CUMU was founded in 1989 by a group of ten presidents at Wright State University. The founders of CUMU came together to create a viable niche in higher education for those institutions united through their philosophies. In the first published issue of our journal, Metropolitan Universities, CUMU founders Charles Hathaway, Paige E. Mulhollan, and Karen A. White stated,
Over the organization’s history, much has been accomplished. Most notable is that the vision of the original founders has been realized. Today, the concepts of engagement and leadership within the communities in which we reside are, for the most part, widely accepted.