous benefits. It provides excellent intercollegiate competition, good revenue sharing, access to the BCS, and significant exposure along the Atlantic seaboard.

We believe that the BIG EAST is the place for Virginia Tech and are working diligently on multiple fronts not only to preserve it but to improve it, too. It is not an understatement to say that this has been my number one priority for the last month. I have been in frequent contact with the governor, sports management executives, conference officials, and my fellow university presidents in both conferences. As you can imagine, athletics department leadership has been working overtime.

Along with our quest for academic and research excellence, this institution is committed to participating at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics. It is in our best interests to keep an open mind and work diligently to assure access to the circles which afford us those competitive opportunities.

Regardless of what happens, the university continues to move forward on many fronts.

Applications for admission remain at historically high levels. The academic records and intellectual capabilities of new matriculants is better than ever. Our quest to be among the nation's leading universities is on track. We remain ranked among the nation's best public universities.

I am confident that we will achieve a positive outcome. Where there is challenge, there is opportunity. Both are still abundant.

Charles W. Steger