Faculty Manual – Section A
SECTION A. HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY
The Colorado Territorial Legislature in 1870 passed an act authorizing establishment of the institution now known as Colorado State University. The year 1870 thus is considered the University’s founding date and appears upon its official seal. The University was founded in 1870 and the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System (formerly State Board of Agriculture – hereinafter referred to as “the Board”) was created in 1877. The first students were enrolled in 1879.
In 1879, Colorado accepted provisions of the Morrill Act, passed by Congress in 1862. This act provided for grants of land to endow an institution of higher learning in each state. Institutions established under the Morrill Act became known as land grant institutions. The land grant for Colorado State University was 90,000 acres.
Colorado State University originally was founded as Colorado Agricultural College. In 1935 it became Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and in 1944 the name was changed to Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College. Effective May 1, 1957, the name was changed to Colorado State University by action of the Colorado General Assembly.
Colorado State University operates under authority granted by the State Constitution and statutory provisions enacted by the Colorado General Assembly.
Relevant sections of Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution of Colorado are quoted as follows:
a. “The following educational institutions are declared to be state institutions of higher education: The university at Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver; the university at Fort Collins; the school of mines at Golden; and such other institutions of higher education as now exist or may hereafter be established by law if they are designated by law as state institutions. The establishment, management, and abolition of the state institutions shall be subject to the control of the state, under the provisions of the constitution and such laws and regulations as the general assembly may provide;”
b. “The governing boards of the state institutions of higher education, whether established by this constitution or by law, shall have the general supervision of their respective institutions and the exclusive control and direction of all funds of and appropriations to their respective institutions, unless otherwise provided by law.”
The mission of Colorado State University is most recently described in Section 23-31-101 of the Colorado Revised Statutes of 2003. This Section states that:
“University established – role and mission. There is hereby established a university at Fort Collins to be known as Colorado State University. Colorado State University shall be a comprehensive graduate research university with selective admission standards offering a comprehensive array of baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs. Consistent with the tradition of land grant universities, Colorado state university has exclusive authority to offer graduate and undergraduate programs in agriculture, forestry, natural resources, and veterinary medicine. The Colorado commission on higher education, in consultation with the board of governors of the Colorado state university system, shall designate those graduate level programs that are the primary responsibility of Colorado state university. Colorado state university has the responsibility to provide on a statewide basis, utilizing when possible and appropriate the faculty and facilities of other educational institutions, those graduate level programs. The commission shall include in its funding recommendations a level of general fund support for these programs.”