PBA Home >
Institutional Research & Analysis >
Miscellaneous Topics >CU-Boulder Women
An Institutional Commitment
CU-Boulder not only strives to provide outstanding academic
and extracurricular resources and opportunities for all of its students, it also
is committed to recognizing and serving the specific needs and requirements of
all members of its diverse community. Key components of this commitment include
programs and policies that focus on ensuring gender equity:
- The Chancellor’s Committee on Women
is an advocacy group for women on campus of all
backgrounds, races, classes, ages, sexual orientations, political and religious
beliefs, and abilities. The responsibilities of this committee include monitoring and assessing
the status of women on campus—faculty,
students, staff, and administrators—and recommending policy changes to assure justice
and equity for women at CU-Boulder.
- The Women’s Resource Center
(WRC) works for gender equity and centralizes information on services,
organizations, and events. WRC distributes copies of its student-produced
CU Women’s Handbook
to all first-year women students.
- Established in 1974, the
Women and Gender Studies
Program provides internship programs and a program of undergraduate study culminating in
a degree in Women's Studies. In addition to numerous other scholarly and
cultural events that feature women speakers and artists, each spring the Miramontes Music
and Arts Festival presents events and workshops highlighting
the accomplishments of women musicians and artists.
- The Leadership
Education for Advancement and Promotion (LEAP) Program is a faculty
development program aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership
positions in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. LEAP has
developed workshops for individuals (e.g., leadership workshops for
assistant and associate professors) and at the department level (e.g.,
providing improved training for chairs). More broadly, LEAP aims to create a
change in the University climate such that all faculty members feel
supported in doing their best work and opportunities exist for all to excel.
LEAP currently operates in the Office of Faculty Affairs.
CU-Boulder Women Students
At CU-Boulder, nearly half of degree-seeking undergraduate
students and graduate students are women (47% and 46%, respectively).
- More than 40% of undergraduate students majoring in math and the sciences (including
engineering) are women.
- More than a third of undergraduate business majors are women.
- Among graduate students, just over 30% of students in
math/sciences/engineering and business are women.
- More than half of CU-Boulder law students are women.
Student Activities and Activism
CU-Boulder is one of the most active campuses in the US.
Women’s Resource Center
(WRC) hosts peer groups for people with shared
interests, arranges interactive events, and publishes a newsletter each
semester. WRC also sponsors a film fest, book discussions, art shows, and
an online journal.
student government controls one of the largest
student union budgets in the country—more than $24 million—and offers a variety
of paid, elected, and volunteer positions, many of which are filled by women.
- The campus offers hundreds of
student clubs and organizations
including major-specific clubs, honor societies, ethnic clubs, environmental groups,
political groups, and numerous special-interest groups ranging from a cappella singing ensembles
to Zen societies.
Health and Safety
CU-Boulder health-care services include many people who
understand women’s issues. The Wardenburg Student Health Center houses:
Psychological counseling is also available at
Counseling and Psychological
where clients may request a certain type of counselor, for example, female,
feminist, or Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender-friendly.
safety and related services are a high priority for CU-Boulder:
- All residence halls have locked entrances with only one entrance
open for late-night use.
- All residence hall doors that lead to living areas are
locked 24 hours a day.
- For security reasons, female residents are not housed in
ground floor rooms.
- University police patrol the campus regularly and can be
contacted immediately through numerous emergency call boxes—30 on campus, 16 in
the parking facilities, and 5 off campus.
CU Night Ride/Night Walk service
provides students with police-screened volunteer student escorts on campus and
throughout the city of Boulder.
- The campus
Office of Victim Assistance handles
situations involving sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and
Alumnae and Career Planning
Through their involvement in campus programs and
organizations such as the College of Engineering and Applied Science Earn-Learn
Apprenticeship Program and the Women and Gender Studies Community Advisory
Board, CU-Boulder alumnae actively support students by donating time and funds
to advance students’ academic and professional goals. CU-Boulder
Services (CPS) serves as a comprehensive resource offering a wealth of
information on topics that include financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships
for women planning to pursue advanced degrees; job search resources for women in
a wide range of fields; and professional organizations and other resources for
women interested in international careers. CPS also sponsors an annual
Multicultural Career Fair to support diverse students, including women, students
of color, and members of other underrepresented groups, who seek internships and
post-graduate career opportunities. This event offers students an opportunity to
speak with representatives of companies and organizations that are recruiting
interns and employees. CPS services are available to CU-Boulder alumni as well
as to current students.
Many CU-Boulder alumnae have gone on to achieve prominence in science; business;
politics, law, and public service; athletics; and the arts. Distinguished
ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF: current
president of Liberia and Africa's first elected female head of state, as
well as the first elected black woman head of state in the world. Prior
to her inauguration as President of Liberia on January 16, 2006, she led a
distinguished career spanning nearly four decades in local and international
MARSHA SUE IVINS: U.S. astronaut;
veteran of five space flights (1990-2001); logged over 1300 hours in space.
KALPANA CHAWLA: U.S. astronaut. Dr. Chawla was among the
astronauts aboard the Columbia Shuttle, which exploded Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003.
JEANNE PELLEGREN JACKSON: served as CEO of Wal-Mart,
president of the Banana Republic, executive V.P. of Victoria's Secret, and senior V.P.
of Walt Disney Co.
LUCY SANDERS: inducted in September 2007 into the Women
in Technology International Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious
recognitions for women working in technology and science. Saunders has
six communications technology patents and has received the Bell Labs
Fellow Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from CU-Boulder's
engineering department. She is CEO and co-founder of the National Center
for Women and Information Technology, which is based in CU-Boulder's
ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society) Institute. The
center is a coalition of more than 100 prominent corporations, academic
institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits working to increase
women's participation in information technology.
ROBERTA COOPER RAMO: elected President of
the American Bar Association in 1995-96, the first woman in history to head
the world’s largest organization of attorneys.
MARILYN VAN DERBUR ATLER: social activist,
motivational speaker, former Miss America (1958); has devoted much of her
adult life to raising national awareness and understanding of sexual abuse
and its long-term effects. In 1989 she asked the Kempe Center in Denver
to develop an adult incest survivors program, for which the Van Derbur family
provided $240,000; and in 1993 she co-founded two national not-for-profit
organizations: the American Coalition for Abuse Awareness—dedicated to strengthening
laws protecting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse; and One Voice—dedicated to
breaking the sexual exploitation of children by public awareness and education. During the
course of her exceptional motivational speaking career Ms. Atler has produced 24 films,
two of which won national and international awards.
LYNNE CHENEY: Chair of the
National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-1993); editor of Washingtonian
Magazine (1983-1986); author or co-author of several books; co-host of the
Sunday edition of CNN's Crossfire (1995-1998); Senior Fellow at the American
Enterprise Institute; wife of vice president Dick Cheney.
DEDE BARRY: elite cyclist;
won silver in the 2004 Summer Olympics in the women's time trial; two gold
medals at the Pan American Games; two World Championship medals; six
National Championship titles.
MARY DECKER SLANEY: world-class
track athlete; the fastest woman at every distance between 800 and 10,000
meters (1982); at the first-ever World Track and Field Championships in
Helsinki (1983), she had gold-medal finishes in both the 1,500 and
3,000-meter races; Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year (1983).
Olympic figure skater DEBI THOMAS, singer JUDY COLLINS, and
actress JOAN VAN ARK also attended CU-Boulder.
CU-Boulder offers comprehensive sports participation
opportunities for college women at all levels of expertise and commitment.
- The University participates in NCAA Division I inter-collegiate sports, where our
female students compete in basketball, cross-country, golf, skiing, soccer,
tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Athletic scholarships are available for
women in all of these sports.
- CU-Boulder women’s athletic teams have recently won
national championships in cross country (NCAA 2004) and soccer (National
Intramural-Recreation Sports Association 2003).
- CU-Boulder maintains one of largest collegiate club sports
programs in the nation and is consistently ranked in the top five in the
nation for both the athletic and academic performance of its teams, about a
quarter of which are women’s teams and half of which are co-ed.
- Each year over 12,000 students take part in the campus intramural sports
program, which offers team competition in men's, women's, and co-ed divisions.
A number of CU-Boulder female student athletes have gone on to
play professional sports. These include:
- Professional basketball players Tera Bjorklund, Virginia Delepine,
Kate Fagan, Isabelle Fijalkowski, Britt Hartshorn, Veronica Johns-Richardson,
Jamillah Lang, Jenny Roulier, Erin Scholz, Raegan Scott, Sabrina Scott, Shelley
Sheetz, Lisa Van Goor, and Randie Wirt
- Alpine skiers Pam Fletcher and Beth Madsen
- Mountain biker Julie Furtado
- Runner Shayne Wille Culpepper
- Snowboarder Shannon Dunn
- Beach volleyball player Rachel Wacholder
- Golfer Erin Kerr
Fletcher, Madsen, Furtado, Culpepper, and Dunn have also competed in the Olympics, as have ten
other alumnae (in luge, track and field, alpine skiing, and Nordic skiing).