The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is an organization of 85 universities that recognize their shared mission to use the power of their campuses in education, research, and service to enhance the communities in which they are located. The best practices organization is headquartered at Towson University and operates a quarterly journal, monthly e-newsletter, annual conference, and promotes the Urban and Metropolitan agenda both regionally and on the federal level.


This coming weekend marks the kick-off of the 15th annual CUMU Conference!  This year the conference is hosted by Widener University in Philadelphia and is titled “Building Community Resiliency: The Role of University Leadership.”  The conference includes over 100 concurrent presenters and will bring together 300 of the nation’s leading faculty and administrators from Urban and Metropolitan Universities!  This year there are a few sessions I wanted to highlight that especially focus on advancing the CUMU mission:

Fattah & Ivey

Fattah & Ivey

Congressman Chaka Fattah will provide an update on the role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities in the current administration and will update the attendees regarding upcoming legislation and appropriations related to our universities.

Sherone E. Ivey, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will talk about the initiatives of HUD’s Office of University Partnerships under the Obama Administration and will lead a town hall format discussion on best practices in university partnerships.

Identify the Office of University Partnerships (OUP) as a Budget Priority for 2011!
CUMU recently co-authored letters to both the Secretary of HUD and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget urging the current administration to incorporate several of the key recommendations from the Retooling HUD for a Catalytic Federal Government report. One of these key recommendations is reinvigorating and funding the existing the COPC program through the OUP. The COPC program has awarded grants to many CUMU institutions in the past to fund programs that have had significant impacts in our communities.

  • Letter to Director Peter Orszag, Office of Management and Budget
  • Letter to Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development