Research faculty member with three students


Rutgers’ membership in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation offers collaborative teaching and research opportunities for faculty and students with their counterparts at other Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago.

Roy Groething

For many Saturdays to come, as the roar of Rutgers fans spills out of High Point Solutions Stadium on the Busch Campus and drifts over Rutgers University–New Brunswick, researchers, professors, and students elsewhere on campus will have their moments to celebrate triumphs, making discoveries that will eclipse the importance of who wins or loses a football game. On July 1, Rutgers officially enters the Big Ten® Conference, but for the past year, the university has been a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the academic consortium of Big Ten universities, plus the University of Chicago, that invites its 15 members to collaborate in a host of areas.

“We are pleased to welcome so many distinguished faculty and staff from Rutgers and [the University of] Maryland,” said Barbara McFadden Allen, the executive director of the CIC. “Our campus visits have reinforced our belief that these outstanding universities are a perfect fit—culturally and academically—for the CIC.”

The CIC—which engages $9.3 billion in research and development each year—benefits from the collective power and influence of its membership. It allows its world-renowned research universities to share expertise, leverage campus resources, save millions of dollars through group purchases, and collaborate on innovative programs in research and teaching. The CIC, founded in 1958 by the presidents of the Big Ten Conference, demonstrates the power in shared purpose, that through an aggregation of resources, member universities can achieve the kind of success that no one school could do alone.

“This opens a new realm of possibilities,” said Richard L. Edwards, executive vice president for academic affairs and the interim chancellor of Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

The CIC network connects all the universities with one another and to research hubs worldwide. Students and faculty will have access to the electronic inventories of Big Ten university libraries and other digitized information resources, and they will otherwise benefit from the leading technologies deployed at CIC universities.

Rutgers research professors in a range of fields can collaborate with their counterparts at other universities. The CIC, for instance, hosts the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Collaboration, which seeks to better understand the causes and effects of sports-related concussions and head injuries—an active field of research, and expertise, at Rutgers. Researchers will benefit from another association of the Big Ten universities: the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (CRC), a network of cancer institutes that are affiliated with 12 universities. The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey—the only institute of the CRC that is located in the New York area and which, through its network, treats one-third of New Jersey’s cancer patients—can readily contribute to the clinical trials being developed by the consortium.

“This collaboration will change the landscape of how we, as investigators, develop and deploy clinical trial offerings, not only at our own centers, but also nationwide,” said Robert S. DiPaola, the director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, in an interview with “Each member institution has its own renowned experts and information arsenals. Included with that are unique resources such as cutting-edge technologies, biological specimens, clinical data, and more. These offer a wealth of knowledge that will help reshape and further advance clinical trials.”

For its part, the CIC also promotes global research partnerships between CIC researchers and their worldwide counterparts. There are also opportunities for faculty to travel overseas in order to enhance the global perspective in their teaching. Students benefit from studying abroad, too. The CIC Shared Programs Abroad opens all study abroad programs to them, more than 70 locations worldwide.

Rutgers students can benefit from distance-learning courses. CourseShare allows them to take less commonly taught courses offered at other CIC institutions, usually taught by faculty who are experts in specialized fields. Following the recent sinking of the Korean ferry, students from Rutgers, Penn State, and the University of Michigan discussed, remotely through computer monitors, the international media’s reaction to the tragedy in their class, “Korean Language and Culture in Everyday Life,” which was hosted at Penn State and taught by professor Susan Strauss, an expert in applied linguistics. They explored the phenomenon of an excessive obedience to authority in Korean culture and its role in the accident.

Just some of the learning available through the CIC.

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