Thirty-Three Member Organizations Set to Discuss and Confirm Higher Education’s Interest in Advancing an Anchor Mission

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is pleased to announce that 33 member institutions have been selected to participate in the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a national collaboration aimed at assisting CUMU members to more rapidly and effectively advance an anchor mission strategy within their institutions, higher education, and the communities they serve.

“CUMU member intuitions understand that place matters. They are anchored in urban and metropolitan centers where they work across sectors to find creative, sustainable solutions to some of our nation’s toughest challenges. By participating in the Initiative, these members will develop new tools that will positively benefit the economic and social well-being of their communities,” said CUMU Executive Director Bobbie Laur.

The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of CUMU and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a national research institute developing strategies for a more democratic economy, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Higher education institutions are critical local economic engines that employ over 4 million people, spend over $43 billion annually on goods and services, and hold around $515 billion in endowments. As mission-driven organizations, they are uniquely positioned and incentivized to actively support and grow their local economies. By intentionally implementing an anchor mission strategy, colleges and universities are better able to serve their public missions.

“The Democracy Collaborative is a great partner for us and the CUMU membership. This partnership will accelerate current strategies and help to develop important innovations that will benefit higher education and the communities we serve for years to come,” said Tom George, University of Missouri–St. Louis chancellor and CUMU president.

The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a direct result of feedback from presidents and chancellors of member institutions during CUMU’s most recent strategic direction planning process, as well as conversations from CUMU’s 2017 annual conference, where 20 CUMU members worked with TDC’s Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort to discuss and confirm higher education’s interest in advancing an anchor mission.

The CUMU members participating in the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative will be informed by the best practices previously identified by the Cohort, whose six members will become members of the Initiative. The full list of participating members is:

  • Augsburg University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Cleveland State University
  • College of Staten Island
  • Drexel University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Georgetown University
  • Indiana University Northwest
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Marquette University
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Metropolitan State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Portland State University
  • Purdue University Northwest
  • Rutgers University-Camden
  • Rutgers University-Newark
  • SUNY Buffalo State
  • Towson University
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • The University of Chicago
  • University of Denver
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of San Diego
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wagner College
  • Weber State University
  • York University

Participating member institutions will participate in facilitated peer learning exchanges including two in-person convenings, one to be held in June 2018 at Virginia Commonwealth University and a second at the 2018 CUMU Annual Conference in Chicago in October. Participants will also participate in webinars that focus on the core theories and policies of developing and sustaining an anchor mission strategy.