Towson University in Maryland has established itself as a metropolitan university with strong ties to its regional community, according to Towson president Dr. Robert Caret.
“If you dream with the community and create a common future, everybody cares,” Caret said.
In an address to UTC faculty, staff, administration and students, Caret said although Towson sees the region as its primary focus, it does not mean his institution is not nationally focused. Towson offers 63 undergraduate, 38 master’s and four doctoral programs to a population of 20,000 students.
Caret’s vision of Towson University as Maryland’s metropolitan university was instrumental in relocating the national headquarters of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) to Towson’s campus. Caret serves as President of that organization.
UTC is a member institution of CUMU.
Caret told the audience Towson’s metropolitan university status has given it a unique identity in Maryland, one that appeals to government and business people. He said his institution offers to work together with them to solve problems, particularly social problems.
The metropolitan mission is directly involved in the workforce, Caret said. “Students will go out and go to work, and we need to give them the traditional education they need. We must be sensitive to the public we serve, and be sure they are educated and have the skills they need to begin their careers.”
Caret warned that a metropolitan university must find its partners, and it cannot say “yes” to everyone. “Partners must fit you mission and resources,” Caret said.
When asked how a metropolitan university differs from a community college, Caret said a community college focuses entirely on teaching and service, while a metropolitan university must focus on research, teaching and service. In the case of Towson, Caret said the research piece is “more applied and different.”
See the presentation.