As one of the few major research and land-grant universities located in a large urban area, the University of Minnesota is committed to teaching, research, and engagement that respond effectively to the needs of urban areas and those at the urban-rural interface. The University's urban vision is aligned with recommendations of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, emphasizing three critical priorities:
Heidi Lasley Barajas
The University's innovative Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) in North Minneapolis links the University of Minnesota in vital public partnership with urban communities to advance learning, improve quality of life, and discover breakthrough solutions to critical problems.
The center, which opened its doors in fall 2009, anchors the University’s presence in the community; coordinates and facilitates new and existing University research, outreach, and engagement activities related to North Minneapolis; and creates multi-disciplinary teams and sustained partnerships to build on community strengths and address pressing community problems.
The UROC collaborative research center in North Minneapolis is home to 12 resident programs, all of which have community partners, focusing on community-driven research priorities in education, health, community and economic vitality, and the arts.
UROC vision: Over the long term, UROC will build thriving, innovative, and respectful collaborations for a healthy and vibrant North Minneapolis, create new models of urban community development, and strengthen the University of Minnesota as a vitally engaged 21st-century research university serving the public good.
The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) was created in 1968 to connect the research talents of University of Minnesota faculty and graduate students, and to focus those talents and energies on a broad range or urban-related problems and issues confronting urban areas. Part of Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System, CURA most often coordinates research in conjunction with persons, agencies, or community groups outside the University. Each year, CURA is involved in more than 100 different research projects and programs with faculty and graduate students from departments and colleges across the University. CURA publishes policy-oriented reports on its web site, through the quarterly CURA Reporter, and in stand-alone publications available from CURA.
Tom Fisher and Edward Goetz
The University Metropolitan Consortium, established in 2006, advances broad-based research collaborations that expand understanding of critical topics in metropolitan planning, development, and change. The consortium harnesses wide-ranging expertise across the University system for focused collaborations with urban and suburban communities, local governments, and public institutions in Minnesota.