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Press Release

MSU Denver announces game-changing partnership

Agreement to create a multi-campus university

Contact: Cathy Lucas, Office 303-556-5131, Cell 303-916-1002
Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: September 2, 2015

DENVER–  Metropolitan State University of Denver announced a partnership today that will shift the higher education landscape in the Denver-metro area, expanding educational opportunity in the southwest corridor and creating a multi-campus university.

Last month, MSU Denver signed a letter of intent with Colorado Heights University, defining the initial parameters of the partnership. The agreement would include the transfer of ownership of significant portions of the historical Loretto Heights campus located at Federal and Dartmouth to MSU Denver.

“This was a values-based decision for CHU,” said MSU Denver President Stephen M. Jordan. “Our two institutions have a mutual respect for each other’s role and mission. CHU was especially supportive of our 2012 decision to offer a special tuition rate for undocumented students. We are extremely grateful and honored to have been selected by CHU for this remarkable opportunity and collaboration.”

The five stated goals of the partnership are:

  1. CHU will continue its accredited programs and expand them to intentionally matriculate international students into MSU Denver.
  2. CHU will become an exclusive ESL provider for MSU Denver, creating a new world-class English preparation program to attract top international students and making MSU Denver a true global education provider.
  3. CHU and MSU Denver will explore options for the development of academic programs to be delivered by MSU Denver that honor CHU’s and Loretto Heights’ original missions to educate a globally diverse student population and to support educational opportunity for the neighboring residents. Programs could include: global business, allied health and nursing, social work, teacher education, technology, and international hospitality.
  4. The universities will work together to explore options for cooperation in the development of 18 acres of the campus for the purpose of creating an international business park that would become an experiential learning site for students interested in global business.
  5. The universities will collaborate to strategically develop a “star alliance” of international universities that work together to promote education and cultural access across the globe.

The universities should complete the transaction, enabling MSU Denver to take ownership of the property by July 1, 2016, with some classes and programs beginning there in the fall of 2016. Currently, MSU Denver has entered into a 120-day due diligence period, during which time it will perform an inspection of the campus and existing facilities.

The next several decades promise to be challenging for higher education institutions as they seek to grow and adapt to changing consumer demands. With a partnership like this, MSU Denver begins to blaze its own trail with a renewed focus on international education and continues to enhance its mission to serve underrepresented students, especially in the southwest corridor.

“It is only fitting that in the University’s 50th year, and a few months after the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act, that we begin taking steps to chart our future,” said Jordan. “Creating a sustainable model for MSU Denver will require collaboration across organizational and international boundaries, and bringing together a collective intelligence of people from backgrounds including education, corporations and government. This partnership with CHU is a significant way for MSU Denver to firmly plant one foot in our heritage and the other in our future.”

For additional information, or interviews with Fred Van Liew, President, Colorado Heights University, please contact Laura Chapin at (303) 954-8416 or


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

For 50 years Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.

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