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Portland State University

Coalition of Urban Serving Universities

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is a network of 35 public urban research universities representing every region of our country, created by university presidents to leverage the intellectual capital and economic power of urban universities to advance their metro regions. USU permanently partners with APLU to harness the power of urban universities to help rebuild U.S. cities, improve urban life, and make our economy more competitive and our country more prosperous. Our members work closely with city, state, and national leaders to promote evidence-based, transformative investment in urban areas to help:

  1. Revitalize neighborhoods and increase community and economic development;
  2. Develop the local and state workforce as well as advance student performance along the cradle to career continuum; and
  3. Reduce health disparities and improve community health.

USU members are public urban research universities located in metropolitan areas with populations of 450,000 or greater. They enroll 10 or more doctoral students per year, conduct at least $10 million of research, and demonstrate a commitment to their urban areas.

Public urban research universities have an ability  and indeed, the obligation  to provide innovative solutions to the challenge their cities face. Each USU member is actively working to address critical issues while developing additional support for their communities.

Working with APLU, USU:

  • Offers a national voice within public higher education to articulate and promote an urban agenda.
  • Advocates federal policies that support public urban research universities and create partnerships with them to fuel the development of the nation's cities and metro regions.
  • Collects and analyzes data across a network of public urban research institutions to create a reliable, factual foundation for the universities' work in cities.
  • Provides the leadership of public urban research universities with a common agenda and the tools to improve urban health, strengthen urban economies, and develop a capable workforce for the 21st century.
  • Crafts projects and initiatives to advance its priorities that identify, develop, expand, and replicate innovative approaches to university-community partnerships across U.S. cities.

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