The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is pleased to announce that Paul Kuttner, Ed.D., has been named the 2023 CUMU-Collaboratory Research Fellow. During the fellowship, Dr. Kuttner, associate director of University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah, will work with his colleague Erin Clouse, director of strategy and alignment for University of Utah Medical Group, to leverage Collaboratory data to conduct a mixed methods study examining outcomes and impacts of community engagement in higher education and how they are conceptualized, measured, and facilitated across institutions. The study will contribute to an understanding of current practices and inform how institutions systematically measure and increase the impact of engagement.
“It is an honor to be selected as the CUMU-Collaboratory Research Fellow. I am thrilled to have the chance to dig into this unique data set and offer something valuable to the field,” said Kuttner.
“One of CUMU’s core strengths is our ability to build connections across a growing membership to support the place-based mission of higher education. This research will highlight how community engagement helps CUMU members achieve their missions while creating transformative outcomes for students and communities,” said Valerie Holton, executive director, CUMU.
Collaboratory’s dataset is the largest coordinated national dataset on community engagement and public service activities occurring between higher education and communities. Collaboratory data represents descriptive data for over 5,000 community engagement and public service activities from 45 institutions across the United States.
“Collaboratory is thrilled to support Kuttner’s work on impacts and outcomes of community-university partnerships,” said Kristin Medlin, director of research and development, Collaboratory. “We believe it will address a timely and relevant question being asked by much of the field right now and could lay a foundation for future inquiry and practical considerations. It also has the potential to deepen existing lines of inquiry we’re already exploring around partnership strength and reciprocity.”
CUMU Strategy Advisor Dr. Barbara Holland notes that CUMU, since its founding in 1989, has worked to provide a platform for member institutions to support one another and strengthen their urban and metropolitan identity.
“CUMU has long focused on the collaboration of urban and metropolitan higher education institutions and their cities, working together to identify, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to address regional opportunities, ambitions, and needs. This research fellowship builds on this rich history and will facilitate shared inquiry among CUMU’s 100+ member institutions,” said Holland.
The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is the longest-running and largest organization committed to serving and connecting urban and metropolitan universities. CUMU focuses on strengthening institutions that are developing new responses to the pressing educational, economic, and social issues of the day. CUMU was formed in 1989 by leaders of metropolitan and urban institutions who realized their unique challenges and opportunities as they looked to the future of higher education. Today, CUMU is dedicated to its member institutions and to the creation and dissemination of knowledge on the issues that face our urban and metropolitan campuses and the communities we serve.
Collaboratory is a one-of-a-kind software that helps higher education understand the landscape of their engagement—the who, what, where, when and why of activities designed with and for their communities. Institutions committed to community engagement are challenged to track essential aspects of activities and partnerships for the purpose of planning, reporting, and accreditation/classifications, as well as to build best practice and impactful outcomes. In Collaboratory, the specific details of campus-community activities are connected to a network of affiliated community partners, units on campus, courses, and institutional programs and initiatives. The resulting data enables administrators and scholars to develop institutional identity around community engagement, increase buy-in and understanding for community engagement and public service from internal and external stakeholders, advocate for its recognition in faculty rewards and institutional plans and policies, and demonstrate the value and impacts of their partnerships.