With the largest gift in University history and one of the largest financial donations ever to a public university in the State of Colorado, Western Colorado University announced today the establishment of the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering. Construction of the new school began this week on Western’s Gunnison, Colorado campus.
The new school is made possible by an $80 million gift from Paul M. Rady, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Colorado-based Antero Resources and Antero Midstream. Mr. Rady is a 1978 graduate of Western Colorado University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology.
Through a pioneering collaboration between Western and the University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science, students will be able to obtain degrees in Computer Science, including Computer Science with emphasis in Software Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering as graduates of the University of Colorado Boulder. With this partnership, they will have the opportunity to complete their first two years as Western students, and the balance of their education as University of Colorado Boulder students, all while remaining on the Western campus in Gunnison, Colorado. Graduates in the partnership will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and diploma from the University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“This generous investment from Mr. Rady provides Western with the single greatest transformative opportunity in our history–allowing us to combine our historical strengths with cutting edge technical education.” – Dr. Greg Salsbury, President of Western Colorado University
Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering
The planned 75,000-square-foot building will offer versatile teaching and lab spaces – including advanced instrumentation rooms, faculty offices, and two large theater-style classrooms. It also includes indoor and outdoor spaces designed to promote a collaborative learning environment.
The location at the southern entrance to campus will allow the high-tech building to serve as a prominent gateway to the University and the Gunnison community. This ultra-modern and highly attractive building will be built to the LEED architectural standard (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The LEED certification is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and is a globally recognized symbol of the achievement of sustainability. The new building will use both passive solar and geothermal energy for heating and cooling.
“By expanding the number of qualified students who have access to a technological education, this partnership between Western and CU will help meet the demands of our state’s rapidly expanding high-tech industries. This partnership is good for the economic competitiveness of our state and will allow CU to continue to expand our reach across the Western Slope.” – Dr. Bobby Braun, Dean of CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science
Partnership Serving Colorado’s Needs
The Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering represents an innovative partnership between Western and the University of Colorado Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science to help build the state’s technically skilled workforce.
As Colorado’s status as a technology hub continues to grow, so does the gap between demand and available local talent. For example, last year there were more than 15 job openings for every one technology-related worker, according to the Colorado Workforce Development Council. By providing additional Engineering degrees, the Western/University of Colorado Boulder partnership will help meet the increasing need for high-tech professionals statewide. Upper level Computer Science and Engineering classes will be taught by the CU Computer Science and Engineering faculty and will use the same curriculum and instruction methods that have been developed by the CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty and staff.
“Western offers a fantastic education in a great setting, and I am truly grateful for the outstanding education I received there,” said Mr. Rady. “Now, Western is perfectly positioned to build on its academic strengths by incorporating high-level, career-focused Computer Science and Engineering programs. Our state needs this kind of next-generation thinking in higher education. There is tremendous demand for young computer scientists and engineers throughout our state and nation. I’m proud to be partnering with Western Colorado University and the University of Colorado to help make it happen.” – Paul M. Rady, CEO and Chairman of Antero Resources
“Paul Rady is a long-time friend, so his vision and generosity are no surprise to me. This innovative collaboration will prepare students in Engineering and STEM fields who will meet critical needs on the Western Slope and throughout Colorado.” – Bruce D. Benson, CU President