CUMU is a leading voice and forum for current and future generations of higher education leaders grounded in urban and metropolitan communities. Our member campuses are on the leading edge of critical issues in higher education and society. The power of CUMU is that we connect and convene these campuses to explore, create and disseminate knowledge that supports our campuses and the communities they serve.

CUMU’s research agenda is led by the CUMU Research Collaborative, which identifies research priorities and opportunities across the CUMU membership, develops and oversees a Research Fellows Program, and leads collaborative research initiatives.


CUMU research fellowships are open to faculty members, staff, post-docs or graduate students from current member institutions.

2024 CUMU Impact Fellow
Proposals due: January 8

Current Research Fellows

Paul Kuttner named CUMU–Collaboratory Research Fellow

paul kuttner university of utah headshotDuring the fellowship, Dr. Kuttner, director of programs for Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), will leverage Collaboratory data to contribute to an understanding of current practices and inform how institutions systematically measure and increase the impact of engagement. At the time of the award, Kuttner was the associate director of University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah.

Josie Gatti Schafer named CUMU–Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Research Fellow

josie gatti schafer headshotDuring the fellowship, Dr. Schafer, director of the Center for Public Affairs Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha, will leverage the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Anchor Economy Dashboard to explore and explain variations in the economic impact of anchor institutions, primarily higher education institutions, in their region.

Previously funded research initiatives

Research Fellow: Lina D. Dostilio, EdD, Associate Vice Chancellor, Community Engagement, University of Pittsburgh, 2019 CUMU Research Fellow

Research Team: Mary L. Ohmer, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh; Kara McFadden, Research and Evaluation Associate, University of Pittsburgh; Sera Mathew, PhD, Assistant Professor, Point Park University; Carrie Finkelstein, Graduate Student Assistant, University of Pittsburgh

Funded by The Kresge Foundation

Research Lead: The Center for Community Planning & Development at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University

Lead Author: Molly Schnoke, Project Manager, Community Planning and Development and Levin College Forum Program

Funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Research Lead: Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative (HRAC), Portland State University

Lead Authors: Marisa Zapata, PhD, Associate Professor of Land-Use Planning and Director, HRAC, Portland State University; and Jacen Greene, Co-Founder and Assistant Director, HRAC, Portland State University

Funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Kresge Foundation