Nov. 15, 2000

CONTACT: Ward Mullens



YPSILANTI &endash; Eastern Michigan University has been granted membership in two national organizations that compliment its current membership in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The organizations are the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).

"We ought to be shaping national policy and we need to have a national voice. This is a first step in that direction," said Dr. Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, president of EMU.

"This connects us nationally, but it is not connection for connection's sake. EMU has such a diverse mission and we have to have our feet in so many different worlds that if we want to learn from our peers, then we need these connections," said Kirkpatrick.

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities has about 50 members and was formed in 1990 by a group of institutions that previously had no national representation or voice.

According to Kirkpatrick, these institutions are unique because, like EMU, they are not research institutions or land grant colleges, but they are located close to urban centers and have doctoral level programs.

"There was no vehicle to deal with common problems facing these institutions or to share potential and opportunities," said Kirkpatrick, who helped found the coalition while at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Other institutions that are a part of the coalition include, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Portland State, San Diego State, Central Florida, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Massachusetts at Boston and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Founded in 1887, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) is the nation's oldest higher education association. NASULGC has about 200 members, including campuses located in all 50 states, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. NASULGC's mission is to support excellence in teaching, research and public service.

"NASULGC is important for connecting us with doctoral granting peers and universities committed to public engagement. In some ways, EMU is a metropolitan land-grant institution," said Kirkpatrick.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges and universities and systems across the United States and in Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

"We now have a national presence in key groups that promote and shape policy about higher education. These connections will provide visibility, learning and professional development opportunities for our campus leaders," said Kirkpatrick.