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CIC University Press Initiative



Contact:  Tom Peters, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC),
217-244-9239,  tpeters@cic.uiuc.edu

CHAMPAIGN, IL, December 18, 2001.  In a new initiative that will shape the
future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication, the Committee
on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) will convene experts from its member
universities to (1) identify collaborative models for university press
operations and (2) develop and test a pilot cooperative e-publishing
venture. A fundamental underpinning of the initiative is the understanding
that the presses will maintain their individual identities. The task
forces will present preliminary findings, recommendations, and a beta
version of the e-publishing venture in the summer of 2002. Initial plans
call for the e-books and other e-content to be freely accessible to the
entire CIC community via the existing CIC Virtual Electronic Library
(VEL). As part of the study, sustainable models will be developed
providing access to the content by the worldwide scholarly community. The
CIC is an academic consortium that comprises the members of the Big Ten
Athletic Conference and the University of Chicago.

Earlier this month the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors
passed a resolution (see attached) that charges the CIC with initiating
this set of complementary projects. Myles Brand, President of Indiana
University and Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors
said, "University presses provide an indispensable means of disseminating
scholarship and research, and the presses of the CIC institutions are
especially successful in doing so. However, in the changing and highly
competitive world of publishing, all means must be undertaken to be
efficient. This resolution directs the CIC presses to explore
opportunities for collaboration that result in cost savings while
sustaining and even enhancing quality."

"These efforts are a natural evolution of the leadership the CIC has taken
around library initiatives," said Lou Anna Simon, Provost, Michigan State
University and Chair of the CIC. "We view collaboration as a key tool for
supporting scholarly communication in the humanities and social and
behavioral sciences. I know that we will benefit from the experience and
creative thinking that the libraries and presses will bring forth on these

Douglas Armato, Director of the University of Minnesota Press and current
member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American University
Presses, commented, "There couldn't be better news than that the CIC
universities are making scholarly communication a priority. These two
related projects will position the CIC university presses for continued
success in a rapidly changing environment. We look forward to sharing
expertise and ideas with CIC librarians and other campus colleagues. The
opportunities for collaborative efforts are substantial."

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, and Chair of the CIC Library Directors Group, noted,
"The CIC Library Directors are extremely pleased to have the opportunity
to work with our university press publishing colleagues to create access
to their content in this new and innovative way. This pilot project will
give us all an opportunity to collaboratively overcome any obstacles to
good access, retrieval, and use of the important scholarly materials our
university presses publish."

Tom Peters, the Director of the CIC Center for Library Initiatives,
praised the collaborative efforts. "Libraries and university presses share
many common goals and values.  This set of projects-a rare combination of
intra- and inter-institutional collaboration that capitalizes on the
unique strengths of the CIC-ultimately will benefit all scholars and

Founded in 1958, the CIC is the academic consortium of twelve research
universities including the eleven members of the Big Ten Athletic
Conference and the University of Chicago. In 2000, CIC university presses
collectively published 1,065 new books and 118 scholarly journals, with
net sales of over $66 million. Together, CIC member universities confer
nearly 15% of the Ph.D. degrees awarded in the United States annually,
employ more that 33,000 faculty and enroll nearly one-half million
students.  CIC member institutions include the Universities of Chicago,
Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin-Madison, as well as
Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, and
Purdue Universities. For more information about the CIC, visit their Web
site at www.cic.uiuc.edu.


WHEREAS a rapidly changing publishing environment is creating pressures,
challenges, and opportunities for research university presses;

WHEREAS the twelve research universities of the Committee on Institutional
Cooperation (CIC) maintain a strong interest in a vital system of
scholarly communication;

WHEREAS the member universities of the CIC have a 43-year history of
successful collaboration and coordination of resource sharing, as well as
strong press, library, and information technology infrastructure and

WHEREAS emerging electronic publishing models offer opportunities for
collaborative creation, dissemination, and archiving of electronic texts
and journals produced by CIC universities, and opportunities exist for
coordination of traditional press functions;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Big Ten Council of Presidents and
Chancellors direct the CIC to initiate and coordinate a voluntary pilot
venture in cooperative e-publishing between the member university
libraries and presses for the purpose of sharing e-books published within
the member universities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Big Ten Council of Presidents and
Chancellors appoint a task force to assist the CIC in the analysis of
traditional press functions that might be consolidated, and the
identification of a flexible, voluntary, coordinated, consortial approach
to such consolidation, for presentation and consideration by the CIC
Members and the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors in the
Summer of 2002.

Adopted by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, December 3,