CUMU Announces the 2016/2017 Executive Committee

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is proud to announce its 2016/17 Executive Committee. Elections were held at the CUMU Annual Conference, which was hosted in Washington, D.C. Executive Committee members are presidents and chancellors of CUMU member institutions and serve two-year terms in their respective positions.

The Executive Committee members were selected for their demonstrated commitment to the CUMU mission of promoting and enhancing urban and metropolitan universities. In particular, these newest appointees are distinguished for their dedication to building relationships between higher education institutions and their communities through civic engagement, economic development, and public policy objectives.

Thomas F. George, Chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, was elected to serve as CUMU’s next president. He has served as the Vice President/Treasurer of the Executive Committee since 2014.

Dr. George became chancellor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) in 2003 after serving as the dean of natural sciences and mathematics at SUNY–Buffalo and then provost at Washington State University. In addition to his role as chancellor, Dr. George is a professor of chemistry and physics at UMSL. He has received the Distinguished Higher Education Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Missouri State Celebration Commission; the Outstanding Community Service Award from the St. Louis County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and the Lifelong Vision Award from the Lifelong Vision Foundation of St. Louis. Dr. George is active in the St. Louis community and has been named St. Louis North County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

On his new role, Dr. George said, “Two-thirds of America’s population and 75 percent of its economic output are centered in urban areas. CUMU is the leading organization working to strengthen the role of urban and metropolitan universities to ensure that our great cities continue to grow and prosper. I am excited about serving as president for the next two years—during which time I plan for CUMU to concentrate on civic engagement, diversity, inclusion and immigration, as well as influencing the focus of federal research support toward issues affecting urban populations.”

Devorah Lieberman, President of the University of La Verne and Member at Large of the Executive Committee since 2015, was elected to serve as the board’s Vice President.

Dr. Lieberman became the 18th President of the University of La Verne and the first female President in the institution’s 125-year history in 2011 after serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wagner College for more than seven years. Lieberman was named President of the Year in 2015 by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) for her support of an inclusive campus and her encouragement to have all members of the University of La Verne be engaged on campus. Her other honors include being named the 2000 Oregon Professor of the Year named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and 1999 Distinguished Faculty Award presented by the Portland State Alumni Association.

Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College, the outgoing CUMU President, will assume the role of President Emeritus.

The Executive Committee also welcomes several new Members at Large. Vicky Carwein, Chancellor of Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne; Franklin Gilliam, Jr., Chancellor of University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Phoebe Haddon, Chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden; Paul Pribbenow, President of Augsburg College; and Charles Wight, President of Weber State University will join the Executive Committee to serve two year terms. Michael Lovell, President of Marquette University, was reelected to the board to serve as a Member at Large.

Several Executive Committee members will continue to serve in their roles. Members at Large Tomas Morales, President of California State University, San Bernardino; Gary Miller, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; and Linda Bennett, President of the University of Southern Indiana, will continue in their positions for the next year.

Kim Schatzel, Towson University president and CEO of Administrative Headquarters, will likewise maintain her Executive Committee role, as will ex-officio members Dr. Valerie Holton, the Executive Editor of the Metropolitan Universities Journal, Strategy Advisor Dr. Barbara Holland, and CUMU Executive Director Bobbie Laur.