The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)
January 2017 Newsletter
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The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities

Urban Update

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From the Executive Director
Applications are now being accepted for the Collaborative Opportunity Grant (COG) program, which is designed to support emerging innovations that transform institutional practices, programs, policies, and culture to improve student success.  As you may recall, this grant opportunity is part of our broader Collaborating for Change initiative, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
In 2017, the Collaborative Opportunity Grant will support up to 8 projects that align with one or more of the five priority investment areas that were identified at the 2016 USU Summer Meeting.  Those investment areas are: engaging faculty; rethinking financial aid; leveraging community assets; engaging Employers and Workforce Organizations; and, integrating & Strengthening K-16 Systems.

In addition to the investment areas, all proposed projects must be a collaborative project in which your institution must partner with an external organization (e.g., other universities, community colleges, school districts or schools, local government agencies, etc.).
The deadline for letters of intent (LOI) has been extended to Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  Proposals are due February 24, 2017.  For any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Shannon Looney, project manager, at or by phone, 202-478-6045.   An informational session will be held tomorrow, Thursday, January 26 at 3pm EST.

The UUHEALTH webinar Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education, was a great success. This webinar is part of a series intended to stimulate discussion and engage university leaders around topics from the recent report Increasing Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce: Actions for Improving Evidence, supported by the NIH. The next webinar in the series, Hiring Diverse Faculty: Promising Practices will be on February 2nd from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information about registration and upcoming webinars, please visit

And remember to save the date for the USU Summer Meeting on July 20 - 21, 2017. Next year we will be in Atlanta, GA co-hosted by Georgia State University. More details will be coming soon. We look forward to seeing you there for the exciting new agenda!

Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education
Watch the most recent webinar: Addressing Unconscious Bias in Higher Education

USU in the News
University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Green Office Program is increasing UMBC's sustainability initiatives. 

Cleveland State University is continuing its commitment to sustainability and furthering campus efforts toward building a healthy and just world. 

Temple University's students, faculty and staff joined forces with the community to lend a hand in several service projects in the area on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Morgan State University has been awarded a grant from the Lumina Foundation focused on higher education missions, to support a project that aims to help more students complete college.

California State University, Northridge, Georgia State University, University of California, Riverside and University of Memphis 
have all been awarded the collaborative opportunity grant from APLU and USU to improve student success.

Fresno State’s International Center for Water Technology received a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to create the Central Valley Regional Energy Innovation Accelerator program.

USU Advisory
Our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and co-workers of Claudia Salewske, a former English instructor at San Jose State University and Dennis F. Berg, professor emeritus of sociology of California State University, Fullerton who  both recently passed away. 

USU Contacts
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A full list of USU Contacts, including presidents/chancellors, main contacts, and strands. 


USU Blog Opportunities
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We encourage you to share your innovations, case studies, reports, guest posts, videos, interviews, infographics, and more.
Faculty Reward Structures and Engaged Scholarship Issue
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The article focuses on practical and diverse approaches to the challenge of integrating engaged scholarship into academic culture and policies.
Shared Spaces Journal Issue
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This latest issue focuses on the impact of shared learning spaces on communities and what approaches higher education institutions have taken to promote “shared space for shared work.”

latest from the blog:

B-STAR: A Pathway to Success

Transitioning to college life can be a challenge, even for the most talented of students. The first few months are critical – students are learning to navigate their courses and campus resources, developing study skills, and forging their first friendships. As educators, we want to set our students up for success, but we also have high expectations for them. 

Read on »
February 2, 2017: Hiring Diverse Faculty: Promising Practices Webinar
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

March 8, 2017: Tracking Student Access to High-Impact Practices in STEM Webinar 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

July 20 - 21, 2017: 12th USU Summer Meeting, Atlanta, GA

Like us on Facebook @USUCoalition and  follow us on Twitter @USUNews and @UUHEALTH!

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