In Chapter 2, Dr. Richard Walker and Dr. Tiffany J. Davis provide context for the urban-serving institution by discussing the characteristics of these institutions and how the urban context influences structures and activities in the institution. Discussion of institutional types explores minority serving institutions, community colleges, and those that operate as a part of a system of higher education in an urban area. This chapter engages with such issues such as the particular ecology of an urban-serving campus, the implications of serving as a resource hub for the surrounding neighborhoods and city, the impact of crime and its correlates, the activation of community resources to benefit students, and the challenges and benefits of serving life-long learners. This chapter also addresses leadership and governance issues, such as institutional sustainability and health, threats of mission creep, and the influence of presidential visions.