On March 25, Senate Bill 11-204 was introduced by Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. Morse and Giron are the bill's sponsors in the Senate. In the Colorado House of Representatives, the bill is sponsored by Keith Swerdferger, R-Pueblo; Amy Stephens, R-Colorado Springs; Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs; Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs; and Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs.
The bill proposes that the missions of Colorado State University Pueblo and UCCS be changed. For UCCS, the words "and specialized graduate research" are added to the university's existing statutory role and mission statement.
The proposed role and mission reads:
"The Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado shall be a comprehensive baccalaureate and specialized graduate research university with selective admission standards. The Colorado Springs campus shall offer liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, health sciences, and teacher preparation undergraduate degree programs and a selected number of master's and doctoral degree programs."
For CSU Pueblo, the words "a limited number of" are inserted in a sentence that now reads, "The university shall also offer a limited number of graduate programs."
The proposed changes are a model of bipartisan and community support, said Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak, with both universities and their surrounding communities benefiting.
For UCCS, having research in its official role and mission means that applicants for federal and state funding no longer have to explain the absence of the word.
"Our faculty and researchers have made extraordinary strides in establishing this campus as a research university," Shockley-Zalabak said. "But nearly every application had to explain why the word 'research' was not there. I hope we will soon no longer have that obstacle."