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Portland State University
Members
Shari Garmise, Ph.D.
Vice President,
USU/APLU Office of Urban Initiatives

202-478-6064

Shannon Looney
Project Manager
202-478-6045
 
Adrianne Thomas
Administrative Assistant,
USU/APLU Office of Urban Initiatives

202-478-6069

Coalition of Urban Serving Universities

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is a president‐led network of 34 public urban research universities working to drive transformational change throughout their institutions and the communities they serve. USU’s work centers on two reinforcing pillars: initiatives working to advance student success through innovation and initiatives aiming to achieve community transformation through partnerships. By collaborating across universities with shared challenges and functions, USU institutions can pilot, refine, and share the most effective practices to accelerate innovation across higher education.

Advancing Student Success through Innovation

USU's work starts with student success. USU supports a set of institutions that plan and implement groundbreaking reforms to facilitate student success, boost degree completion, and revitalize their communities in the process. Student success reforms are particularly focused on recruiting, admitting, retaining, educating, and graduating high‐need, traditionally at‐risk students while reducing costs, reexamining campus business models, and fostering mutually beneficial campus‐community engagements.

Community Transformation through Partnerships

USU also helps institutions transform their communities through partnerships. Guided by the belief that public urban universities are anchors in their regions, USU undertakes a variety of efforts to build a skilled workforce, drive robust economic growth, address inequities, and enhance community sustainability. To achieve these aims, USU institutions partner with key stakeholders in their communities such as K‐12 systems, local businesses, health systems, workforce organizations, community organizations and philanthropic foundations.

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