College Of Engineering Publishes Biography Of Roland Rautenstraus

Published: Aug. 11, 1999

The College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder has published a new book on the life and contributions of former CU president and civil engineering professor Roland Rautenstraus.

"RAUT: Teacher, Leader, Engineer," by Richard Weingardt, traces the life of CU's 12th president from his roots as a minister's son growing up in small town Nebraska and Kansas to his tremendous impact on the University of Colorado and on the state, through its transportation and educational systems, and land-use policies.

Proceeds from the book sales will go to support a memorial teaching professorship and a student scholarship in Rautenstraus' name. Rautenstraus died on Dec. 25, 1997, at the age of 73 after 50 years of service to the university.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1946, he joined the civil engineering department as an instructor. He later earned his master's degree and became chairman of the department and served in a variety of administrative posts before being named president. He served as president from 1974 to 1980, and then returned to the faculty where he taught courses in transportation engineering until the time of his death.

Rautenstraus was a popular professor and a successful president, who led the university through its evolution from a single campus with several extension centers to a four-campus system. He took the helm during turbulent times and distinguished himself by his calm and even-handed leadership and his genuine respect for students.

Weingardt, a professional engineer and former student of Rautenstraus', writes that "Raut" was the first and only engineer to ever lead the University of Colorado, and he searches for an answer to the question, "Why did he step down?"

Weingardt, CEO of a successful Colorado-based consulting engineering firm, is the author of several other books, including "Forks in the Road" (1998), which focuses on the potential of engineers to be leaders in society and the leadership traits that are exemplified by Rautenstraus.

U.S. Senator Robert Dole, who grew up with Rautenstraus in Russell, Kan., wrote a forward to the book.

Individuals will receive a complimentary book with a contribution of $50 or more to the Rautenstraus Memorial Endowment, made payable to the CU Foundation, Campus Box 422, Boulder, CO 80309. Multiple copies may be purchased from Jacqueline Enterprises, 3010 S. Garfield St., Denver, CO 80210.