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University of Texas, Arlington

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University of Texas, Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington
Motto Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis
(Latin: "The cultivated mind is the guardian of democracy")
Established 1895
Type State university
Endowment US$103.2 million[1]
President Dr. Vistasp Karbhari
Academic staff 2,165[2]
Students 33,439[3]
Undergraduates 25,419[3]
Postgraduates 8,020[3]
Location Arlington, Texas, USA
Campus suburban, 420 acres (1.7 km2) on main campus[4]

Blue and White primarily[5]            

Orange (identity only)[6]      
Nickname Maverick
Mascot Blaze[7]

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is a state university located in Arlington, Texas. The campus is situated southwest of downtown Arlington, and is located in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area. The university was founded in 1895 and served primarily a military academy during the early 20th century. After spending several decades in the Texas A&M University System, the institution joined the The University of Texas System in 1965. In the fall of 2010, UTA reached a student population of 32,956, a gain of 31% from autumn 2008, and is currently the second-largest institution within the UT System.[8] UTA is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a "High Research Activity" institution.[9] The university offers 80 baccalaureate, 74 masters, and 31 doctoral degrees.[10]

The University also operates the Fort Worth Education Center and the UTA Research Institute, with campuses at the Fort Worth ITC and River Bend Park.


Establishment (1895–1916)

The university traces its roots back to the opening of Arlington College in September 1895. Arlington College was established as a private school for primary through secondary level students, equivalent to the modern 1st–10th grades. At the time, the public school system in the city of Arlington was underfunded and understaffed.[11] Local merchant Edward Emmett Rankin organized fellow citizens of the city to donate materials and land to build a schoolhouse where the modern campus is now located.[12]

Rankin also convinced the two co-principals of the public school in Arlington, Lee Morgan Hammond and William H. Trimble, to invest in and hold the same positions at Arlington College. In the first few years, between 75 and 150 students were enrolled in the college. The public school began to rent space at Arlington College, and was eventually sold to the city in 1900. The public school building became so unsafe that all of the space in Arlington College was rented for the 1901–1902 school year until the creation of the Arlington Independent School District in 1902. Although the public education system was set to improve, Arlington College was closed and the property was sold to James McCoy Carlisle.

Carlisle was already established as a respected educator in the North Texas region, and he opened the Carlisle Military Academy in the fall of 1902. His program consisted of a balance between course work and military training. Enrollment increased to 150 students by 1905, and he began a large expansion of the campus. Baseball, football, basketball, and track teams were begun between 1904–1908. Around the same time, new barracks, a track, a gymnasium, and an indoor pool were built. The academy became known as one of the best at its level in the country.[12] Unfortunately, enrollment did not continue to increase with the expansion in facilities and Carlisle ran into serious financial problems.

Lawsuits for the mortgages on the property were filed in 1911, and Carlisle Military Academy was closed in 1913. In the fall of 1913, H.K. Taylor moved from Missouri where he was president of the Northwest State Teachers' College to set up another military academy called Arlington Training School.[13] He also was required to manage the finances and campus for the property owners. By the 1914–1915 school year, the campus contained 11 buildings on 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land with 95 students enrolled.[14] The school was incorporated in 1915 in order to raise funds to make improvements to the existing buildings, but more financial problems arose and another series of lawsuits were filed. Taylor left Arlington, and the property owners hired John B. Dodson to establish a third military academy for the 1916–1917 school year called Arlington Military Academy. Enrollment was apparently very low,[12] and Arlington Military Academy closed after one year.

Texas A&M University System (1917–1964)

Since the turn of the 20th century, the prospects for turning the campus into a public, junior vocational college had been discussed. By 1917, the Texas A&M University campus was overcrowded and had only one affiliate school. Vincent Woodbury Grubb, a lawyer and education advocate, organized Arlington officials to lobby the state legislature to create a new junior college.[15] The campus in Arlington was established as a branch under the authority of Texas A&M University and was called Grubbs Vocational College.[16] Myron L. Williams was appointed as the first Dean. Students were either enrolled in a high school or junior college program, and all men were required to be cadets.[17] Its name changed again in 1923 to the North Texas Agricultural College (NTAC). Edward Everett Davis replaced Williams as Dean in 1925 and held that position for 21 years.[12]

Davis continually worked to improve the quality of students, faculty, and facilities.[18] The Great Depression resulted in major cuts to funding and a decline in students, so more general college courses were gradually introduced at NTAC instead of vocational classes. During World War II, the college trained students with a 'war program' focus[19] and participated in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, offered at 131 colleges and universities in 1943, which gave students a path to a Navy commission.[20]

In 1948, the Texas A&M System was restructured and Dean Ernest H. Hereford was named the first president of the college. However, NTAC was still subordinate to the Texas A&M campus at College Station.[21] The name was changed to Arlington State College (ASC) in 1949 to reflect the fact that agriculture was no longer an important part of the curriculum. Efforts were begun to turn ASC into a four-year institution, but the Texas A&M administration refused to consider the idea since it was possible that ASC could grow to be larger than College Station.[12][22][23] The growth of the city of Arlington in the 1950s led to a major expansion of ASC. The student population increased from 1,322 in 1952 to 6,528 in 1959,[12] which led to land acquisition and construction of many buildings. Dr. Jack Royce Woolf was named president in 1959 as serious efforts began to make ASC a four-year college.[24] The Texas legislature approved the four-year status on April 27, 1959.[25] Enrollment reached 9,116 students in the fall of 1963, a larger total than the Texas A&M College Station campus.[12] Although Texas A&M proposed a reorganization for the system to recognize ASC's growth, President James Earl Rudder would not guarantee that ASC would be developed into a university with graduate programs.[26] Rudder and the Texas A&M board of directors wanted to remain focused on the College Station campus, and funding for ASC construction would not be made available.[12]

University of Texas System (1965–present)

The decision by the Texas A&M University governing board to focus on the College Station campus led officials of Arlington State College and a number of Arlington citizens to enlist the support of Governor John Connally and key members of the Texas Legislature to separate Arlington State College from the Texas A&M University System and to join The University of Texas System.[12] As part of a plan that reorganized several university systems in Texas, Arlington State College officially became a part of The University of Texas System on September 1, 1965. In the UT System, ASC was immediately able to begin a graduate program in 1966 and start new construction projects.[27] The university adopted its current name in 1967.[28] A PhD program in engineering was started in 1969. During this period of transition, controversy erupted over the use of a Rebel theme, including Confederate symbols, for the campus that had been established around 1950. After several years of efforts by President Frank Harrison to let students pick another theme, the UT System abolished the rebels.[29] The Maverick theme was adopted after a student vote in 1971.

Wendell Nedderman served as acting president from 1972–1974 and president from 1974–1992. His tenure was characterized by steady academic growth. In these years, the graduate student population increased from 936 to 4,200 and the overall university enrollment reached 25,135 students. Faculty research and publishing was also emphasized along with doctoral programs in science, engineering, and business.[12] The Texas Select Committee on Higher Education recognized UT Arlington as an emerging research institution in 1987.[30]

Enrollment in the fall of 1998 dropped to 18,662 students but recovered within a few years to previous levels. In 2001, the first on-campus residence hall in 35 years was completed as part of an effort to transition the university away from a commuter school image.[31] Several more construction projects followed, including a Chemistry and Physics building with 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of space[32] and an expansion of the activities center.[33] Under the current administration of president James D. Spaniolo, the university has been characterized by rapid growth in both student population and research activity. Between 2006–2010, total research expenditures rose from 4.9 to, 3.6 million (+82%) while enrollment rose from 24,824 to 32,975 students (+33%). A 234,000-square-foot (21,700 m2) engineering research building opened in 2011.[34] In 2005, the University administration proposed a new special events center for basketball, volleyball, and other university activities.[35]

This proposal was approved, and ground was broken on the College Park Center on March 5, 2010. The center contains an arena with seating for 7,000 spectators, apartments, retail space, an 1800 car parking garage, and a park.[36] The UT Arlington main campus also sits above the Barnett Shale formation. Natural gas drilling on the campus began in 2008. UT Arlington is projected to earn about 5–75 million over the next 10 years from gas production. These funds will be used for scholarships, faculty recruitment, and infrastructure upgrades of the campus.[37]



The university encompasses approximately 420 acres (1.7 km2) and 100 buildings.[10] The campus is situated near the southern edge of the downtown area of Arlington that contains the city government offices as well as the Texas and Pacific Railway line that the city was originally established around.[38] Johnson Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, runs along the southern portion of the campus. Cooper Street (which forms a part of Farm to Market Road 157) runs through the middle of the campus and provides access to Interstates 20 and 30. The amount of traffic on Cooper Street became hazardous for students in the 1960s, and it was eventually depressed with three bridges built over it for students to cross in the early 1990s.[12] The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Cowboys Stadium, and the Six Flags Over Texas theme park are all located 2–3 miles to the northeast.


In the past few years, several construction and renovation projects have been initiated. New buildings recently completed include a $150 million engineering research complex, a $78 million special events center, and the $80 million College Park. The special events center and adjacent College Park area are located on the eastern edge of the campus and serve as a link to downtown Arlington and alleviate a shortage of parking through the addition of 1,800 spaces.[39]

Academic profile

University rankings

UT Arlington has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a high research activity institution.[9] As of 2011, the U.S. News and World Report has ranked UT Arlington as a national university with the School of Social Work, and the Colleges of Nursing and Engineering ranked No. 44, No. 64 and No. 85 in the nation, respectively.[40]

UT Arlington's

UT Arlington’s

UT Arlington's College of Nursing has grown and developed into a nationally recognized program and one of the largest in the United States with more than 100 faculty and 1,000 nursing students.

UT Arlington's [5]

Unique liberal arts programs include Mexican-American studies.

UT Arlington's School of Urban and Public Affairs, is one of the largest and fastest growing programs on campus. The INTS program allows students to custom build their own program of study resulting in either a B.A.I.S. or B.S.I.S. degree. Interdisciplinary studies is a thirty-five year-old academic field and the thirteenth most popular major across the United States. Nationally, almost 500,000 students graduated with an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary degree in Spring 2007. There are 652 interdisciplinary programs nationwide, along with 215 interdisciplinary masters and 65 doctoral programs. The INTS program at UTA is the largest program of its kind in Texas. In building custom degree plans, students mix the required core components with various disciplinary components to meet the academic and professional needs of the student.

UT Arlington has the only accredited school of architecture in the North Texas region.[43]

Colleges and schools

The university contains 12 colleges and schools, each listed with its founding date:[44]

  • College of Business
  • Graduate School (1966)[45]
  • College of Nursing (1976)
  • University College (2010)

  • College of Education and Health Professions
  • Honors College
  • College of Science
  • School of Urban and Public Affairs (1967)

The Library

The library is six stories tall plus a basement.

UT Arlington's Fort Worth Center.

The Library's [6]

Faculty and Research

UT Arlington is home of a university-based NanoFab Research and Teaching Facility.

The UT Arlington Research Institute (UTARI) is a research and development unit of The University of Texas at Arlington specializing in applying cutting-edge technologies to real-world engineering problems.

For FY 2008, the university's research expenditures totaled $66.6 million.

Student life

Student profile

As of the spring 2013 semester, UT Arlington has a student population of 33,806. UT Arlington is currently the second largest institution of the UT System.[8] Females account for about 55% of the total population. The top three countries of origin for international students are India, China, and Taiwan.[46]

Demographics of fall 2009 student body[10][47]
UTA Texas U.S. Census
Black 14.5% 11.6% 12.1%
Asian American 10.2% 3.3% 4.3%
White 46.5% 71.5% 65.8%
Hispanic 16.5% 35.5% 14.5%
Native American 0.5% 0.6% 0.9%
International students 10.0% N/A N/A
Not reported 1.8% N/A N/A

Greek Life

There are four Greek councils at UT Arlington;

Interfraternity Council

National Pan-Hellenic Council

Pan-Hellenic Council

Multicultural Greek Council

Residential life

The campus contains six residence halls, which have a combined capacity of 5,300 students.[48] The university also has 18 on-campus apartment complexes and a limited number of houses for students with dependent children.


  • Bed Races: Since 1980, hundreds of students have gathered to watch teams consisting of four pushers and a rider race against each other in a race just over the length of a football field. Teams consist of student organizations, Greek organizations, and residence halls from around UT Arlington.[49]
  • International Week: "I-Week" is hosted by the International Student Organization, and branches out throughout the UT Arlington community in its entirety, celebrating diversity between cultures on campus. I-week typically includes a Food Fair, Fashion Show, Global Extravaganza, Exhibits, and more.[50]
  • UT Arlington Marching Band: Known as "The Ambassadors of the University," the UT Arlington Marching Band is one of the few college marching bands in the nation to exist without a football team. The band performs annually for crowds numbering 100,000 and is featured in exhibition performances at state and local contests, such as Bands of America and Regional UIL, as well as festivals and high school and professional football games. In 2001, the band performed in exhibition at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championship, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 175 student musicians in the band represent almost all academic disciplines and majors within the University.[51]
  • Rubbing Hereford's Head: Dr. E.H. Hereford was UT Arlington's president from 1946–58. His sculpted bust sits on a pedestal in the University Center. Superstition holds that rubbing Dr. Hereford's head gives good luck on exams.
  • Ooozeball: Oozeball is a tradition hosted by the Student Alumni Association[52] and Campus Recreation[53] to raise money for the Student Alumni Association Sophomore Scholarship. Once the amount for the scholarship is reached, all excess funds are donated to charity. In Oozeball, students play volleyball in artificial mud pits. Since its creation in 1989 in the Greek Life community, Oozeball has become one of the most popular student traditions.[54]
  • Soaping the fountain: Occasionally mischievous students will pollute the main UT Arlington fountain at the east end of the flying bridge over Cooper street with soap, causing it to be filled with suds and requiring it to be drained and cleaned. Less often other fountains on campus are subject to the same soap abuse.
  • MavsMeet Convocation: MavsMeet, the New Student Convocation, is a formal assembly commemorating the beginning of the academic year. Students, faculty and staff are welcomed by the University president, provost, student congress president, and a distinguished UT Arlington faculty speaker. This major academic event honors all undergraduate and graduate students, but particularly new UT Arlington students. Immediately following the New Student Convocation, the MavsMeet AfterParty kicks off the year with live music acts, free food, games and activities.[55]
  • Homecoming: Paired with the beginning of basketball season in the Fall, UT Arlington Homecoming features activities as diverse as the campus. Activities include several alumni events, The Bash, Boom at Noon firing of the Carlisle Cannons, the Parade, Step Show and homecoming game match-ups.[56]
  • Graduation Celebration: Graduation Celebration is a formal assembly commemorating the conclusion of the academic year. This major academic event honors all undergraduate and graduate students, but particularly candidates for graduation.[57]


UT Arlington's athletic teams are known as the Mavericks (the selection was made in 1971 and predated the Dallas Mavericks choice in 1980). UT Arlington was a charter member of the Southland Conference.[58] UT Arlington has won the Southland Conference's Commissioners Cup three times since the award was first instituted in 1998. The Commissioners Cup is awarded to the athletics program with the highest all-around performance in all conference events, including all men's and women's events.

UT Arlington's basketball and volleyball teams play at College Park Center, which opened with a women/men basketball double header on February 1, 2012. The new arena seats about 7,000 fans for sporting events and cost an estimated 78 million dollars. New athletic director Jim Baker began work on the same date.

UT-Arlington became a member of the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2012.[59]

UT Arlington joined the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2013.[60] The switch comes after continued shake-ups in college conference membership.

Varsity sports

UT Arlington fields teams or competitors in 14 NCAA Division I events, including baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, track and volleyball.

Volleyball achieved the greatest team success of all sports in the history of the university by advancing to the 1989 NCAA Volleyball Final Four. The women's basketball team played in the 2005 and 2007 NCAA tournaments; the men's basketball team made its first appearance in the 2008 NCAA tournament, losing in the first round against No. 1 seed Memphis, who was later forced to vacate this and all other wins from the 2007–2008 season. The men's basketball team set a school record for wins during the 2011-12 season, including a 16 game win streak, and advanced to the National Invitational Tournament before falling to the Washington Huskies in the opening round.[61]

UT Arlington fielded a football program, playing out of Maverick Stadium, until 1985 when it disbanded football after the season. The school administration blamed its decision on major losses, nearly $1 million a year, as well as low average attendance (5,600, the student body at the time was 23,100). By the end, the program was funded by the university's auxiliary enterprise income while the other 14 sports were under-funded, as football accounted for half the total athletic budget.[62] In April 2004, UT Arlington students voted by a 2-to-1 margin to increase their student athletic fees by $2 per semester-credit hour should the university reinstate football and begin women's golf and women's soccer teams; however, after review, President James D. Spaniolo dismissed the idea as too costly in terms of time and resources.[63]


Sports rivalries began at UT Arlington while it was a junior college known as the North Texas Agricultural College. A fierce rivalry developed in the 1930s with John Tarleton Agricultural College since both schools held junior college status in the Texas A&M system. Similar to the Aggie Bonfire tradition at the College Station campus, the host of the yearly football game between these teams built a bonfire. In 1939, two NTAC students flew a Taylorcraft Aircraft to the JTAC campus and dropped a phosphorus bomb on the bonfire to light it prematurely. While the plane was flying low after the bomb was dropped, a JTAC student was able to throw a piece of wood into the propeller and cause the plane to crash. The students were dragged from the wreckage and a 'J' was shaved into their heads.[12] Bonfires were canceled after this event.[64]

Notable people

University leaders

Presidents, Deans, and other heads of U.T. Arlington and its predecessor institutions:

  • Lee Morgan Hammond & William H. Trimble, Co-principals, Arlington College, 1895–1902[65]
  • James McCoy Carlisle, Chief Administrator, Carlisle Military Academy, 1902–1913[65]
  • Henry Kirby Taylor, Chief Administrator, Arlington Training School, 1913–1916
  • John B. Dodson, Chief Administrator, Arlington Military Academy, 1916–1917
  • Myron L. Williams, Dean, Grubbs Vocational College, 1917–1923
  • Edward Everett Davis, Dean, North Texas Agricultural College, 1923–1946
  • Ernest H. Hereford, PhD, Dean, North Texas Agricultural College, 1946–1948
  • Ernest H. Hereford, PhD, President, Arlington State College 1948–1958
  • Jack R. Woolf, PhD, President, ASC and UTA, 1959–1968[65]
  • Frank Harrison, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1968–1972
  • Wendell Nedderman, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1972–1992[65]
  • Ryan Amacher, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1992–1995
  • Robert E. Witt, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1995–2003
  • Charles A. Sorber, PhD, Interim President, UT Arlington, 2003–2004
  • James D. Spaniolo, M.P.A., J.D., President, UT Arlington, 2004–2013
  • Vistasp Karbhari, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 2013-present

See also


  • by I’sha Gaines, The Shorthorn, February 15, 2006, retrieved February 16, 2006.
  • by Tracie Morales, The Shorthorn, February 15, 2006, retrieved February 16, 2006.
  • Q&A with University President James Spaniolo on What is a Maverick Launch Event.
  • by Patrick McGee, Star-Telegram, February 15, 2006, retrieved February 16, 2006.

External links

  • The University of Texas at Arlington
    • University Overview
    • Master Plan
    • University History
  • Academics, Colleges, and Schools
    • Degrees and Academic Programs
    • School of Urban and Public Affairs
    • Honors College
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Maverick Scholars Learning Communities
  • The Library
    • Special Collections
    • A Continent Divided: The U.S. – Mexico War — historical materials related to the U.S. – Mexico War (1846–1848)
    • Tejano Voices — personal recollections of 173 Tejanos/Tejanas struggling against racial discrimination in post-World War II Texas
  • University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks Athletics — Official athletics website
  • The Shorthorn — Campus newspaper
  • UTA Ambassador program

Coordinates: 32°43′52″N 97°06′54″W / 32.731°N 97.115°W / 32.731; -97.115

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