CUNY Academic Commons Launches Commons In A Box (Press Release)


New York, NY — November 19, 2012 2:00 PM EST

Contact Information:
Matthew K. Gold, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY Academic Commons


The CUNY Academic Commons, an initiative of the City University of New York, is proud to release:


Commons In A Box – A free, open-source platform for community connection, collaboration, and communication.


With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the CUNY Academic Commons team has produced a stand-alone version of its award-winning open-source social media platform that connects faculty, staff and graduate students across CUNY’s 24 campuses. The Commons In A Box software package makes it easy for institutions and groups to download, install, and customize community spaces for their communities. The Modern Language Association, the premier international organization for scholars of literature and language, has already adopted the Commons In A Box as the platform for a new MLA Commons that will serve the organization’s 30,000+ members beginning in January 2013.


Commons In A Box, or CBOX, offers a suite of features designed to give users of all skill levels the ability to create and host vibrant online communities with complete user control.  Built upon the WordPress and BuddyPress platforms, CBOX allows the members of a community to create personal profiles, join or create public groups to facilitate collaboration, and set up blogs to promote work, events, and conferences.  CBOX also provides:


  • Out-of-the-box functionality with an intuitive set-up that guides site administrators through each step of installation.
  • A powerful, responsive, highly customizable theme developed for community engagement.
  • Responsive design for easy viewing on many devices, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Collaborative document creation and file sharing.
  • Reply-By-Email functionality for quick, on-the-go communication.
  • Compatibility with many other WordPress and BuddyPress themes and plug-ins.
  • Expansive wiki options.

CBOX will be useful to any organization that is looking for a shared space in which to build an engaged community of users and developers. Find out more about Commons In A Box here:


– The Commons In A Box Team



About CUNY Academic Commons

The Academic Commons of The City University of New York is a social networking platform designed to facilitate connections and collaboration across the 24-campus City University of New York system. Built by the community for the community, the site has fostered a membership body that seeks to use the Academic Commons as a means of fulfilling its highest aspirations for integrating technology into its academic missions of teaching, research, and service. The CUNY Academic Commons seeks to support the public educational mission of the City University of New York through the active  development of free and open source software  released and broadly disseminated for the public good.



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  1. Build Your Own Academic Community with Commons in a Box - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education - December 4, 2012

    […] is, according to the press release, a free, open-source platform for “community connection, collaboration, and […]

  2. Florida Digital Humanities Consortium - October 16, 2020

    […] was thrilled when Matt Gold and his project team at CUNY announced CBox in November 2011  and launched it a year later.  I reached out to Matt last week at the Digital Humanities 2013 conference and asked if he […]

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