Join the Anchor Mission Commitment
The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) and The Democracy Collaborative are pleased to announce a new partnership focused on cementing the anchor mission within academic institutions.
Higher education institutions are critical local economic engines and mission-driven organizations inextricably linked to the long-term well-being of those we serve—because of this, we as higher education leaders, are uniquely positioned to play a more active role in supporting our local economies.
Higher education institutions in the United States employ over 4 million people, spend over $43 billion annually on goods and services, and hold around $515 billion in endowments. We have an opportunity and an obligation to improve educational, civic, environmental, health and well-being outcomes in the communities we serve. By redirecting hiring, investing and procurement dollars in our local communities, we can be leaders in creating more equitable and sustainable local economies. Colleges and universities rooted in place. Unlike large private corporations, they will not leave a community for the next best tax incentive. We are anchors, and becoming more intentional about how we run the institution is the anchor mission.
The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort is a group of 6 public and private universities that sought to take a quantitative look at their collective impact on their local economies. Over the past two years, the group has consolidated best practices, guidance and reflections on implementing the anchor mission.
CUMU has teamed up with the Collaborative to bring the Cohort’s best practices to the wider academic community. This new drive seeks to help participants to more rapidly and effectively advance an anchor mission approach within their institutions.
In 2018 we invite CUMU members to join the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative. We will provide access to facilitated peer learning exchanges, tools and strategies. Participating institutions will help to co-design a set of network activities that will engage institutions across higher education in developing innovations for the field including a set of targeted advocacy goals and communications strategies to bring the importance of the anchor mission to a much larger stage.