Rutgers University to join Big Ten Conference

November 20, 2012

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval Tuesday (Nov. 20) for Rutgers University to join the Big Ten Conference, one day after approving the inclusion of the University of Maryland. 

Rutgers will enter Big Ten competition in all sports at a date to be determined; Maryland will begin competition during the 2014-15 academic year.

The expansion of the Big Ten athletic conference also means that the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) -- the academic arm of the Big Ten -- will decide in the coming weeks if Rutgers and Maryland can become CIC members. The CIC is the nation's premier higher education consortium of top-tier research institutions, including the Big Ten Conference members and the University of Chicago. Through collaboration CIC members save money, share assets, and increase teaching, learning and research opportunities.
"All CIC universities share a very strong research emphasis, and it looks as if Maryland and Rutgers (by virtue of their status as AAU members) match very well with us in that regard," said Barbara McFadden Allen, executive director of the CIC. "In particular, the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems at Maryland, which has a $5.4 million grant involving researchers at Ohio State, and the Global Institute for BioExploration at Rutgers, established with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to promote ethical, natural product-based pharmacological bioexploration to benefit human health and the environment in developing countries."

“The Big Ten includes America’s most highly regarded academic institutions, known for both their athletic success and academic achievement,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi. “This is exactly the right conference for Rutgers. Our university is one of the nation’s leading research universities, and our student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the playing field.”

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. Rutgers University formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and unanimously approved Rutgers’ application.

“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to announce that Rutgers University will soon join the conference family,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “The additions of Rutgers and the University of Maryland further expand the Big Ten’s footprint while helping solidify our presence on the East Coast. Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence and will prove a great fit for our future.”

About Rutgers University: Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving nearly 60,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers is one of only two New Jersey institutions represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers is the sole university in the United States that is a colonial college, a land-grant institution and a public university. The university draws on a storied legacy of innovation, and strong ties to a complex and diverse state to serve the public through education, research and community engagement.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions sponsor 298 teams competing for championships in 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $136 million in athletic scholarship aid to nearly 10,000 men and women student-athletes, the most of any conference. For more information, visit

Last Updated December 11, 2012