The Common Solutions Group was founded (as the "Stone Soup Group") in 1994 by Ken King, who had earlier served as Chief Information Officer at Cornell University and as President of EDUCOM, and Glenn Ricart, then Head of Academic Computing at the University of Maryland.
From the CSG Charter:
Intensively networked information technology is uniformly central to the work of major research universities. It therefore serves to advance their overall effectiveness rather than to differentiate them competitively. For this reason, it is critical to the overall efficiency of research universities that they act collaboratively to influence commercial providers of information technology and, where the market fails to provide appropriate technology, work collaboratively to develop and disseminate common solutions to important IT challenges. Collaborative work of this sort requires open, sophisticated interaction within and across two groups, namely the technical staff of key research universities and the senior IT administrators responsible for strategic direction and resource allocation.
The Common Solutions Group works by inviting a small set of research universities to participate regularly in meetings and project work. These universities are the CSG members; they are characterized by strategic technical vision, strong leadership, and the ability and willingness to adopt common solutions on their campuses. CSG meetings comprise leading technical and senior administrative staff from its members, and they are organized to encourage detailed, interactive discussions of strategic technical and policy issues affecting research-university IT across time.
For more information, contact the Common Solutions Group Secretariat at CSG.Secretariat at umich fullstop edu.