WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. ? Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott will make his first official visit to China Dec. 12-16, on behalf of the Conference’s 12 universities, to begin exploring athletic, academic and cultural exchanges, it was announced today. Scott will give a keynote address on The Structure andBusiness Model of Intercollegiate Athletics in the United States at the 2011 China International Sports Leadership Forum, an annual summit that featuressome of the most significant developments in sports from around the world. Scott joins a roster of speakers that includes Wei Di, General Secretary of the China Football Association, Sun Daguang, General Secretary of China’s Sports Culture Development Centre, Sir Dave Richards, Chairman of the English Premier League and Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of the British Sports Council. Scott will also meet with government officials, Chinese and U.S. sports leagues, event promoters and media companies interested in partnering on events and sports and culture exchange as well as distributing Pac-12 content. “This is an important priority for our universities, as world-renowned research institutions located in the West, representing the gateway to the Pacific Rim,” Scott said. “We are uniquely positioned as a Conference, given the international makeup of our student body, the international brandrecognition of our schools, and our geographic location, to make a big impact in Asia. This is our first step in pursuing new frontiers.” "We prepare our students to compete and connect globally through our international exchange programs and recruitment of international students and faculty to our campuses," said Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University and Chairman of the Pac-12 Board. "The Olympics demonstrate the power of athletics to open gateways to competition as well as culturalexchange and understanding. We believe international activities by Pac-12 in athletics can enhance the effectiveness of many of the programs our individual institutions already have in place with China and other Asian nations.” In August, The Center of World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University recognized the academic excellence of Pac-12 member institutions in its 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The ranking named Stanford and UC Berkeley as two of the top five universities in the world. Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA were three of the top 10 U.S. universities in the rankings, leaving the Pac-12 second only to the Ivy League, which had four members ranked in the top 10 among U.S. universities. Overall, nine Pac-12 schools were ranked in the top 100 schools worldwide.