A Culture of Equity

CU Denver: An Equity-Serving Institution

At CU Denver, equity means that everyone can find a fulfilling path to success. We believe that equity is a justice issue, an institutional and leadership priority and imperative, and a value that guides everything we do. Being the nation’s first equity-serving institution means we are creating an environment where one’s racial and social identity no longer predetermines educational outcomes and professional advancement opportunities. We recognize inequities among all underserved communities and strive to address them through multifaceted approaches that include policy and structural reforms, inclusive academic programming and research opportunities, inclusive hiring and retention practices, and mutually beneficial partnerships. 

We aim to make education work for all by valuing, welcoming, supporting, and educating all people. We recognize that institutions are stronger and more innovative when their culture is inclusive and their talent is diverse. We strive to be a model equity institution for the nation.

Serving Our Diverse Communities

As an anchor institution in the heart of downtown Denver and as a part of the historic Auraria Campus neighborhood , we enroll and proudly strive to serve learners of color and minoritized communities in Colorado and beyond.

In fall 2021, we became the first research university in Colorado to attain status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI, a designation by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, we were invited to be a part of the prestigious Alliance for Hispanic Serving Research Universities in summer 2022.

We are also on the cusp of earning Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Status (AANAPISI), a further affirmation of our embrace of a diverse student body.

Our Diverse Student Body

As the public urban research institution at the University of Colorado, we have a commitment to increasing access to excellence among all students and making higher education work for everyone.


of our undergraduate students are first-generation and will be the first in their families to complete a bachelor's degree. 


of our undergraduate students identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).  


countries and 49 states are represented within our student body.


is the average age of a CU Denver student.

A Diverse Leadership Team

Building a strong and diverse leadership team is deeply important for our success as a university. Our cabinet members have joined us from locations near and far, bringing a wealth of knowledge and unique experiences.

Equity in Action

While building an equity—minded culture, CU Denver – led by Chancellor Michelle Marks—is taking action to make progress against important diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Our equity work, a centerpiece of the 2030 Strategic Plan, acknowledges our past and addresses our present while remaining highly future focused on the model institution we strive to be, together. We are committed to continuous improvement.

CU Regent Nolbert Chavez speaks at Displaced Aurarian Scholarship event

Services and Resources

CU Denver has a wide array of resources to enhance diversity university-wide and foster a culture of equity and inclusion for students, such as the Center for Identity and Inclusion.

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