July 15, 2011
To: UMD Campus Community
From: Chancellor Lendley C. Black
Subject: UMD Men's Hockey Joins National Collegiate Hockey Conference
I am pleased to announce that effective July 13, 2011, the University of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey program became a founding member and participant in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The other founding members are: Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University (Ohio), University of North Dakota, and University of Nebraska Omaha.
This change does not affect the women's hockey program, which will continue to compete in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). UMD's commitment to the continued national prominence of the women's program remains strong.
The UMD men's program will begin competing in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with the 2013-14 season. Meanwhile, we will continue our commitment and participation in the WCHA. The new National Collegiate Hockey Conference and its final roster of premier hockey institutions will no doubt bring significant national attention to the conference and its members.
The collegiate athletic climate has been particularly volatile in the recent years, with conference realignments affecting a number of different sports and universities. Our top priority throughout this process has been to secure conference affiliations that will ensure that UMD is elevated by academic and athletic excellence. Our school has become a nationally recognized bastion of scholastic achievement; it is my responsibility to ensure that our athletic teams play in prominent forums that can provide exposure for such academic accomplishments.
By joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with other institutions that also share a strong commitment to their hockey programs, we are providing long-term stability for our program. I anticipate that the new conference will provide the best competition in the country. The visibility we attain through our association in the new conference, in part, will be reflected in our ability to attract impressive new students seeking a quality scholastic experience, including outstanding student-athletes to our hockey and other programs.
Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you at Amsoil Arena this fall when we raise the national championship banner and the players defend the title for another exciting hockey season.