The University of Denver's Colorado Women's College (CWC) historical mission – to educate women to boldly lead in the communities where they live, work and engage – is as relevant today as ever. The college has persevered through many iterations in its 126-year history, a hallmark of CWC's resiliency and the power of its mission. CWC has been intentional in creating a learning environment that is distinctive, inclusive, and rooted in a sense of community. This community, which has most recently served nontraditional and diverse female students so well, is perfectly suited to impact the 21st century woman who seeks, and most likely will demand, an environment and overarching culture that embraces her as a whole person with intellectual interests, passions, needs, and ambitions beyond the classroom and campus.
In February 2015, DU's Board of Trustees made a difficult but courageous decision that Colorado Women's College in its current form was no longer viable as a freestanding, degree-granting academic unit. The Board challenged University leaders to think boldly about new, innovative and relevant ways in which CWC could achieve its legacy and mission of advancing women and creating gender equity through education, research, and action. Concurrent to this decision, the University under the direction of Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and Provost Gregg Kvistad embarked on an ambitious strategic plan articulated in DU Impact 2025, which made clear that DU is committed to "pioneering new approaches in higher education that impact individuals, communities and the public good."
Colorado Women's College is poised to join the highly collaborative and multi-disciplinary university community required to realize the transformative directions set forth in the University's plan. Interim Dean Linda Olson was appointed in May 2015 to guide this transformation while also guiding the teach-out plan for remaining CWC women. Continuing CWC students have been administratively transferred to University College to continue their CWC degree plans, and support systems are in place to ensure their degree attainment.
The strategic plan to reimagine CWC's future reflects an iterative process involving stakeholders from across DU's campus, metro Denver, and the nation. A wide range of ideas and aspirations were gathered, sifted and curated to create a working draft for a transformed Colorado Women's College in the form of two major Innovations. These proposed Innovations have been mapped against DU Impact 2025 to ensure alignment with and relevance to the University's vision for the future. The draft plan was reviewed and affirmed by the DU Board of Trustees in January 2017.
Click here to review the fully affirmed strategic plan.