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.


Interested in learning more about CUMU research?

Current Research Fellows

Paul Kuttner named CUMU–Collaboratory Research Fellow

paul kuttner university of utah headshotDuring the fellowship, Dr. Kuttner, associate director of University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah, will leverage Collaboratory data to contribute to an understanding of current practices and inform how institutions systematically measure and increase the impact of engagement.


CUMU—Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Research Fellow, 2022–2023

The Philadelphia Fed recently launched the Anchor Economy Initiative to examine the economic impacts of anchor institutions, specifically hospitals and higher education institutions, on regional economies. The research fellow will support this work to advance knowledge around the impact of anchor institutions on regional economic and community development.

The call for proposals has closed. The fellowship will be announced in January 2023.

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, Social Work, 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; Director, HRAC, Portland State University
  • Jacen Greene, Co-Founder and Assistant Director, HRAC, Portland State University

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