The CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) is no longer.... Introducing the B1G Academic Alliance

Submitted by Kewaga. on June 30th, 2016 at 7:49 PM

The CIC the B1G's academic division has changed its name to the B1G Academic Alliance in order to easily convey its mission and increase its visibility.   Its membership constitutes the B1G members and formerly the University of Chicago... and is a national powerhouse when it comes to reseach.  For Example:


B1G Academic Alliance: $10 billion in reseach dollars spent annually *

University of California system: $5 billion 

Ivy League Schools:  $4.3 billion 


*  This does not even include John Hopkins University (#1 nationally in R&D expenditures).  They have an invite and are still on the sidelines deciding whether to join or not.  


 (FYI: Michigan is #2 (GO BLUE!)

The B1G (including John Hopkins) has 13 institutions in the top 50 and 3 in the top 5.


Edit: Credit to CarrIsMyHomeboy below for pointing out that the CIC and BIG Academic Alliance may have different involvement from/with the University of Chicago.



June 30th, 2016 at 8:05 PM ^

This is where the big money is, and is the reason many institutions want to join the Big Ten.

The amount of money dwarfs the money they get from athletics.


June 30th, 2016 at 10:37 PM ^

You're right, but it's the data and software access that makes it more valuable than athletic money. It's not quite as tangible as something like a TV contract though.

All the B1G schools (except Rutgers and Maryland) are connected to a fiber optic network called OmniPoP. So basically if Wisconsin gets a grant, I could use my UM credentials and have access to all of their government funded data. All the universities have access to $10 Billion worth of research a year.



July 1st, 2016 at 12:44 AM ^

is not a factor directly in allocating research grants.  But with Maryland literally down the from road from DC (and a B1G office there) and Rutgers literally down the road from Mathattan  (again with an office there) I would imagine it might put the B1G in better position to lobby it's case for why they or an individual institution might best be able to utilize said funds.  Just speculating. 


June 30th, 2016 at 8:29 PM ^

The CIC has probably always been the most important outcome of the Big Ten's existence. But the OP is slightly mistaken. U-Chicago is no longer a member. That was just announced today and is a likely impetus for the name change. The likely impetus for U-Chicago leaving? That's hard to confirm; however, they did recently threaten to leave if the Big Ten ever accepted "another" non-AAU institution. So the issue appears to have been somewhat brought on by adding UNL.


June 30th, 2016 at 10:28 PM ^

Nebraska had been a member of the AAU since 1909 and was still a member just prior to their official B1G admittance date.

Seems like their med school location and USDA funded ag research were the culprits. I'm sure it's not impossible to be invited back, if Nebraska is even seeking that.


July 1st, 2016 at 1:53 PM ^

Nebraska was a member of the AAU when they were invited to join the B1G, but they were ousted from the AAU before they formally joined the B1G. However, you may be partially correct because the vote to invite Nebraska to the B1G was unanimous whereas two B1G schools (Michigan and Wisconsin) voted against allowing Nebraska to remain in the AAU. 

As an aside, UNL should not have been kicked out of the AAU, and I'm a little disappointed that Michigan voted in favor of their ouster. For whatever reason, there seemed to have been a faction within the AAU that was intent on removing UNL, and they were going to do it one way or another (indicated by the fact that the voting deadline was extended because not enough schools had voted by the original deadline). The fact that they couldn't count the research money generated by their medical campus in Omaha in their favor because it was under a separate administrative structure was a pure technicality. 


June 30th, 2016 at 10:18 PM ^

Nebraska was an AAU member as of the day they were formally invited to join the Big Ten, but by the date of their formal entry they'd been tossed out of the AAU. They were tossed because the UN medical campus is in Omaha, not Lincoln, and also because a good portion of UN's research dollars are agricultural in origin and for some reason that's a pickle up the butts of other AAU members.

I've read that the booting of UN was instigated by Texas in revenge for Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten.

In any event, if Chicago thought that leaving the CIC was justified simply because Nebraska was part of the conference, that's their fuckup.


July 1st, 2016 at 2:38 PM ^

I think all schools that were invited to join the B1G were automatically invited to join the CIC. Given that the University of Chicago no longer has any formal relationship with the B1G, I would imagine that they didn't like being in the awkward position of supposedly being a full member of an exclusive organization (the CIC) and yet being the only member without a vote in deciding who else gets invited to join. It wasn't much of an issue in the past since the B1G's membership stayed constant for 44 years after Chicago left, but I'm sure the wave of conference realignment over the past few years has been a factor in how they viewed their place in the CIC. They obviously don't put as much emphasis on athletics as the other CIC members, and they probably saw the expansion of the CIC to include the new B1G members as a case of the tail wagging the dog.    


June 30th, 2016 at 9:22 PM ^

that the University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big 10. They stopped being an athletic member but they continued to be a member of the academic consortium (until now.) The comments indicated that they will continue to be a part of the co-operative efforts in some areas. This inidcates that they might fullly come back into this function of the B1G as they are keeping a foot in the door. 


June 30th, 2016 at 10:27 PM ^

might get an "academic affiliate" status or whatnot.   Look at those numbers, I can't imagine they would turn down the opportunity to pool their resources with like minded institutions... just don't see it.  

Plus I'm sure the B1G is "subtley" encouraging/helping NU get back their AAU status... even though Michigan and Wisconsin were among the schools that voted them out.  Plus at the time of acceptance they were AAU members.


June 30th, 2016 at 11:09 PM ^

I think the problem they were having with the CIC is that they weren't sure they were a like-minded institution. Chicago's quite unlike the 13 public B1G schools--for one thing there's no large pool of undergraduates to instruct, which affects how resources are allocated.

This has been simmering for quite a while. One of the reasons the UAA was founded was to put together a collection of schools closer in spirit to the post-Hutchins Chicago ideal. Maybe that group is about to announce a formal consortium beyond athletics?



June 30th, 2016 at 10:39 PM ^

The University of Chicago has some mad street cred in the physics department.  It is the school of which Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard operated the very first ever nuclear reacter, CP-1.  It was part of the Manhattan Project and helped usher in nuclear weapons.


July 1st, 2016 at 12:01 AM ^

Guys, you need to be a more critical customer of university marketing BS. The ex-CIC is mostly bullshit, and the universities' press releases regarding it are highly misleading.

- it has NOTHING to do with grant money. NOTHING. Any suggestion to the contrary is just something implied by misleading press releases.
- it has precious little to do with academics, to the extent their is a benefit, it flows to state schools with tighter budgets. The library costs / purchasing contracts benefit somewhat from scale on negotiations, but at the price of control. And the savings, even when construed in the most positive light, are under a $1 million a year for member schools. In the background, UChicago is doing the wanking motion.
- it allows for some ease in sharing faculty, credits, off-campus programs, but that's actually a cost to better schools, whose credits are more valuable and aren't really competing with places like Purdue and Nebraska.
- the library benefits are de minimis, because graduate students have access to everything, anyways. Do you really think if, say, a Yale student needs a document from IU-Bloomington, they won't get access to it? That's not how it works.

Every time the ex-CiC puts out one of its ridiculously self-congratulatory press releases, me and a friend, who is a very senior administrator of a Michigan-level university, have a good laugh not just at the bullshit in the release, but folks' categorical acceptance of it as truth. You should always assume when dealing with administrators that they will strain the truth to publicly enhance the value of their contributions, because they need to justify their salaries just like you and I do.