The Intersection of Faith and Community Engagement at Urban InstitutionsVol. 31 No. 3 (2020)
In a year that has featured a global health pandemic, a racial justice political-social movement, and a divisive political election that stretches democratic principles, the topic of faith and community engagement may seem more prescient than ever. The exploration of the intersection of faith and community engagement at anchor institutions, though, began prior to all of these events. Yet, the topics that emerge in this special issue of Metropolitan Universities journal are even more relevant in our current context, as scholars, practitioners, and community partner co-authors explore the relationship between faith traditions and engagement in the community.
Vol. 32 No. 1 (2021)Vol. 32 No. 1 (2021)
All In: The Urban Mission, Philadelphia Conference IssueVol. 31 No. 2 (2020)
The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) celebrated its 25th Annual Conference this past October in Philadelphia. The conference was the largest to date and institutions showcased how they undertake pressing challenges impacting cities across the entire CUMU membership. Each presentation provided attendees with best practices, but also challenges to consider in addressing issues such as economic and workforce development, college pipeline efforts, health and wellness, basic needs insecurity, and more.
Higher education institutions and the entire globe are currently in the midst of significant turmoil with the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and the persistent racial disparities and inequities Black people experience every day. Guest editors, Nyeema C. Watson and Jennifer Johnson Kebea encourage readers to recognize that these pieces were written and presented well before these three concurrent pandemics evolved, and in their introductory piece, they pose several critical questions to consider while reading each article.
The issue features a dynamic range of work that detail innovative community engagement practices, entrepreneurism in urban environments, supports for underrepresented first-generation students and collaborative anchor partnerships. The topics discussed are as important and relevant as ever during this challenging moment in our history.
The latest issue of Metropolitan Universities journal, 31.1, brings together a diverse set of topics, including impact investing in the U.S., development of a service learning assessment tool in Hong Kong, use of social network analysis to better understand a university's role in a multi-sector network, assessment of the role of shared values in community-academic partnerships, and evaluation of website content for first generation students across a sample of CUMU colleges and universities in the south east.
Metropolitan Universities journal accepts manuscripts on an ongoing basis related to cutting-edge topics pertinent to urban and metropolitan colleges and universities. The journal also regularly publishes themed issues.
The Future of Urban and Metropolitan UniversitiesVol. 30 No. 4 (2019)
In celebration of CUMU's 30th anniversary, the latest issue of Metropolitan Universities journal, 30.4 ‘The Future of Urban and Metropolitan Universities,' invited past and present presidents and chancellors to share their visions for the future of higher education. As leaders in higher education and past and present members of the CUMU Executive Committee, they provide important perspectives on the future impact of the urban and metropolitan location on institutional mission; the nature, needs and interests of students; and social and economic responsibility. Authors share innovative initiatives and approaches to research and teaching that address these critical issues.
Engaging Communities in East AsiaVol. 30 No. 3 (2019)
Issue 30.3 ‘Engaging Communities in East Asia,' showcases how urban-identified colleges and universities in East Asia are engaging with their communities through their academic and research missions. This issue highlights efforts in Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines and Taiwan, reflecting the Journal’s commitment to providing an international forum for diverse institutional perspectives on the role of institutions of higher education in the social and economic fabric of their communities.
Partnering for Equity: Chicago Conference IssueVol. 30 No. 2 (2019)
Partnering to address wicked problems, increasing access and pathways to success, and intentionally contributing to the economic well-being of our communities are just some of the ways that urban and metropolitan universities are addressing issues of equity. However, as our keynote speaker, Dr. Pauline Lipman, articulated, institutions of higher education have often participated in and even further institutionalized inequity. The 2018 CUMU Annual Conference challenged attendees and presenters to extend their commitment to equity through critical dialogue, stronger collaborations, strengthened infrastructure, increased financial commitments, and strategic planning.
Issue 30.2 ‘Partnering for Equity: Chicago Conference Issue' includes articles based on speeches and presentations from the 2018 conference. It is our hope that they inspire you as they have inspired us.
Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor InstitutionsVol. 30 No. 1 (2019)
'Urban and Metropolitan Universities: The Transformative Power of Anchor Institutions' focuses on the role of urban and metropolitan universities as anchor institutions in their community to address long standing inequities. Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public institutions that are rooted in place. These institutions have a mission to serve and are the largest employers and purchaser of goods and services in many communities. Also, they have other assets and capacities that can be leveraged to support reciprocal community development, including local hiring, procurement, and investment practices. Anchor mission strategies involve the entire university, including the business, community partnership, administrative, research and academic divisions.
Legacy Lived: A Generation of Ernest A. Lynton Award Recipients Advancing Community-Engaged Scholarship and Institutional ChangeVol. 29 No. 4 (2018)
In 1990, soon after the founding of CUMU, the first issue of Metropolitan Universities journal was published. It was, as it is today, devoted to the ‘nature and challenges’ of metropolitan universities. Ernest A. Lynton, whose work and dedication to creating effective collaborations between campus, community, and commerce led to the formation of CUMU, served as executive editor. Nearly 30 years later, Lynton’s legacy lives on. This issue highlights the impact of Lynton’s work and how his vision for strong faculty and university engagement expanded views of scholarship and epistemology that carries on through the work of faculty and campuses across the country.
Transformative LearningVol. 29 No. 3 (2018)
Transformative learning, like the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), has experienced substantial growth during the past few decades. The original research conducted by Mezirow (1975), who is considered the originator of the transformative learning theory, was focused on individual change: women who had been out of the workforce and were reentering. The experience was challenging in many ways, as issues of self-concept, existing frames of reference, and assumptions were beginning to change. Mezirow described the process as a structural reorganization: something that necessitates reconceiving concepts of self and one’s relationships (Mezirow, 1978).
Students in higher education are voluntarily placing themselves in an environment they hope is safe and that provides them with paths to a better life. At its simplest level, for the traditional student, the transformation would be from adolescence to adulthood. If that is not a “disruptive dilemma” as Mezirow terms it, then what is? Older, non-traditional students, though, are often seeking a career change of some sort, such as the women reentering the workforce who Mezirow focused on for his initial research.
Mezirow’s work is often viewed as being psychological in orientation and hence not seen as addressing social change, but this can become a “chicken or the egg” discussion. Which comes first, personal change or social change? What the authors in this volume do is present strategies in which both the community and the individuals involved have equal opportunity for transformation.
George Kuh (2008) came to the idea of High Impact Practices from the perspective of student engagement. Recognizing that not all student learning occurs in the confines of the classroom or lab, Kuh identified ten particular engagement activities that helped students’ learning (some now number these at 11, with the addition of e-portfolios to the list; Watson et al., 2016). Amongst these activities are service learning/community-based learning, internships, and capstone projects. All of these approaches to student development, learning, and success can and do connect strongly with the city and regional areas served by metropolitan universities. Kuh’s concepts fit well with the concept of transformative learning. They suggest that student learning benefits by participation in activities that take students out of the classroom and into the community in some fashion.
The early work of Mezirow is now viewed more broadly and links with the activities that carry students to learn outside of the classroom. For this issue of Metropolitan Universities, we focus on how institutions are helping large numbers of students to transform from adolescents to professionals in a field, or to re-design their lives through formal education.
The Urban Advantage: The 2017 CUMU Annual Conference Issue (Denver, CO)Vol. 29 No. 2 (2018)
Just as urban and metropolitan universities and colleges serve an important role in their communities, cities serve important roles in students’ academic and personal growth. Urban institutions provide them with the resources to grow and thrive in a fast-paced environment. With better opportunities for experiential learning, research and development, creative activity, and partnerships that create immediate and substantive impact on communities, this urban advantage was the focus of the 23rd Annual CUMU Conference “The Urban Advantage” (CUMU, 2017). The conference was held in Denver, Colorado in October 2017. Presentations explored the unique learning opportunities provided by urban universities known to improve student persistence and successful career development (AAC&U, n.d.). Scholars and activists called for urban IHEs to consider how they might engage with their surrounding communities more effectively to solve problems, improve the local economy, and educate a professional 21st century-relevant workforce. Finally, they underscored the imperative that metropolitan colleges and universities stay true to their public mission.
Guest Editor: Vicki L. Golich, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver
Equity and Inclusion: Expanding the Urban EcosystemVol. 29 No. 1 (2018)
Urban and metropolitan universities have for many years been addressing the needs and interests of increasingly diverse communities and a more diverse group of students, all of whom seek a welcoming environment when they join a campus community. We will explore what we are learning about how to bring the concepts of equity and inclusion to life on college and university campuses. We will explore how these issues are unfolding, what we can learn from our experiences, what questions we should think about and what assumptions we should explore as we seek to create educational environments that are shaped by a deep commitment to equity and inclusion.
Collective Impact StrategiesVol. 28 No. 4 (2017)
Building upon early definitions of collective impact, this issue is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon and practice of collective impact to promote social change, specifically from the perspective of universities.
Guest Editor: Joe Allen, PhD, University of Nebraska Omaha
Student Peer MentoringVol. 28 No. 3 (2017)
While a 21st century education provides exceptional benefits, it can also present challenges. An increasingly diverse student population coming from complex societies coupled with tightening of resources leave universities from across the country asking, “How can we better meet the needs of our students?” Peer mentoring is a remedy for schools lacking sufficient external resources to support student bodies that are increasingly diverse and complex in educational needs.
Guest Editor: Peter Collier, PhD, Portland State University
Charting the Future of Metropolitan Universities: The 2016 Washington, D.C. Conference IssueVol. 28 No. 2 (2017)
At the height of pre-election anxieties and amid conversation among faculty and higher education administrators about how post-election policies would impact the efforts of higher education, the 2016 Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) held its annual meeting in Washington DC. Focused, as always, on higher education and community engagement, the 2016 conference gave particular emphasis to future needs and issues. These conversations are especially critical now, as urban and metropolitan institutions, regardless of type or size, increasingly face new social justice challenges both on their campus and in their local communities. These societal and structural disparities range from access to services due to rising costs of living to the impact of the national tone of racial and citizenship inequities that continue to deeply divide our nation.
Guest Editor: Mary Ann Villarreal, PhD, California State University, Fullerton
Urban Food NetworksVol. 28 No. 1 (2017)
This issue of Metropolitan Universities journal illustrates how urban universities lead and contribute to food system teaching and learning; research and innovation; outreach and engagement; and resource stewardship. Common themes emerging in this issue include the essential approach of collaboration; the value of diverse voices and perspectives; the influence of distinct urban contexts; and the complexity of food security and other system issues.
Guest Editor: Julie M. Fox, PhD, The Ohio State University
Campus and Community in Shared SpacesVol. 27 No. 3 (2016)
Engaging with communities to focus on urban issues represents one way that higher education institutions are transforming into the 21st century. The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) member institutions have made intentional and innovative investments in place-based and shared learning spaces. There is growing attention to the role that physical and practical spaces plays in our interactions with communities, particularly as we work to deepen those interactions and search for effective approaches to urban opportunities and challenges. Understanding how we share space calls attention to (and aids in moving away from) transactional or episodic work toward sustained work with measurable results. And, our institutions have both distinctive and common approaches in our design, purpose and operations of spaces intended to enhance shared work and interaction between campus and communities.
The articles crafted for this issue on shared spaces describe the structure, operations and funding for multiple ways of approaching the idea of shared space for shared work. In addition, those who contributed their stories have reflected deeply on impacts, successes, and challenges.
Guest Editor: Heidi Lasley Barajas, PhD, University of Minnesota
Recognizing Engaged Scholarship in Faculty Reward Structures: Challenges and ProgressVol. 27 No. 2 (2016)
This special issue of Metropolitan Universities aims to examine institutional approaches to the recognition of community-engaged scholarship in faculty RPT policies and processes. The papers that comprise this volume provide a snapshot of policies, practices, and strategies for achieving change across a range of institutions. In the first three papers, we see efforts focused at a different organizational levels and institutional types: college (within a large comprehensive university), university (within a doctoral granting, research-intensive university), and the system (within a large state university system). In each of these cases, authors address both the need to change and align policies, and the need for culture change to support implementation.
Guest Editor: Claire C. Cavallaro, PhD, California State University, Fullerton
Love of Place: The Metropolitan University Advantage (2015 CUMU Annual Conference, Omaha, NE)Vol. 27 No. 1 (2016)
The theme for the 2015 CUMU Annual Conference in Omaha, NE was “Love of Place: The Metropolitan University Advantage”. This theme celebrates the identity of metropolitan universities as places where opportunities for students, faculty, and the community are realized and achieved. Specifically, the notion of stewardship is essential to the theme and promotes the general identity that metropolitan universities care for the communities they dwell in and seek to lift those they serve in the community. This special issue of the Metropolitan Universities Journal provides an overview of the stewardship displayed at the Omaha conference and includes articles from many faculty and staff members making this work happen every day at their respective institutions.
Guest Editors: Joseph A. Allen, PhD; Kelly A. Prange, PhD; Deborah Smith-Howell, PhD; Sara Woods, PhD; and B. J. Reed, PhD; University of Nebraska at Omaha
Curricular Innovation: Engaged Capstones at Portland State UniversityVol. 26 No. 3 (2015)
To What End: Measuring Engagement With Our CommunitiesVol. 26 No. 2 (2015)
Working with Diverse CommunitiesVol. 25 No. 3 (2014)
Transforming and Sustaining Communities Through PartnershipsVol. 25 No. 2 (2014)
New Perspectives on Urban University RolesVol. 25 No. 1 (2014)