The 2022 CUMU Annual Conference, The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, brought together 480 higher education leaders from across the United States and Canada to San Diego to consider the essential role urban and metropolitan universities play in leading a recovery grounded in community, equity, and innovation.

Day One

Day one kicked off with three, three-hour deep-dive workshops led by Campus Compact, HERS (Higher Education Resource Services), and 2022 Holland Scholar Patrick M. Green.

The opening lunch plenary, The Essential Role of Urban & Metropolitan Universities as Engines for Social Mobility, kicked off with a welcome message from CUMU Executive Director Valerie Holton and a land acknowledgement by Dr. Stanley Ralph Rodriguez, director of Kumeyaay Community College and member of the Santa Ysabel Band of the Iipay Nation.

Three California State University leaders: Bill Covino, president, Cal State LA; Ellen Neufeldt, president, Cal State San Marcos; and Thomas Parham, president, Cal State Dominguez Hills, shared how their campuses are addressing social and economic mobility in unique ways during the plenary.

Following the opening plenary, presenters highlighted how they are working to integrate the urban mission into their work during an afternoon filled with panels, mini workshops, and promising practice sessions.

We closed out day one with the CUMU Signature Reception, hosted by University of San Diego, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. The sunset views overlooking San Diego and the Pacific Ocean were the perfect backdrop for networking and catching up with new and familiar colleagues.

Day Two

Day Two started with hundreds of attendees traveling across San Diego for community experiences, supported by San Diego Foundation.

  • Tribal lands and services: higher education’s relationship with native tribes, hosted by Cal State San Marcos
    Participants traveled to the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians reservation, toured featured sites, and learned how Cal State San Marcos’s Tribal Initiative has exponentially increased the recruitment and retention of American Indian students.
  • The Boulevard of Diversity: economic development in City Heights, hosted by University of San Diego
    Participants traveled to City Heights where they listened, learned and engaged with local organizers, vendors, and residents of The Boulevard whose daily efforts help contribute toward keeping City Heights a diverse and equitable thriving community.
  • The Alliance for Regional Solutions: a collaborative approach to solving homelessness, hosted by Cal State San Marcos
    Participants heard from those with the lived experience of homelessness, learned about the Alliance’s approach, toured a drop-in center for youth experiencing homelessness, and discussed strategies for solving homelessness.
  • Logan Heights: an exploration of culture, place, and community organizing, hosted by University of San Diego
    Participants traveled to Chicano Park, toured Chicano murals, and gathered for an engaging panel discussion made up of local, intergenerational community leaders that explored the dynamics and outcomes of some of the collaborations between the community and the University of San Diego.

We closed out the morning with a plenary lunch, Prosperity and inclusive growth: partners for equity outcomes in higher education. The session featured regional partners San Diego Regional EDC, Cal State San Marcos, and MAAC, who have been collaborating for several years to address regional equity issues in economic development and social mobility.

Following the plenary session, attendees filled breakout rooms for an afternoon of more knowledge sharing and found time to connect with colleagues.

Our poster session included 39 presentations by faculty, staff, and students from across the CUMU membership. Presentations ranged from advancing the anchor mission to centering anti-racism in experiential learning to leveraging university accelerators.

Day Three

We kicked off the final day with interactive roundtables. During the 60 minute session, attendees had the opportunity to participate in three 20-minute conversations on a wide range of topics affecting our urban and metropolitan campuses.

We closed out the final day with a lunch plenary, Tijuana, San Diego Cross Border Region as a place of community and resiliency. The plenary featured a conversation between leaders from University of San Diego, International Community Foundation, and San Diego Foundation who shared how collective efforts from anchor institutions catalyze binational regional commitments with a focus on equity and resiliency.

Thank you once again to everyone who made #CUMU2022 a success. Keep the conversation going on Twitter. Follow us @MetropolitanU.

Thank you to our 2022 conference supporters

Title Sponsors

aramark collegiate hospitality logo

Signature and Member Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors