Big 12 Conference is Committed to Academic Excellence

The Big 12 Conference has announced the second phase to its three-year integrated “Big 12 Making a Difference” marketing campaign focused on academic achievement and distinguished research endeavors among its 10 member institutions. Following the successful launch in 2013, the campaign will feature new academic Public Service Announcements (PSA) for the Conference and each institution, updates to the higher-education microsite and features on highlighting areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

This year’s PSA campaign will launch on Oct. 4 featuring a rotation of 11 different 30-second videos broadcasted with network partners ESPN and FOX Sports during Big 12 games through March 2015. Each university-specific video can be viewed at the correlating stadiums, on and

The academic microsite, launched in 2013, was enriched to include the new PSAs, as well as video profiles of innovating research and the people at each university committed to making dynamic change. The online library contains stories on important academic successes and notable research efforts undertaken by each Big 12 university. From studies on cancer detection, climate change and crops sustainability to innovative thinking shared by university presidents, experienced faculty and exemplary students, the Big 12 institutions are making a difference for STEM.

Leveraging the Big 12’s large following of sports fans, the Conference will also share STEM information on to raise greater awareness and further recognize member university scholarly performance.

“STEM is vital to our nation’s future and we are excited to provide a glimpse of the far-reaching work being done by Big 12 member institutions,” said Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University and chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors. “We have been encouraged by the support and interest in this campaign that is focused on academic achievement and we are pleased to unveil the components for the second phase of the initiative.”

Some of the programs and achievements featured in this year’s campaign include:

  • Baylor University (View PSA) – Launching a program aimed at designing chemicals and materials that are less toxic to humans and the environment, while maintaining effectiveness.
  • Iowa State University (View PSA) – Designing crops that tolerate climate change, produce bigger yields and feed more people to help meet one of the world’s greatest challenges: a plentiful, safe, nutritious food supply.
  • University of Kansas (View PSA) – Finding new ways to power our world by educating leaders who will address global challenges, including the need for new, clean energy sources.
  • Kansas State University (View PSA) – Preparing students for careers that will safeguard our natural resources, dedicated to keeping our water supply safe and plentiful.
  • University of Oklahoma (View PSA) – Supporting more state funding for higher education to ensure public higher education remains an affordable option in the future.
  • Oklahoma State University (View PSA) – Making a difference through its life-saving research at the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology and with innovative initiatives that will prepare more teachers to excite K-through-12 students about STEM subjects.
  • Texas Christian University (View PSA) – Taking part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that will create the most detailed multi-dimensional maps of galaxies ever made, determine the history of the Milky Way since birth and explore the fundamental nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
  • University of Texas (View PSA) – Creating real world conditions aimed to make the oil and gas drilling process safer for people and the environment through a virtual lab developed by its engineers.
  • Texas Tech University (View PSA) – Shaping the academic futures of local children through interactive camps that stress the importance of obtaining a STEM education, such as building a boat out of duct tape and cardboard that will carry them through water.
  • West Virginia University (View PSA) – Making an impact beyond labs and classrooms with professors such as Larry Rhodes, who helps run a summer camp for children with congenital heart defects and disease.

About the Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference is comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with over 38 million people within its geographic footprint. Entering its 19th year, the Conference has produced 585 Academic All-America selections and claimed national championship team titles in 17 of its 23 sponsored sports. Its student-athletes and teams have combined for 552 individual NCAA titles and 53 team national championships. More than 4,200 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually under the Big 12 banner.