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Release: Oct. 9, 2001

UI collaborates in creation of American Indian Studies Consortium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The member universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), including the University of Iowa, are joining forces with the Newberry Library in Chicago to create an unprecedented program devoted to American Indian Studies.

Drawing on the CIC's vast institutional resources and the Newberry's matchless collections in the field, the new CIC American Indian Studies Consortium will facilitate the development and training of graduate students in anthropology, history, literature, education and other fields whose academic research focuses on the cultures and experiences of American Indians.

Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, participated in the planning of this new initiative. She said the collaboration would open new avenues of research and exchange for UI students and faculty.

"By joining forces with the other CIC institutions and the Newberry Library, we've exponentially expanded the resources and opportunities we can offer our students and faculty in American Indian Native Studies," she said. "In the next few years I think we'll see some innovative projects and scholarship emerge as a result of this integration."

The new venture will offer core programs to enhance the training of students on each CIC campus. Each year, one CIC faculty member will spend a year at the Newberry to conduct research and to teach a spring seminar to graduate students from the collaborating institutions. Graduate students at CIC universities will apply for short-term fellowships to support research on their dissertations. Scholars will also come to the Newberry for an annual conference, as well as workshops and seminars. In addition, the Newberry Library, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, will solicit applications nationally for two additional fellowship programs, and a third program will be funded by the Newberry's own endowed sources.

James Grossman, vice president for research and education at the Newberry, emphasized the Library's mission to promote the use of its collections. "This collaboration draws on and expands the Newberry's role as a meeting ground for a diverse community of researchers in Indian history," said Grossman.

"This is a timely decision that brings together a remarkable range of resources to create a unique and extraordinary opportunity for scholars," said Barbara Allen, director of the CIC. "The new program responds to the growing demand for academic training in American Indian Studies and promises to significantly increase the production of scholars in this field. We are gratified that the program was developed by more than two dozen faculty at our member universities, and that it will draw together both their energies and the Newberry's rich resources."

The program will be headquartered at the Newberry's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History and its director will also have a half-time faculty appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Founded in 1958, the CIC is a consortium of 12 research universities including the 11 members of the Big Ten Athletic Conference and the University of Chicago. Together, CIC member universities confer nearly 15 percent of the Ph.D. degrees awarded in the United States annually, employ more that 33,000 faculty and enroll nearly one-half million students. More information about the CIC, is available on the Web at http://www.cic.uiuc.edu

For more information contact:

Linda Maxson, UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (319) 335-2610
Barbara Allen, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), (217) 333-8475
Jim Grossman, Newberry Library, (312) 255-3535