Institutional Memberships

Membership in various professional associations provides higher education institutions a network of knowledge, support, and collaboration. This is a list of some of the MSU IT-sponsored national and regional organizations that MSU has institutional memberships with along with some of the benefits.

The dedication and willingness of members to actively share ideas and experiences helps MSU understand academic trends, adapt to new technologies, and act on new opportunities.

Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation)

The Big Ten Academic Alliance is a consortium of the universities organized by the provosts of the universities. The Big Ten Academic Alliance was formerly the Committee in Institutional Cooperation, also know as the CIC.

Big Ten Academic Alliance-CIOs

The provosts have formed several Executive Leadership groups, including one of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs). The Big Ten Academic Alliance CIOs in turn sponsor a large number of Peer Groups that bring together IT-related staff and others across the Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions to share ideas and best practices, and collaborate on projects. MSU has benefited from its participation in the various Big Ten Academic Alliance venues.

Capital Area IT Council

The Capital Area IT Council is a Michigan Regional Skills Alliance (MI RSA) that was formed to address the specific workforce development challenges facing our local information technology industry. Employer led and directed, the Capital Area IT Council is a coalition of industry, education, economic development, and government partners committed to identifying, developing, and implementing real solutions for improving the quantity and quality of IT professionals in this region. MSU holds an institutional membership with the Capital Area IT Council which provides all MSU staff members an opportunity to attend sponsored training and informational sessions on various IT topics. If you are interested in more information on the Capital Area IT Council and their offerings, please visit their website.

CIO Executive Council

The CIO Executive Council is a “vendor-free” global community of corporate, government and not-for-profit chief information officers; it is an enterprise of CIO Magazine. The Council provides planning, best practices and leadership development resources, and webinars, and facilitates personal access to CIOs with similar issues and interests across all organization types. It has been a useful way for MSU to connect to experience and expertise beyond the usual set of peer educational institutions.

Common Solutions Group

The Common Solutions Group (CSG) was formed to advance the overall effectiveness of research university IT functions through collaboration, rather than to differentiate them competitively. MSU was invited to join in 2009. The current CSG membership is comprised of 29 of America’s most prestigious research universities, both public and private, and includes EDUCAUSE and Internet2 as Consortial Members. Brendan Guenther is actively engaged with CSG for MSU.


“The mission of EDUCAUSE is to enable the transformational changes occurring in higher education through the introduction, use, access to, and management of information resources and technologies in teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and institutional management.” Michigan State University has an institutional membership which includes a limited number of Participating Representatives for Educause. Participating Representatives are usually active in the association and attend Educause conferences and participate on membership committees. If you are interested in obtaining general information regarding Educause and would like to be associated with the MSU membership, please the Educause website, click login in the upper right corner, and then select create profile.

Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)

ELI has the mission of helping institutions advance learning through IT innovation. The strategic focus is on learners and successful learning. Based on the mission and focus, ELI explores three primary areas: Learners, learning principles and practices, and learning technologies. Among the activities supported by ELI are an annual meeting, and online and face-to-face focus groups and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Educause ELI membership is held at the institutional level. MSU staff members can use this site to access briefs, case studies and other resources used in daily work applications. To access the ELI site, you must have a profile on file with Educause. If you need to create a profile, go to the Educause website, click login in the upper right corner, and then select create profile.

Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR)

ECAR provides access to research topics including student uses of technology, IT collaboration, identity management, and IT support for business continuity. MSU staff members can utilize ECAR’s comprehensive and timely research to reduce risk when making business plan decisions. The ECAR membership is held at the institutional level and open to all MSU staff members. To access the ECAR site, you must have a profile on file with Educause. If you need to create a profile, go to the Educause website, click login in the upper right corner of the screen and then select create profile.


Gartner is one of the world’s leading providers of research and analysis about the global information technology industry. They provide data, advice and opinions to clients worldwide, deliver consulting engagements throughout year, and hold annual events where they review the results of their studies to attendees. Their clients include chief information officers and other senior IT executives in corporations and government agencies, technology companies, and the investment community. Gartner’s reports can benefit MSU staff members in obtaining in-depth research and analysis information when making many information technology decisions. Current MSU students, faculty, and staff can access the Gartner research and reports through the Gartner portal. To access the portal, a MSU NetID and password is required. (Read about the Gartner terms and conditions.) If you need assistance in accessing the Gartner portal, please contact the MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 or at

InCommon Federation

MSU is a member of the InCommon Federation. The mission of the InCommon Federation is to create and support a common framework for trustworthy shared management of access to online resources in support of education and research in the United States. InCommon uses the Internet2 Shibboleth federated identity management tool to allow users from any InCommon member institution to use their home identity credentials to log on to services at other institutions, facilitating collaboration while reducing the number of IDs and passwords users and service providers need to manage.

Internet2 (UCAID)

Internet2 provides leading-edge data network capabilities in support of research and education, and promotes collaboration and innovation across academia, industry, government and the international community. Much of MSU’s external network traffic is carried on the Internet2 network.

Kuali Foundation

The Kuali Foundation is organized for the purpose of creating and sustaining a “community source” initiative intended to provide administrative systems software to meet the needs of higher education institutions regardless of Carnegie Class. Michigan State University is a Founding Kuali Investor, and participates on the Kuali Board and on the Kuali Project’s functional and technical development teams for finance and research administration projects. Additional financial support has been provided through grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Michigan Technology Network (MITN)

The Michigan Technology Network was formed to support and strengthen the Lansing IT community. MITN sponsors IT mixers six times annually, providing an atmosphere for networking and collaboration for IT members in the Lansing Area. MITN also sponsors several educational events throughout the year including training sessions and updates on new facilities, companies and technologies in the IT field. MITN’s goal is to add value by increasing knowledge sharing in the Lansing area and provide a vehicle to keep the IT community up-to-date on the IT field. Through the MSU institutional membership, MSU staff members have an opportunity for professional networking and to participate in discussions regarding IT topics in the Lansing area. MSU staff members are automatically eligible for membership which includes an opportunity to attend the IT Mixers and educational/training events. Please visit their website to sign up as an individual member under the MSU membership.

Merit Network Inc.

Merit Network Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation that operates a statewide education and research data network throughout Michigan, and provides Internet connectivity services to MSU. MSU is one of the governing members of Merit Network.

Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C)

The purpose of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing quality online learning by providing professional development, instruction, best practice publications and guidance to educators, online learning professionals and organizations around the world. For additional information, please contact Keesa Muhammed at

MSU’s premium membership in the OLC entitles attendees to receive a discount on the registration fee at the annual meeting, as well as other benefits.

Research University CIO Conclave

The Research University CIO Conclave (RUCC) is an informal self-organized group of approximately 50 CIOs of North American “research intensive – high” Carnegie class universities, established to provide a venue for discussing issues and speaking with one voice on critical national-level policy and strategy issues. RUCC works through a closed mailing list and meets once or twice annually as decided by its members.