History & Acknowledgement of Responsibility

It is crucial to point out the history of the university and provide context and acknowledgment of our place in history. Colorado State University is a public, land-grant university designated by the state of Colorado to receive the benefits of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, which established the initial land-grant colleges to “teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts” without excluding “other scientific and classical studies.” There are four agencies of the state assigned to CSU: the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, Colorado State University Extension, the Colorado State Forest Service, and the Colorado Water Institute. Throughout its history CSU has committed to broad access to education and support for agriculture in recognition of its importance in ensuring human flourishing.

Land-grant colleges were established by the sale or occupation of federal land, most of it acquired after the systematic dispossession of Native Americans from their homelands. Colorado State University was established through the dispossession of the traditional homelands of the Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapaho Nations. As Colorado’s flagship land-grant university, Colorado State University recognizes its responsibility to be representative of the people of Colorado, particularly those historically marginalized throughout the nation and the world, as well as the sovereign Tribal Nations and their people on whose lands this university is built, and from which the university continues to benefit. The University acknowledges that as with our nation, there is significant work to be done to make real progress toward true diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Colorado State University is obligated to advance bold solutions to discrimination and to champion diversity and inclusion.

We will give meaningful attention to these issues and those historically marginalized, and incorporate solutions throughout our transformation. To fulfill this responsibility, Colorado State University will do the following: be an exemplar for public research universities in ensuring access to education for all; provide inclusive and welcoming educational experiences for academic and post-graduation success; perform high-quality, high-impact basic and applied research, creative artistry, and scholarship; and engage in authentic outreach and engagement and extension at the local, state, tribal, national, and international levels.