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Colorado Mesa University was founded, not as an end in itself, but to enable its students and the residents of Western Colorado to create their own future and not simply enter a future that's been created for them. Within its resource constraints, the university has an obligation to offer the highest quality academic programs and services to those whom it serves to enable them to prepare for their future. Because the environment in which it functions is in a constant state of change, the university, like its students, must recognize that growth and change are an integral part of our collective future. University stakeholders must embrace the notion that change and innovation within the institution should be the norm rather than a necessity in response to crises. In this context, then, our goals are built around the theme of "Achieving a Higher Degree." This theme reflects a key element of the university's strategic plan: the philosophy that as the institution adapts to its changing world, it does so with the overarching goal of supporting the residents of Western Colorado to achieve a higher degree of educational attainment by preparing students to function successfully in the future.

Institutional Vision and Values

(Adapted from 2004 Vision Statement / Strategic Plan; see below)

Colorado Mesa University has continued to mature into an institution of higher education that successfully prepares students from diverse backgrounds for lives of career and service anywhere in the world. Over the next decade, Colorado Mesa University will seek to be the first choice institution for students, faculty, and staff.

To achieve this vision Colorado Mesa University will leverage:

  • An adaptable, flexible approach to learning that allows students to choose from multiple and potentially integrated pathways to achieve certification, associates, bachelors, and graduate degrees.
  • A highly qualified faculty that excels in teaching and interacting with students.
  • A curriculum, often bridging liberal education and professional programs, that successfully prepares students for the 21st century in the areas of personal and social responsibility, civic engagement, ethics, and intercultural/global learning.
  • Continued investment in facilities and technology that expand, expedite, and enhance learning for every student.
  • Community support from businesses, industries, alumni, and residents of the region.
  • A wide array of academic programs that are improved on an on-going, continuous basis for quality and relevance to Western Colorado's needs in the context of an ever-changing world.
  • An administration that uses human and natural resources wisely, embraces excellence, is committed to shared governance, and is focused on the future.

Colorado Mesa University will be respected as a learning community that embraces diversity of students, faculty, staff, ideas, and degree levels, while maintaining a quality educational environment that focuses on serving its many constituents. As it assumes an expanded leadership role, CMU will expand its public engagement of the region's stakeholders by serving as the primary intellectual and cultural center and promoting the exchange of ideas that are of regional, national, and international importance.

Colorado Mesa University values:

  • high quality education in a student-centered environment;
  • small class sizes and a high level of student/faculty interaction;
  • a learning environment that develops and promotes the skills of inquiry, reflection, critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, teamwork, and communication in students;
  • student choice in academic programming that prepares future leaders to function as productive and responsible members of a global society;
  • opportunities that engage students in applied learning;
  • a faculty recognized for their professional expertise and quality of instruction;
  • a staff committed to the highest quality of service to the College community;
  • an attainable, accessible post-secondary experience for students in and outside of Western Colorado that emphasizes continuous improvement;
  • a vibrant and varied campus setting that values diversity and diverse activities, and encourages involvement and interaction outside the classroom;
  • a culture committed to integrity and academic and intellectual freedom;
  • a community and region that supports the College in multiple ways;
  • state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that enhance the learning environment; and
  • a diversity of students, faculty, staff that promotes a balanced exchange of ideas.

Institutional Mission Statement

Committed to a personal approach, Colorado Mesa University is a dynamic learning environment that offers abundant opportunities for students and the larger community to grow intellectually, professionally, and personally. By celebrating exceptional teaching, academic excellence, scholarly and creative activities, and by encouraging diversity, critical thinking, and social responsibility, CMU advances the common good of Colorado and beyond.

Statutory Role and Mission

The role and mission of the institution was reenacted in 2010 by the Colorado General Assembly (Colorado Revised Statutes 23-53-101) and amended in 2011 when Mesa State College was renamed Colorado Mesa University:

There is hereby established a university at Grand Junction, to be known as Colorado Mesa University, which shall be a general baccalaureate and graduate institution with selective admission standards. Colorado Mesa University shall offer liberal arts and sciences, professional, and technical degree programs and a limited number of graduate programs. Colorado Mesa University shall also maintain a community college role and mission, including career and technical education programs. Colorado Mesa University shall receive resident credit for two-year course offerings in its commission-approved service area. Colorado Mesa University shall also serve as a regional education provider.

Achieving a Higher Degree -
Impact Study

Public colleges and universities are inextricably linked to the regions and communities in which they are located. A university often is a significant partner in regional economic development. In 2004, Colorado Mesa University released "Achieving a Higher Degree," that examined the institution's contributions to the region. Updates have been published every two years, beginning in 2007.

Read the Impact Study

Strategic Plan

Strategic goals give direction to where the institution wants to go and what it seeks to accomplish. The goals reflect choices that the university has made, based upon its vision, resources, and a sense of the external opportunities and internal strengths.

2020 Strategic Plan (Jan 2016)

2020 CMU Montrose Strategic Planning Goals

2010 Strategic Plan (Jan 27, 2011)

2004 Strategic Plan - Progress Report (Aug 19, 2010)

2004 Strategic Plan (Oct 28, 2005)