Lincoln - University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman today affirmed a five-year contract extension for Nebraska Athletic Director Steve Pederson. Pederson's current contract would have expired on June 30, 2008; the extension places the new expiration date at June 30, 2013.

Pederson, who has served in his current role since 2003, led the development of the North Stadium project, which has given UNL athletics one of the best football facilities in the nation.
Under Pederson's leadership, the academic focus for student-athletes continues as one of the nation's models. Nebraska has continued to lead the nation in the number of Academic All-Americans.

"Our athletic program is well-regarded in the highly competitive arena of collegiate athletics, due largely to the focus Steve has placed on balancing athletics and academics for our student-athletes," Perlman said. "Steve's leadership in the expansion of our athletic facilities and his selection and support of key coaching talent has placed Nebraska in a position of strength."

Perlman cited several factors that led to his decision to extend Pederson's contract, including:

* The continuation and enhancement of UNL's strong commitment to academic successes for its student-athletes. Nebraska leads the country in Academic All-Americans, and all men's and women's athletic teams satisfied the NCAA's new academic standards. Nebraska also leads the Big 12 in the graduation rate of student-athletes, at 94 percent.

* The recruitment and hiring of coaches who reflect the tradition of Husker athletics with high goals for success, accomplished in the right way, said Perlman. Pederson has been responsible for recruiting and hiring head football coach Bill Callahan, and men's basketball coach Doc Sadler.

* The financial management of the athletic department. The North Stadium project was constructed on time and within budget, a substantial amount of private donations were raised within a very short time frame, and the funding for the remainder of the project was identified without jeopardizing the other operations of the department, Perlman said. In addition, budget management has put the athletic department in a stable financial condition. Private donations to the department continue to increase.

* Athletic performance. In all sports, progress toward championship level play is evident.

"In these days of close scrutiny of intercollegiate athletics, the university is fortunate to have someone as its athletic director who is committed to the overall development of student-athletes, has adopted sound financial management practices, and insists on the highest standards of compliance with university and NCAA rules. I am delighted that he has agreed to this extension," said Perlman.

"I view this extension of my contract for a long term as a compliment to our coaches, administrative staff, and our student-athletes," said Pederson. "I see this as an opportunity to continue the work that we have started together. I am especially thankful for my fellow Nebraska fans who make this the best college atmosphere in the country, and I look forward to many fun and exciting times together in the coming years."