It’s all over the news today. Maryland and Rutgers are in serious talks to exit their respective sports conferences (ACC, Big East) for the Big Ten. An announcement may come as early as Monday 19 November 2012.
Here at RU we’ve been down this road before, as Steve Politi pointed out Saturday 17 November in the Star-Ledger. And it wouldn’t be cheap. Still, as Politi writes, “the $10 million fee to get out of the Big East would be the happiest divorce settlement in college sports history. This is more than just replacing USF and Memphis with, potentially, Michigan and Ohio State on the schedule. This is the way countless future students will view the university.”
One of the biggest payoffs for Rutgers as a Big Ten school would be membership in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Headquartered in the midwest, the CIC is a consortium of the Big Ten universities plus former conference member the University of Chicago. As such, it encompasses 45,000 faculty members and over 400,000 students. It also shares a $5.6 billion research fund.
“The CIC’s mission”, explains the Committee, “is to advance academic excellence through collaboration across its member universities. It aims to be the national model for effective, voluntary collaboration among top-tier research universities.”
More specifically, this collaboration gives CIC member institutions added value in terms of library resources, cooperative purchasing, course sharing, professional development programs, information technology, study abroad opportunities, diversity initiatives, and much else.
As we await the news, here’s a reminder that the Big Ten, despite its name, currently consists of 12 schools: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. (The links are to each university’s Classics program.)
[Update for 19 November: looks like it’s happening—Ed.]
[Update for 20 November: it’s official—Ed.]