CUMU ANCHOR MISSION INITIATIVES

Higher education institutions are critical local economic engines and mission-driven organizations inextricably linked to the long-term well-being of those we serve—because of this, we as higher education leaders, are uniquely positioned and incentivized to play a more active role in supporting our local economies.

Anchor Mission Huddle

The Anchor Mission Huddle is open to individuals from CUMU member institutions working to sustain and/or expand anchor initiatives on their campus. Participants meet monthly to a) explore how higher education institutions effectively implement strategic anchor initiatives by addressing a series of conundrums or difficult questions, and b) to build a community of colleagues across the CUMU network.

Anchor Learning Network

In 2024, CUMU is relaunching the Anchor Learning Network (ALN) with a new format. We invite CUMU members to apply to participate in this program to build both individual capacity for anchor work and also to connect your campus with this powerful network.

ALN is a cohort-based learning community, offered at no cost to individuals from CUMU member institutions, designed to facilitate effective advancement of the higher education anchor mission. During the nine-month program (February through October), small cohorts of peers, selected through an application process, engage in a structured set of professional development opportunities for learning, skill-building, and networking in support of their institution’s anchor mission. Participants,

  • collaborate with a cohort of peers, meet colleagues working in diverse settings and roles, become familiar with foundational resources, and explore innovative practices.
  • represent CUMU members that seek to transform higher education to fully serve its public mission and advance the long-term social, economic, and physical well-being of our campuses and communities.
  • work collaboratively to identify resources, opportunities, and challenges, as well as develop new tools for implementing, deepening, and evaluating anchor mission practices.

JOIN THE WAIT LIST

Your application will be added to a wait list and we’ll contact you if an opportunity opens.

WHY CUMU MEMBERS JOIN ALN

2024 Anchor Learning Network Program Activities

Anchor Learning Network participants engage in a structured set of virtual and in-person activities designed for learning, skill-building, and networking in support of their institution’s anchor mission.

Participants are assigned to a cohort of peers from different institutions but with similar interests and institutional roles. During the six cohort meetings, focused on small group activities and discussion, cohorts explore CUMU’s Anchor Mission Framework and related resources, co-create solutions to common challenges, and share insights from their own work and experiences.

Cohort meetings are expected to take place virtually February through September.

Participants select a virtual campus visit from available options. In a 1.5–2 hour online experience, attendees explore how another institution implements anchor strategies, tour spaces on campus, and interact with key personnel and stakeholders at that institution.

The virtual visit is expected to take place in March.

Participants attend one, 90-minute virtual workshop to develop new skills. Workshop topics may include fundraising, grant writing, conflict resolution, project management, data visualization, leadership, among others.

Workshops are expected to take place in May.

One key learning experience of the Anchor Learning Network program is hearing from experts and advanced practitioners. Participants attend at least two webinars to learn how others are innovating new approaches, addressing common challenges, and moving the anchor mission forward.

A variety of webinars are available throughout the ALN program, with primary opportunities expected in April and August.

Thank you to University of Missouri-St. Louis for hosting the 2024 ALN Action Summit, June 34. Focusing on the importance of data and metrics in supporting and advancing the anchor mission, this two-day, in-person experience includes informational sessions, a community experience, as well as opportunities for networking and individual work time.

Participants learn more about the most important tools in our anchor mission work and discuss questions such as:

  • What data is already available to us?
  • What additional data do we need?
  • What are the metrics of success that we should be tracking?
  • How can we use the data we have to understand our community’s needs?
  • What do we communicate publicly based on the data we collect?

Registration for ALN participants is $200. Registrants are responsible for their travel and lodging expenses. Details to be announced in 2024.

The culminating experience of the 2024 Anchor Learning Network cohort takes place at the 2024 CUMU Annual Conference. This meeting, scheduled for Sunday, October 20 at 3 p.m., includes ALN participants, members of the Anchor Mission Huddle, as well as invited guests. Meet colleagues from across the CUMU network, share ideas, and build momentum for your institutional initiatives.

The 2024 CUMU Annual Conference takes place October 20–23 in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN. Details to be announced in 2024.

SAVE THE DATE

2024 ALN Action Summit
June 34, 2024
St. Louis, MO

Hosted by University of Missouri-St. Louis

WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?

The Anchor Learning Network welcomes applications from individuals at CUMU member institutions in any role that includes a focus on the anchor mission, regardless of past participation. If more than one person from your campus is interested in joining ALN, each individual must apply separately as cohorts are formed based on individual submissions. ALN members are leaders and drivers of the anchor mission on their respective campuses and come from a variety of functional areas including, but not limited to:

  • institutional data
  • university economic development
  • workforce development centers
  • community/civic engagement
  • government/community relations
  • human resources
  • procurement
  • diversity and inclusion
  • policy and strategic initiatives
  • urban and community research centers
  • faculty and faculty-administrators

SELECTION PROCESS

Space is limited and selection is based on applications from CUMU member institutions. Applications for the 2024 cohort close December 1, 2023. Cohort participants are notified in mid-December.

Applicants not accepted are added to a wait list and strongly encouraged to participate in either of these anchor mission learning opportunities:

  • Anchor Mission Huddle: Individuals interested in a less structured experience may consider the Anchor Mission Huddle. Participants meet monthly to: a) explore how higher education institutions implement strategic anchor initiatives, and b) to build a community of colleagues across the CUMU network. Learn more about the 2024 CUMU Huddles.
  • ALN Accelerator: For campuses interested in a more intensive, team-building experience, we also recommend the ALN Accelerator program. For an additional fee, up to 10 participants from a single institution can participate in ALN as a cohort with tailored experiences and curriculum. By the end of the nine-month accelerator, your anchor team will have a unified vision of the current state of anchor strategy on your campus and plans for moving forward. Email info@cumuonline.org for more information about forming an ALN Accelerator cohort on your campus.

ALN is not open to non-member campuses at this time. Learn more about CUMU membership.

2024 APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Missed the deadline? Your application will be added to a wait list. We will contact you if an opportunity opens.

Have questions about ALN?
Email us. We’re here to help.

About higher education’s anchor mission

CUMU member institutions committed to an anchor mission intentionally apply their economic power and human capital in a long-term partnership with their local communities to improve mutual well-being. ALN challenges us to imagine the potential impact if economic assets—hiring, purchasing, and investing power—were better aligned with educational missions to equitably benefit the local economies our universities call home.

Understanding that all communities have different contexts and histories, ALN members explore opportunities for advancing anchor mission strategies grounded in the Anchor Mission Framework that centers community wealth building and explores strategies around our core economic assets of purchasing, hiring, and investment, while gaining an understanding of how to advance racial equity through anchor work.

Anchor Learning Network participants

In February 2018, CUMU member institutions joined in a pilot year called the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative. This pilot led to the creation of the Anchor Learning Network, which includes participants from the United States, Canada, England, and South Africa.

Augsburg University
Buffalo State University
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Sacramento
Case Western Reserve University
College of Staten Island
Colorado State University Spur
Dallas College
Drexel University
Florida Atlantic University
Guilford College
Indiana University Northwest
IUPUI
Johns Hopkins University
Leeds Beckett University (England)
Loyola University Chicago
Marquette University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Metropolitan State University
Metropolitan State University Denver
Michigan State University
Montclair State University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rutgers University-Camden
Saint Paul College
Swarthmore College
Temple University
Towson University
University of Baltimore
University of Chicago
University of Dayton
University of Denver
University of Houston-Downtown
University of Louisville
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of Missouri-St. Louis
University of Nebraska at Omaha
University of North Texas at Dallas
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pretoria (South Africa)
University of San Diego
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
University of Utah
Virginia Commonwealth University
Weber State University
Augsburg University
Buffalo State
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Sacramento
Case Western Reserve University
College of Staten Island
Dallas College
Drexel University
Florida Atlantic University
Georgetown University
Indiana University Northwest
IUPUI
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola University Chicago
Marquette University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Metropolitan State University
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Rutgers University-Camden
Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Temple University
Towson University
University of Denver
University of Louisville
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Missouri-St. Louis
University of San Diego
Virginia Commonwealth University
Wagner College
Weber State University
York University (Canada)

Augsburg University

California State University, Los Angeles

Cleveland State University

College of Staten Island

Drexel University

Florida Atlantic University

Georgetown University

Indiana University Northwest

IUPUI

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 (Canada)