Leadership profile for CUMU executive director

Towson University is currently accepting applications for executive director of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU). Reporting to TU’s Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research, the executive director is responsible for ensuring that CUMU serves the needs and interests of its 100+ member institutions. The next executive director will lead the CUMU headquarters team at TU, which includes two dedicated staff members and a collaborative team of communications and events professionals.

Working under the guidance and leadership of an executive committee, made up of CUMU member campus presidents and chancellors, the executive director is responsible for the organizational operations, visibility and communications, membership growth and retention, programming events, sustaining partnerships with other organizations, and cultivating resources from philanthropic and corporate entities.

CUMU is valued for its collegiality, authentic approach, and commitment to action. CUMU members expect the executive director and the headquarters team to have their fingers on the pulse of urban and metropolitan universities and advance an agenda of programs and initiatives aimed at helping CUMU members fulfill their anchor and engagement mission.

The executive director should be passionate about the role and impact of urban and metropolitan universities and comfortable working with individuals and leaders across the higher education sector. The executive director should be a self-starter who thrives in a collaborative environment and is relationship centered with a track record of building mutually beneficial partnerships within and beyond higher education.

Key areas of focus for the next executive director include:

  • Growing and sustaining membership
  • Deepening CUMU’s supportive and collaborative culture through member engagement and innovative programming
  • Raising the profile of CUMU within public policy circles and activities
  • Cultivating and growing philanthropic and corporate support to develop and sustain CUMU initiatives
  • Representing CUMU within the broader higher education ecosystem and developing strategic partnerships and alliances
  • Expanding CUMU’s work and commitment to racial equity and justice

The executive director will be charged with advancing CUMU’s 2021-2024 strategic plan, which includes three priorities guided by commitments to centering anti-racism, equity, and inclusion, driving innovation, and deepening engagement and partnerships.


  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated experience in working with networks and collaborative teams
  • Experience in urban and metropolitan based higher education


  • Existing or very recent experience with CUMU programs and/or serving at a CUMU member institution
  • Masters or doctoral degree

This is a part-time position with a starting salary of $60,000 annually. The individual is expected to work approximately 18 hours weekly, with flexibility for determining their own schedule. TU is committed to supporting the needs of the ideal candidate, including a flexible work environment, with trips to Towson University as well as the CUMU Annual Conference. Other travel on CUMU business will also be supported.

Due to the part-time nature of the role, the ideal candidate may have an existing administrative role on a CUMU member campus and be interested in adding this to their portfolio. In that case, the candidate would need to provide documentation to ensure the home campus is supportive of the individual taking this on and confident in their ability to manage their workload effectively. Additionally, TU/CUMU is open to candidates currently working part-time who have the capacity to also take on this role or are interested in only working part-time.


A letter of interest and resume/CV should be submitted through Towson University’s HR system by March 31 for full consideration. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Daraius Irani, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at dirani@towson.edu.