Day One in Review
Day one of the 2017 CUMU Annual Conference: The Urban Advantage was filled with vibrant discussion, interesting presentations, and a show of the top players of institutional community engagement from across the United States and Canada.
The morning sessions were presented in a variety of formats with the Carnegie Classification Workshop—a joint workshop with Campus Compact, the Swearer Center of Brown University (CUMU member), and CUMU—serving as the inaugural session of the twenty-third conference. Following the Carnegie Classification Workshop, a medley of presentations, workshops, discussions, and group activities. Many of the morning presentations focused on national topics, such as DACA, and their institution’s response and community activities.
A group from California State University, San Bernarndino (CUMU member) is making strides to change the narrative of DREAMers in their community. “It’s not about their status, it’s about who they are as a person,” stated the presenters throughout their presentation. Each session exhibited passionate speakers and engaging audiences.
The official christening of “The Urban Advantage” came during the opening lunch plenary session. CUMU Executive Director Bobbie Laur welcomed a packed room of university presidents, chancellors, directors, community organizations, and representatives from member institutions. Barbara Holland, CUMU advisor and Holland Consulting, delivered an inviting speech guiding people to see the advantage that urban and metropolitan universities posses and the influence that power can have on their home communities.
Speakers Ted Howard of the Democracy Collaborative and Andrew Seligsohn of Campus Compact delivered speeches on the definition and roles of anchor institutions and the impact of a civically-engaged student body.
“When you think about the anchor mission and the mission of a civic education, there is no daylight between them,” stated Seligsohn, President of Campus Compact, a national body of anchor and urban-serving institutions. Twitter was buzzing during the opening session—attendees stood in the back to take pictures and tweet the powerful statements coming from three influential presenters.
Afterward, the crowd was filled with excitement on “The Urban Advantage,” Steven Diner, author of the newly released “Universities and Their Cities,” presented a history of urban universities. Diner’s book looks at the disdain academia and the American public held toward city-based universities and the more recent focus and excitement around the advantage these schools possess.
To close out the first day, CUMU member institution Metropolitan State University of Denver will host CUMU Annual Conference goers at their hospitality school, a living example of a university-metropolitan partnership.
Thank you for making day one a success! Tomorrow’s sessions will be opened with remarks from Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.