Voices from the Field

2017 CUMU Annual Conference Opening Plenary Remarks


  • Barbara Holland Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities
  • Andrew Seligsohn Campus Compact
  • Ted Howard The Democracy Collaborative




Urban and metropolitan areas face unique challenges in serving the multifaceted needs of their communities, but also have advantages that create some of the world’s greatest universities. Three scholars opened the 2017 CUMU Annual Conference with “Voices from the Field.” Each spoke to the changing role of urban-serving institutions and the place-based advantages CUMU members have in enriching their communities while strengthening the universities’ core commitments.

CUMU advisor Barbara A. Holland, Holland Consulting, described the changing role of higher education and highlighted the distinct and powerful advantages urban-based higher education institutions have in shaping the success of the metropolitan areas they collectively serve.

Ted Howard, The Democracy Collaborative, encouraged universities to move beyond current place-making initiatives and to adopt The Anchor Mission, distilling lessons from CUMU members who are pioneering new approaches to anchor mission work to have greater impacts on their institutions and communities.

Andrew Seligsohn, Campus Compact, reflected on the inter-connected nature of two of higher education’s missions: (a) educating students for democracy; and (b) carrying out their anchor mission, as well as the impact of a civically-engaged student body on creating sustainable change in our communities.

Author Biographies

Barbara Holland, Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities

CUMU Strategy Advisor

Andrew Seligsohn, Campus Compact


Ted Howard, The Democracy Collaborative

President and Co-Founder