The Director of Learning and Engagement helps the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) achieve our mission by leading the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of in-person and virtual programs and initiatives for the benefit of our 115+ member campuses and other partners. CUMU’s programming focuses on the critical issues and opportunities facing colleges and universities located in or near urban centers. The Director will ensure this programming allows our members to learn, create, and share high-impact policy and program innovations, sustainable models of cross-sector partner engagement, and effective strategies for advancing anti-racism, equity, and inclusion.

Organizational History

Since 1989, CUMU has been the leading voice and forum for higher education leaders committed to anchoring and energizing urban and metropolitan campuses. Our member campuses are united by CUMU’s place-based mission and belief in the transformative power of higher education in the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and communities. We welcome all types of campuses, and our current members include private and public institutions, four-year and community colleges, minority serving institutions, large research universities, liberal arts colleges, and religiously affiliated institutions.

CUMU’s administrative home is at Towson University (TU) – one of the nation’s top 100 public universities. Located north of Baltimore, TU currently enrolls over 22,000 students and is the second-largest university in the prestigious University System of Maryland. Towson University values diversity and fosters a climate that is grounded in respect and inclusion to cultivate the intellectual and personal growth of the entire university community.

Responsibilities and Duties

The Director of Learning and Engagement designs, develops, leads, and facilitates programs and initiatives for our diverse membership network as well as prospective members and other partners. The Director plays a pivotal role in establishing and fostering mutually-beneficial relationships among CUMU and our current and prospective member campuses. The Director ensures that our programming is effective and valued by our members, and that it sustains and deepens our culture of respect, caring, collaboration, and reciprocity among member campuses, CUMU, and our partners.

The Director reports to CUMU’s Executive Director, working closely with them and our Membership and Operations Coordinator. The Director also collaborates with colleagues from TU’s Office of Partnerships and Outreach in developing effective and impactful communications and events.

Key responsibilities for the CUMU Director of Learning and Engagement:

Design, develop, implement and evaluate programs and initiatives

  • Identify the needs and interests of current and prospective members campuses, as well as other target audiences.
  • Design, develop, implement, and evaluate virtual and in-person programming that aligns with the needs and interests of target audiences.
  • In collaboration with the CUMU team, provide leadership in planning, coordinating, and implementing programming for CUMU’s annual conference and other in-person meetings and events.
  • Manage CUMU’s existing learning communities, such as the Anchor Learning Network and Huddles, while assessing the value and effectiveness for CUMU members to determine future enhancements and adjustments.
  • Identify and engage subject matter experts from member campuses, partners, and other entities, as needed, who can supplement CUMU’s internal capacity to deliver effective programming and resources.
  • Work with the CUMU Research Collaborative and editorial team of our Metropolitan Universities journal to leverage existing programming and promote CUMU’s research and policy agenda.

Strengthen CUMU’s network

  • Connect and support CUMU member campuses across our network to identify and address their priorities and challenges.
  • Enhance current and prospective member engagement through regular communication, community building, events, problem solving, and resource development.
  • In collaboration with the executive director, strengthen partnerships and connections that elevate CUMU and our members in the national dialogue and help CUMU to identify and prioritize work on critical national, regional, and local issues.

Other responsibilities include

  • In collaboration with the CUMU team, identify, seek, and manage funding opportunities for CUMU.
  • Support existing initiatives including the administration of CUMU’s awards and fellowships.
  • Work with the CUMU team in supporting the goals of the strategic plan and development of future strategic plans.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Design and facilitation skills for online and in-person events.
  • Record of effectively managing complex, multi-partner, multi-faceted projects resulting in measurable success.
  • Demonstrated success in independently developing and completing routine tasks and complex projects on time and within budget.
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals and groups with and from diverse identities, cultures, backgrounds and ideologies with a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to handle, process, and preserve confidential information and material.
  • Ability to facilitate the CUMU culture of respect, caring, collaboration, and reciprocity within and across CUMU and our partner networks.
  • Proficient in using technology as a workplace tool, to communicate with and engage people across our large network, and to design, implement, and evaluate programming/initiatives.
  • High level of written and oral communication skills with the ability to communicate in a clear, informative, and concise manner.
  • Ability to identify, set, and complete priorities while building and managing a wide variety of colleague and stakeholder relationships.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Five or more years of relevant professional work experience, such as developing, facilitating, and overseeing virtual programming, and planning and coordinating in-person programs, events, workshops and conferences.
  • Experience using various technologies such as Microsoft office, Google documents, and video conferencing tools.
  • Willingness to learn new skills, show initiative, and take on new challenges.
  • Experience working with issues that are relevant to urban campuses and their communities


  • Experience in membership-related or network organizations
  • Experience working in areas such as higher education, urban planning, regional development, government, grass-roots organizing, and cross-sector partnerships.

Salary and Benefits

Competitive salary. Contractual employees scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week may be eligible for subsidized health benefits coverage. The position is contingent on funds being available at time of hire.

Working Conditions:

CUMU is headquartered at Towson University in Maryland with a staff geographically distributed in the U.S. This position is open to a fully remote, hybrid, or in-person schedule. Travel domestically approximately 4 weeks per year to provide leadership for and participate in professional meetings and for CUMU annual conference. Rarely work in the evenings or over weekends. Occasional in-state and out-of-state travel required. Some light to medium lifting (10-40 lbs.) may be required.

The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors has been our top priority and the focus of every one of our decisions since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the University System of Maryland (USM) has strongly encouraged full COVID vaccination and up-to-date booster shots (when eligible) for all faculty, staff, and students at all schools in the USM as both a reasonable and necessary means of protecting our health and safety.

This position will be open for a minimum of 14 days. CUMU will begin reviewing resumes on May 4.
For consideration, please submit a cover letter and resume with your online application at the link below.