Financial stability and a different athletic conference is not the only change the University of Maryland will experience when it moves to the Big Ten conference.
“I support the move largely for what the move does for the institution academically,” William Kirwan, university system of Maryland chancellor, said in a press conference Monday after the change was announced.
The Big Ten, with the partnership of the University of Chicago, makes up the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The group takes on academic and research initiatives that require collaboration among its member schools in order to benefit all schools on the committee.
The University of Maryland will join this group of schools after the CIC’s formal process is completed and all member university provost’s are contacted, Barbara Allen, executive director of the CIC, said.
“We haven’t delved into conservation with [the University of Maryland] yet, but certainly Maryland is a very strong, good match for the CIC because of its size of student population, faculty and research portfolio,” Allen said. “We will be welcoming.”
CIC membership is in process for the University of Maryland, Allen said.
“The CIC will be jumping right into conversation about what will be beneficial to Maryland and the CIC,” Allen said.
The fact that all Big Ten schools belong to an organization such as the CIC is unknown to much of the general population, Allen said.
“People are pretty surprised to know that schools that play each other competitively on the weekend and come together in the classroom on Monday to cooperate,” Allen said.
The member schools of the CIC put their assets on the table so that all other institutions that are a part of the CIC can benefit. This includes pooling study aboard programs to provide more options to students, Allen said.
The University of Maryland sees the academic benefit of joining the Big Ten, University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said.
“The Big Ten has an enormous advantage over any other conference in the country because of the CIC, which is a fabulous consortium of schools,” Loh said. “There are many educational and research opportunities.”
The CIC provost for Penn State, who, with other university provosts, governs the organization, could not be reached for comment.