As chancellor of the University of Denver, Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D., leads the implementation of DU IMPACT 2025, the University’s strategic plan. Since she assumed the role of chancellor in 2014, Chopp has guided the University in its mission to provide students with a holistic education that prepares them for successful and meaningful lives and careers in the 21st century. This mission is supported by the goals in DU IMPACT 2025, which was developed by Chopp and involved the consultation of thousands on and off campus. Through this collaborative process, Chopp and the community defined the University’s transformative directions, which address student learning and leading, diversity, globalization, cross-discipline and cross-industry collaboration, the University’s connection to Denver, and the University’s shared values and goals.
A highly respected scholar and action-oriented thought leader with decades of experience, Chopp prioritizes intentional community and inclusive culture. She recognizes that what students need for success in the 21st century is different than it was 20, even 30 years ago. At DU, students not only receive valuable knowledge and skills, they learn how to be ethical leaders, work on diverse teams and lead lives of continued learning. Moreover, under her leadership, the University has continued to pursue research that improves lives across the globe.
From 2009 to 2014, Chopp was president of Swarthmore College. At Swarthmore, Chopp upheld the College's longstanding commitment to admitting highly qualified students without regard for their financial circumstance and spearheaded innovative, public-good focused learning.
Before joining Swarthmore, Chopp served as president of Colgate University, where she led a comprehensive strategic plan that expanded the university's academic space, strengthened academic programs and developed new interdisciplinary centers. She also served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University and as a dean at Yale University.
Chopp is a widely published author and editor. Her six books include Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts (2013), which she co-edited with Haverford College President Dan Weiss. Her other notable publications are The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies (1986) and The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God (1989). She has published more than 50 articles.
Rebecca Chopp currently serves on the Olin College of Engineering Board of Trustees, the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Board of Advisors and the American Council on Education. She has also served on the governing board of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. Previously, she was on the board of the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was a member of the executive committee of the Annapolis Group. She has served as the president of the American Academy of Religion and has chaired the Centennial Conference Presidents Council and the Patriot League Council of Presidents.
A native of Kansas, Chopp received a BA from Kansas Wesleyan University, an MDiv from St. Paul School of Theology and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Each of her alma maters has honored her with distinguished awards, and she has received six honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities.
Chopp is married to Frederick Thibodeau. They have three sons, one living in Colorado, as well as other family who also reside in the state.