CUMU offers programming exclusively for presidents and chancellors of CUMU member institutions. These unique opportunities provide an intimate space for presidents and chancellors to learn and converse with leaders in the field about important issues impacting higher education. Sessions strike a balance between hearing from experts and fostering dialogue among presidents and chancellors.


Our Executive Committee is made up of presidents and chancellors from member institutions. A call for nominations is issued in August and elections are held in October.

CUMU Presidents and Chancellors Huddle

This huddle—exclusively for presidents and chancellors of CUMU member institutions—is a confidential space for leaders to exchange ideas and experiences related to challenges and opportunities facing higher education. Meetings will take place in an informal Zoom meeting format, facilitated by a fellow president, focused on a particular topic.

Imagining the next level of community engagement

Friday, June 24, 12–1 p.m. ET

Facilitator: Steve Percy, president, Portland State University

With 30+ years of experience in university-community engagement in place, how do we advance to the next level in our institutions? How can universities pursue an integrated engagement effort? How do we build a community of knowledge around effective engagement practice? How do we authentically assess the true impact of engagement on campus and community partners?


Now in his fourth decade as an educator and leader, PSU President Stephen Percy has dedicated his career to fostering vibrant connections between universities and the communities they serve.

An expert in public policy, administrative ethics and urban politics, Percy is known for his ability to advance civic engagement and create innovative solutions by linking the skills and capacity of universities to the knowledge and energy of communities. He believes in using collaborative, interdisciplinary applied research to facilitate university-community partnerships that solve problems and improve the quality of life.

Passionate about promoting educational access for all students, President Percy has worked extensively with diverse, urban-serving universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Baltimore, where he was founding dean of the College of Public Affairs. He joined PSU to lead the College of Urban & Public Affairs in 2014, was appointed PSU’s interim president in 2019 and named president in 2020.

President Percy has authored two books about disability rights and civil rights and co-authored four books and the textbook “American Government: The Political Game.” At PSU, Percy led several campus-wide initiatives, including the planning process that resulted in priorities and goals for PSU from 2016-2020.

As PSU celebrates its 75th anniversary, Percy and his leadership team are taking a close look at how the university can expand and deliver upon its access mission by building anti-racist practices and policies.

Post pandemic: Have students changed?

Friday, September 23, 1–2 p.m. ET

Facilitator: Ginny Arthur, president, Metropolitan State University

What are you observing about students’ preferences and needs as the pandemic recedes? Are you recalibrating curriculum, course offerings and student services? What are you learning about how to best serve students and support their educational success in a post pandemic world?


Virginia (Ginny) Arthur became the seventh president of Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, on July 1, 2016. She joined Metropolitan State in 2012 as provost and executive vice president. During her tenure the university has completed a strategic plan focused on educational equity, forged baccalaureate completion partnerships with the ten two-year colleges located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, opened the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center and a student center, expanded programs in the Natural Sciences and Cybersecurity, strengthened faculty development, and expanded online learning. Metropolitan State is #35 on CollegeNet’s 2019 Ranking of Social Mobility.

President Arthur serves on the Board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), the Boards of MN-IA Campus Compact, the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership and Black Men Teach. She is the Chair of the Board for Communidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES).

In 2019 she was honored as one of 50 Women in Business in the Twin Cities by the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal and as one of AARP’s 50 over 50 in 2020.

Previously, Arthur served the University of Northern Iowa as associate provost for faculty affairs from 2009 to 2012, and the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University from 1985 to 2009 as a faculty member in business law and strategy for 24 years, seven of those as chairperson of the Management Department.

Ginny holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the Washington College of Law at American University. She has presented at numerous conferences and authored dozens of publications.

CUMU Annual Conference

Join us in San Diego for our annual conference—The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universitiesto explore how the urban mission can be fully integrated into operations, structure, partnerships, and academic objectives. Along with a full-schedule of concurrent sessions, plenaries, and networking events, presidents and chancellors of CUMU member institutions are invited to participate in the following exclusive events:

Monday, October 24

  • President’s Dinner: Join members of the CUMU Executive Committee and other presidents and chancellors for an evening of networking and dinner at a local event space.

Tuesday, October 25

  • President’s Council Meeting: A working session for presidents and chancellors with experts and institutional leaders. Participate in elections for vacant positions on the CUMU Executive Committee.

Past programming

Reimagining Space: What are you thinking? What are you doing?

Facilitator: Kristin Sobolik, chancellor, University of Missouri–St. Louis

The covid pandemic has led to changes in student demographics and enrollment, technological advances in course delivery options, and workforce needs and expectations around remote work. These changes have put pressure on traditional bricks and mortar campuses and space usage. This discussion will center on what leaders are thinking with regards to space and what they are actually doing.

Kristin Sobolik serves as the 8th Chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. With nearly 16,000 students, UMSL is the premier public research university in eastern Missouri and one of the nation’s leading anchor institutions promoting student success, innovation and thriving communities.

Sobolik was recruited to UMSL in 2017 to serve as its Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and after a nationwide search was appointed Chancellor in 2020. As the chief academic and executive officer, Sobolik has enhanced the university’s research and fundraising efforts – resulting in a 57 percent increase in research expenditures over the past five years and a 21 percent increase in private philanthropy.

Additionally, Sobolik has elevated the stature of UMSL’s inclusion, research and community engagement efforts by appointing first-ever vice chancellors for diversity, equity and inclusion and research and economic/community engagement, aligning the support structure of the university with goals of its strategic plan.

Sobolik began her academic career at the University of Maine, quickly distinguishing herself as a teacher, scholar and administrator in the Department of Anthropology, world-renowned Climate Change Institute and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, where she ultimately served as Associate Dean for Research and External Affairs.

Sobolik earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Iowa and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology at Texas A&M University.  She is an interdisciplinary scholar who has helped develop the fields of archaeobiology and paleonutrition, with more than 100 publications, books and presentations on the topic. She and her husband, Dr. Scott D. Peterson, reside in St. Louis and have four children.

CUMU public safety and policing on urban and metropolitan campuses webinar series

In 2021, CUMU announced a new series of webinars exclusively for CUMU presidents and chancellors, each designed to foster conversations on how to best address the challenges and opportunities related to public safety and criminal justice on our campuses and in our communities.

Public safety and criminal justice training, degree programs, and institutes

Presenters: Bob Mong, president, University of North Texas Dallas and Kurt Schmoke, president, University of Baltimore

Public safety and policing on campus

Presenters: Thomas Parham, president, California State University, Dominguez Hills; Steve Percy, president, Portland State University; Kim Schatzel, president, Towson University

Relationships between institutions and their local police forces and agencies

Presenters: Devorah Lieberman, president, University of La Verne; Mark Rosenberg, president, Florida International University