CALL FOR PROPOSALS

CUMU member institutions are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to changing educational, social, and economic challenges—work that aligns with our core public-engaged mission and expands the boundaries of institutional impacts. Through hyperlocal and regional collaborations, that are both equitable and reciprocal, CUMU members and their partners will be uniquely positioned to play an ever important role in creating new pathways for future success.

Major Themes

The 2022 CUMU Annual Conference, The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, invites us to consider the essential role urban and metropolitan universities play in leading a recovery grounded in community, equity, and innovation.

The COVID-19 pandemic required governments, businesses, higher education institutions, schools, communities, nonprofits, and individuals to make rapid shifts in navigating nearly all aspects of daily life. Two years later and our communities and institutions are still facing the daily effects of the pandemic. All CUMU members have had to make challenging decisions to slow the spread of the virus and keep their communities healthy. While our world is still grappling with the negative effects of the pandemic, we have also seen CUMU members display great strength, creativity, and responsibility for their students, staff, and communities. Institutions played critical roles in ensuring the health and well-being of communities, both locally and globally, through their public health research efforts and on the ground support of their engaged missions. CUMU members continue to find ways to creatively navigate in the face of the pandemic, innovating delivery of education for students, creating safety nets to meet basic needs in their communities, and adapting the ways they engage and support their campus communities, cities, and metropolitan areas.

Large-scale development projects are spurring investments in dis-invested neighborhoods across the CUMU membership. While CUMU members are expanding their footprints, they are doing so in ways that drive inclusive economic growth and creatively address affordable housing shortages. Stakeholders are utilizing multi-faceted approaches to incorporate pathways for residents to share in the employment and business development opportunities; benefit from neighborhood revitalization; and access services offered by the redevelopment. As cities reimagine what growth, real estate development, and place look like, what role have our member institutions played in that reimagining? As anchors, how are we leveraging our assets and galvanizing other anchors to move our cities forward in new, inclusive and equitable ways?

“Inclusive entrepreneurship policies aim to ensure that all people, regardless of their personal characteristics and background, have an opportunity to start and run their own businesses.” (OECD). CUMU members are supporting inventive initiatives and practices to unlock the entrepreneurial potential on their campuses and in their communities, particularly among historically underrepresented groups: BIPOC, women, immigrants, youth, seniors, the unemployed, and people who experience disability. In addition to industry engagement, colleges and universities spend over $43 billion on goods and services annually. Many CUMU member institutions, specifically Anchor Learning Network participants, are changing procurement policies to redirect purchasing dollars to local, and increasingly minority-owned, businesses. By committing to purchase local goods and services, CUMU member institutions encourage local business development and growth that helps to create more healthy and stable communities.

Through comprehensive initiatives and partnerships, CUMU member institutions are removing barriers to college access and creating sustained pipelines into higher education for their urban and metro communities. Our members are partnering with K-12 schools to bridge the digital divide, address the inequitable impact of COVID-19 on students from low-income school districts, support first generation students, and mitigate the loss of learning created by the pandemic. Members are also investing in programs and leadership to ensure that once students enroll, they graduate and are not saddled with student loan debt. Students across North America are grappling with rising costs of tuition, housing, and the basic needs of food and healthcare. This struggle to afford basic necessities creates challenging learning environments. CUMU members are developing innovative programs to address homelessness, trauma, unaffordable and inadequate housing, and more.

It’s imperative that higher education invests in local communities. A growing number of CUMU member institutions are undertaking hyperlocal engagement—strategically organized community engagement efforts that focus on a bounded area within its larger city or metropolitan region in ways that enhance the institution’s ability to form partnerships and advance community development. CUMU members are finding success utilizing hyperlocal engagements through implementation of community-based learning, student-leadership programs, community partnerships, and volunteerism. Also contributing to this success is the increased focus on measurement of engagement to inform and refine future projects.

As our communities and our campuses continue to reckon with institutional racism, as our students speak out and spur action and change on campuses, how are our members reimagining initiatives, programs, and impact with a laser focus on changing the trajectory for communities and campuses through an explicitly anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens? Many of our members are working to dismantle racism in their communities and on their campuses and have committed to the ongoing person, structural, and systemic work required of truly inclusive communities. Institutions recognize that equitable and inclusive environments strengthen communities both inside and outside of the institution while helping to develop engaged citizens and future leaders in an ever-changing global society. How are we creating space for authentic dialogue and action-oriented planning as institutions?

CUMU members are increasingly collaborating with other higher education institutions, local governments, and corporate and nonprofit leaders to more efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the populations they serve. Bringing experts together can lead to stronger socioeconomic outcomes for residents, helping reach both institutional and regional goals.

CUMU members are examining their role as job creators to fill their own vacancies and needs, but also to support regional and industry demands. How is higher education responding to and leading the way to reimagine how we educate, train, and prepare the employees and leaders needed for tomorrow? As our economy reels from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our members are addressing pressing human capital demands, leading workforce development recovery in justice-oriented ways, and employing innovative local hiring strategies—all while grappling with the “Great Resignation” in their communities and on their campuses.

Presentation Formats and Approaches

People attend the CUMU Annual Conference to ‘dig in’ and connect on common challenges and opportunities. The CUMU Annual Conference is comprised of multiple presentation styles and formats. Our hope is that you—thought leaders, problem solvers, educators—will have in-depth, meaningful conversations around subjects that matter to you and your campuses. A blend of short presentations and deep-dive discussions allow for those in-depth conversations, community-building, and actionable next steps.

 

Presenter frames a question or challenge they are grappling with in their ongoing/upcoming work. Presenter shares relevant context/background to provide a frame. These are not about defining solutions, but rather highlighting problems, ideas, or practices that keep you up at night that you wish to engage the collective experience of conference participants. Sessions will feature a facilitated structure to help conversations along and provide presenter with notes to take back to their campus. This session will be most helpful to you if you are honest about what you don’t know and/or are struggling with.

Time Allotment: 90 minute session that follows a peer-coaching/design-clinic format

Participation: No more than two co-presenters per session

Moderation: A facilitator is required to keep the session on track

Proposal Requirement:

  • Presentation title
  • Presenter information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract that includes a clear single question related to a challenge, priority, or goal in your work, brief relevant context, and what you hope to gain from this session. (250 word limit)

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to leave with a deep understanding of relevant challenges, a sense of resonance in wrestling with shared challenges, and an opportunity to work alongside peers toward a common goal. They will also leave with a helpful structure to bring back to their own communities of practice.

Did you present in our Learning & Sharing Virtual Series? Wish you had more time to be in dialogue and gather feedback? This session is an opportunity to dive deeper at our in-person conference setting. Attendees will have access to the learn and share recording prior to attending so your time together in-person should be spent diving deeper. What has occurred since your original presentation? What new challenges or successes have arisen? Where do you see the work going next? Attendees will be invited to ask clarifying questions, provide constructive critique, and provide inspiration for next steps/iteration

Time Allotment: 45 minute session (10 minutes to review idea, 35 minutes of dialogue)

Participation: No more than three presenters per session

Moderation: None

Proposal Requirement:

  • Must be a previous Learning & Sharing Virtual Series presenter
  • Presentation title
  • Facilitator information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract that indicates previous Learning & Sharing session and why it requires a deeper dive (250 word limit)

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to leave with useful information/knowledge, actionable steps that can be acted upon in their own communities, and a chance to engage in dialogue to address the critical issues present in the presenter’s work. Attendees will also be provided access to the original Learning & Sharing Virtual Series session ahead of the Deep Dive.

Have you experienced success in the implementation of new processes, infrastructure, or policy approaches related to addressing a challenge or issue in your community or institution? Mini Workshops should be focused; inform on their topic; and engage attendees around a question or task. Presenters could create an interactive component where attendees may work individually or in small groups. At its core, these are how-to sessions. 

Time Allotment: 60 minutes

Participation: A maximum of three people can participate as speakers in one 60-minute mini-workshop presentation.

Moderation: None

Proposal Requirement:

  • Presentation title
  • Presenter information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract (250 word limit)
  • Identification of learning outcomes for attendees
  • Workshop instructional method to demonstrate interactivity
  • What do you need to make your session successful (room set-up, technology, etc.)?
  • Ideal audience size to make your session successful?

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to leave with actionable next steps. Presenters should provide attendees with supplementary materials or information for gathering those materials online.

Panel presentations are question and answer sessions with a panel of individuals focused on a specific topic. Panel presentations are not a collection of individual presentations, but a dialogue. A panel should avoid creating a showcase of something you are doing well, but rather a panel should include diverse view points and perspectives and ideally include community partners.

Time Allotment: 60 minute session.

Participation: A panel presentation is a great way to focus on one metropolitan area. It could also be a good opportunity to bring together individuals from different universities or different parts of the country. A maximum of five people can participate in a panel presentation.

Moderation: A panel moderator will be included as part of the panel presentation team and will introduce the panelists and guide the dialogue to ensure the discussion stays on track.

Proposal Requirement: 

  • Presentation title
  • Panel presenter participant Information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract (250 word limit)
  • Identification of learning outcomes for attendees

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to gain insight and hear alternative perspectives on a topic.

A poster session is the presentation of information illustrated using a 2’ x 3’ poster board. This is a great opportunity to gain significant attention for your work in a more social atmosphere. Poster displays will be available for viewing during a joint reception and poster session open to all attendees. Poster sessions operate under a “free-flowing” format as attendees will typically come-and-go.

Time Allotment: Poster session will be 60 minutes in total.

Participation: No more than two presenters per poster.

Moderation: None

Proposal Requirement:

  • Presentation title
  • Presenter information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract (250 word limit)

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to leave with new ideas and approaches to issues and opportunities relevant to urban and metropolitan universities and the cities in which they reside and serve.

Roundtables are an opportunity to present a project, program, or initiative through a small group discussion. During the roundtable session (60 minutes in length), presenters are positioned at their own tables and participants rotate three different times. So presenters have three 20-minute conversations on their program or initiative. This format is best suited for a discrete project or program you are interested in sharing and discussing with others in a conversational/social atmosphere.

Time Allotment: 60 minutes total with three rotations

Participation: One presenter per table.

Moderation: Central time keeper

Proposal Requirement:

  • Presentation title
  • Presenter information (name, title, affiliation, email address)
  • Abstract (250 word limit)

Attendee Outcome: Attendees should expect to leave with new ideas and approaches to issues and opportunities relevant to urban and metropolitan universities and the cities in which they reside and serve. Attendees should leave these sessions energized by the variety of ideas they engage with.

KEY PROPOSAL INFO

  • Call opens: February 9
  • Call closes: April 1
  • Notifications sent: May 6
  • Presenter acceptances due: May 13
  • Conference begins: October 23