CUMU member institutions represent a diverse range of academic institutions—liberal arts colleges, HBCUs, the Ivy League, regional research institutions. However, each shares a common value—a dedication to serving their communities.







The Urban Advantage

America has long been an urbanized nation. Today, more than two-thirds of America’s population and jobs are based in major metropolitan areas, producing 75 percent of the nation’s output. Our future will be shaped by the success of metropolitan hubs as sources of innovation, creativity, health care, transportation, employment, governance, and education.

Urban and metropolitan areas face unique challenges in serving the multifaceted needs of their communities, but also have advantages that create some of the world’s greatest universities. As anchor institutions, CUMU member institutions are major employers and developers. They stimulate and nurture new economic enterprises, create workforce pipelines, and enrich the cultural life of their cities. Urban university-community engagement enriches metropolitan communities while strengthening the universities’ core commitment to teaching and research.

Founders of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities recognized this “urban advantage” and in the Declaration of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities wrote “our future as knowledge organizations will continue to be forged by sustained, reciprocal engagement with our cities.”

CUMU’s role as a convenor of, and resource to, urban and metropolitan universities has been a vital support to my campus leadership team and me as we meet the challenges and opportunities common to institutions, which reside in large communities. In particular, the portal with its library of materials and the chance to talk with other presidents at conferences and regional dialogue meetings has been of significant benefit.

Dr. John Christensen, University of Nebraska at Omaha

CUMU is poised to advance urban and metropolitan universities and colleges at a critical moment in the history of American higher education. CUMU is heightening our commitment to enhancing deep learning for our students and true partnerships for our neighborhoods and urban communities, particularly in the areas of K-12 college readiness, economic development and health disparities. Our civic and research efforts are aligned with the urban and metropolitan challenges of our time.

Dr. Richard Guarasci, Wagner College

I am delighted to be serving as a member-at-large on the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ Executive Committee. I hope to focus on expanding international membership and increasing the involvement of our international members in Coalition activities as I feel the mission of my institution, and others like mine, closely align with CUMU’s values.

Dr. David Atkinson, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada