Calls for Papers2021-03-05T12:18:43-05:00


Metropolitan Universities journal accepts manuscripts on an ongoing basis related to cutting-edge topics pertinent to urban and metropolitan colleges and universities. Review our Aims and Scope for more information.

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Have questions? Contact Valerie Holton at

Thematic Calls

Metropolitan Universities journal regularly publishes themed issues. Prospective authors are invited to submit manuscripts for review by the deadlines shown below.

Metropolitan Universities journal is pleased to announce an upcoming issue, “Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion at Urban Institutions.” Over the past six years, higher education’s collective challenge to adequately and effectively address continuing issues of inequity and lack of inclusion have been the impetus for vocal student criticism and widespread protest. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbrey have ignited national and global calls to address long-standing issues of racism and injustice within the United States. This focus is all the more urgent in light of the notable demographic trends reflecting the browning of America, including the increased enrollment of students of color within institutions of higher education, the lagging presence of leaders of color within the academy, and cohort changes among faculty often reflecting the stratification of increases in the browning and feminization of more junior/earlier career and term/adjunct faculty. For urban institutions with missions calling for their collaboration and relevance to their proximal urban communities, communities which have proportionately higher representation of members of minoritized communities, the pull to address issues of equity, inclusion and anti-racism is especially important.

The current issue seeks manuscripts that contribute to and expand our understanding and knowledge base informing empirically-informed and evidence-based programming, interventions, and policies strengthening inclusion, equity and anti-racist practices at urban institutions. The special issue is supported by a collaborative team of Co-Guest Editors, which includes:

  • Kevin W. Allison, PhD, professor of psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Sylvia Carey-Butler, PhD, chief diversity officer, Kennesaw State University
  • Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and teaching and learning, VCU
  • Tiffany G. Townsend, PhD, chief diversity officer, associate professor of psychological sciences, Augusta University
  • Jeffery Wilson, associate professor, higher education, VCU

This call is for manuscripts that provide critical, evidence-based studies and the issue seeks to identify the influences, practices, frameworks, challenges, and strategies that inform effective anti-racist and equity practice. Authors should examine efforts that have been in place long enough to show both positive and/or negative results as measured through data collection, research and/or evaluation processes. To allow readers to apply ideas and strategies in other settings, authors should provide a clear description of the challenges and lessons learned. Papers that offer descriptions of initiatives without research or evaluation elements will not be accepted.

Metropolitan Universities journal (MUJ) seeks to elevate work that demonstrates how urban-identified colleges and universities enact their mission aligned with commitments and investments in equity and anti-racism.

We welcome evidence-based manuscripts that examine:

  • Definitions, operationalization, and measurement of indicators of success in addressing relevant dimensions of equity, inclusion and anti-racism at the individual, classroom or institutional level
  • Efforts addressing and measuring the impact of representation among the student body, among faculty as well as in university administration and leadership for urban institutions (e.g., how does representation impact critical outcomes such as student success? Campus climate? Enrollment growth or other key institutional goals?)
  • How are institutions addressing or anticipating the demographic changes in the broader American context on their current and future student bodies, faculty and leadership and addressing related issues of resource allocation, and equity in rewards and recognition (e.g., pay equity)
  • Pedagogical, curricular and co-curricular practices designed to advance equity in urban institutions, and the impact of those practices on student learning and other outcomes. Work might include examinations of relevant student service programming, such as mental health and well-being services for minoritized students, within urban institutions
  • The effectiveness of education, training and professional development initiatives and programs for students, faculty, staff and university leadership at urban and community engaged institutions
  • Efforts and initiatives addressing the racial culture and climate at urban institutions
  • Practices that support equitable relationships and mutually beneficial collaborations with the community
  • The impact of financial investments in anti-racism, equity and inclusion work
  • Barriers to effective programming and practices addressing racism
  • Community engagement that addresses systemic racism and inequality in the communities where urban institutions are located
  • Submissions might also address efforts focusing on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color within urban institutions, including the opportunities and challenges offered by our expanded use of technology and access to these tools

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

We invite submissions of manuscripts by April 19, 2021. Submissions should be prepared in accordance with the Information for Authors and should be no more than 7,000 words (exclusive of tables, references, etc). Preference is given to those manuscripts that demonstrate innovation and impact and include perspectives across multiple institutions. Shorter submissions for this issue will be considered.

This issue is scheduled for publication in November 2021.

Please direct all questions regarding this issue to

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, urban institutions face dynamic demands ranging from internal challenges and needs to serving as an anchor and providing critical support to our communities. We now are beginning to look towards a COVID-19-transformed reality, and developing plans and initiatives to help our campuses and communities recover and re-engage their constituents. This moment has created a window for innovation and rethinking how we work and what we can do. Importantly, it allows us to re-examine and express why urban institutions are crucial now and in the future. Metropolitan Universities journal seeks abstracts that explore What are we learning from this experience with COVID-19 that we want to carry forward or leave behind?

Focus areas

We invite your vision to address topics such as:

  • What opportunities or efficiencies have been realized from having to urgently act? What adaptations do you expect or hope will persist?
  • What initiatives and programs are being developed to support recovery at community and business/economic development levels?
  • How do we sustain a focus on evolving public health guidelines as the vaccine is deployed? What roles can institutions play to ensure our communities receive factual, accessible and accurate public health information?
  • How do we address inequalities and inequities illuminated by the pandemic by fostering structural change?
  • How do we make decisions in a time of complexity, including the issues of internal and institutional governance?
  • Regarding community engagement initiatives, what plans are being developed for re-engagement of students and communities as institutions and programs re-open and re-imagine what it means to be open?
  • Many communities are calling for a more inclusive and equitable “new normal.” What changes have been successful on a departmental or institutional level to turn this vision into action?

Submission guidelines

Submissions should be prepared in accordance with the Information for Authors and should be approximately 3,000 words (NOTE: This is a shorter word length than for other issues.).

The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 15, 2021. We expect to complete reviews of abstracts and notify those who are invited to submit full manuscripts by April 30th. Full manuscripts will be due on June 1, 2021. This issue is scheduled for publication in summer 2021.

Please direct any questions regarding this issue to Valerie Holton, editor, at

Suggest a Themed Issue

The editor welcomes proposals for future thematic issues. Prospective guest editors should describe their theme briefly, and submit to the editor a summary of the proposed topic.

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