Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


At CU Denver School of Public Affairs, we believe that diversity informs our conversations, develops better leaders, leads to better decisions and is truest to our democracy. We welcome the active participation of anyone committed to improving our communities — regardless of background, experiences, viewpoints or social identity.


DEI Committee


In 2014, CU Denver School of Public Affairs formed the DEI Committee to develop and increase diversity and equity throughout SPA and to foster a culture of inclusion.  


If you have ideas for how the School of Public Affairs can best achieve our strategic goals, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Elizabeth Pae at elizabeth.pae@ucdenver.edu.

Committee members

  • Callie Rennison, Professor (Co-Chair)
  • Elizabeth Pae, HR Director (Co-Chair)
  • Lucy Dwight, CTT Associate Professor
  • Jane Hansberry, CTT Associate Professor
  • Andrew Loso, Recruitment & Admissions
  • Hansen Millison, Undergraduate Advisor
  • Paul Taylor, Assistant Professor
  • Lisa VanRaemdonck, Executive Director of Outreach, Partnerships & Professional Learning
  • SPA Undergraduate Student Representative – Vacant
  • SPA Graduate Student Representative – Vacant

Please reach out to your advisor if you are interested in serving on the SPA DEI Committee! Meetings are held via zoom and meet once or twice each month.

Working goals for for our Inclusive Excellence Plan over the next 5 years


All of the school's programs are based on the values and beliefs inherent to a thriving democracy. Our graduates work on the frontlines of democracy, and trust in our democratic system is enhanced when citizens see themselves and their interests reflected in the identities of the workforce. As such, we believe that government, nonprofit, and criminal justice professionals should be broadly representative of our society’s interest groups and varied perspectives.

Similarly, our graduates need to be well-versed in and comfortable with a broad variety of perspectives and interests, including viewpoints that may differ from their own. In the course of their careers they will encounter and serve others with widely differing backgrounds and they must be able to anticipate and serve everyone in our diverse society well.

The principles of inclusive excellence are thus critical to our field, both in terms of who is enrolling in and graduating from our programs and what it is that they are learning in our courses. The School of Public Affairs should ideally serve as a model for diversity and inclusion and a welcoming community for all. Our academic programs should reflect that model, and our workplace should demonstrate the practice of these ideals.

  • Goal 1: Increase retention and graduation rates for all undergraduate students
  • Goal 2: Target recruitment and enrollment of graduate students so that demographic categories mirror those in Colorado’s general population
  • Goal 3: Recruit and retain more faculty from diverse backgrounds
  • Goal 4: Increase sense of well-being, safety, and trust among all SPA faculty
  • Goal 5: Increase overall sense of collegiality, community, and belonging among SPA faculty, staff, and students


Please note that the School of Public Affair's goals, targets, strategies, and overall roadmap are subject to input from the school's stakeholders during the engagement plan.


Learn more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CU Denver.

School of Public Affairs

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street


Denver, CO 80204


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