The University of Colorado’s vision is to be one of greatest university systems in the world; an engine of leading-edge teaching, discovery and inclusivity. This vision is aspirational, a North Star that guides it to the future. This document’s foundation carries forward the University of Colorado’s Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles adopted by the CU Board of Regents:


The University of Colorado is a public research university with multiple campuses serving Colorado, the nation and the world through leadership in high-quality education and professional training, public service, advancing research and knowledge, and state-of-the-art health care. Each campus has a distinct role and mission as provided by Colorado law.


The University of Colorado will be a premier, accessible and transformative public university that provides a quality and affordable education with outstanding teaching, learning, research, service and health care. Through collaboration, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, CU will expand student success, diversity and the economic foundation of the state of Colorado.

Each of CU’s four campuses fulfills a unique role in serving Colorado. The overall University Mission and Vision complement and help guide each campus.

CU has four campuses: Boulder (1876), Colorado Springs (1965), Denver (1973) and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus (2006) in Aurora. CU has more than 63,000 students, some 7,800 faculty, and an annual budget of $4.1 billion. CU researchers attracted more than $1.05 billion in research funding in fiscal year 2016-17. Academic prestige is exemplified by five Nobel laureates, nine MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 20 astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. The university plays a profound role in the lives of individuals, businesses and communities throughout Colorado, across the country and around the world. CU has nearly a half million alumni who are leaders in business, science, the arts, health care, teaching and their communities. Approximately 15,000 new alumni join them each year.


To provide further operational guidance to university leadership, the Board of Regents adopted the University’s Guiding Principles. The principles are specific enough to be meaningful yet broad enough to remain relevant in an evolving society. Consistent with the legal obligations and responsibilities of the University of Colorado community, the university will:

  • Encourage and provide access to all qualified students within the university’s capacity.
  • Maintain a commitment to excellence.
  • Promote and uphold the principles of ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability.
  • Be conscientious stewards of the university’s human, physical, financial, information and natural resources.
  • Encourage, honor and respect the teaching, learning and academic culture.
  • Promote faculty, student and staff diversity to ensure the rich interchange of ideas in the pursuit of truth and learning, including diversity of race, culture, geography, and political, intellectual and philosophical perspectives.
  • Encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels of the university including research and creative activities.
  • Meet the needs of the state of Colorado, including health care, technology, workforce training and civic literacy.
  • Ensure that the university is an economic, social and cultural catalyst.
  • Support and encourage collaboration among departments and campuses, and between the university and other educational institutions to improve our communities.
  • Provide an outstanding, respectful and responsive living, learning, teaching and working environment.
  • Focus on meaningful, measurable results.