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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.

Colorado Mesa University adopted a new vision, institutional mission and set of values with the 2023 strategic plan.


To fulfill our mission and reach toward our vision, our work is grounded in seven values. When we practice these values, we are able to support the diversity of our campus, learning from and honoring the rich assortment of beliefs and backgrounds that converge on our campus that make for a vibrant culture and community.

Strategic plan

Our values



Extending oneself for nurturing the growth of self and others.



Respecting the intrinsic value of each person and believing that others act from a foundation of goodwill.



Taking risks in the pursuit of new possibilities.



Suspending one’s ego and pride to recognize that no idea is perfect and being open to the input of others.



Investing in the future by adapting to changes, overcoming challenges, and pursuing opportunity.



Cultivating awe and exploring the unknown.



The strength to act collaboratively with individual agency to achieve our goals.


CMU aspires to be a Human Scale University that serves as a model of the world we want to create —
a world where people aspire to love, extend dignity, choose courage, demonstrate humility, develop
resiliency, celebrate curiosity, and use power for good.


Institutional Mission

As a Human Scale University, our mission is to provide an affordable and accessible education and form meaningful and mutually enriching partnerships that support the well-being and vibrancy of our community.

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.

2023 Strategic Plan (May 2023)

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)