University of Texas at Arlington

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The University of Texas at Arlington
File:UTArlington seal.png
Motto Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis (Latin)
Motto in English
"The cultivated mind is the guardian of democracy"
Established 1895 as Arlington College
Type Public
Endowment $127.3 million[1]
President Vistasp Karbhari
Academic staff
Students 34,899[3]
Undergraduates 28,419[3]
Postgraduates 10,020[3]
Location Arlington, Texas, United States
Campus Urban, 420 acres (1.7 km2) on main campus[4]
Colors Orange, Blue[5]
Athletics NCAA Division ISun Belt
Nickname Mavericks
Mascot Blaze[6]
Affiliations UT System

The University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington or UTA)[7] 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 as a military academy during the early 20th century. After several decades in the Texas A&M University System, the institution joined The University of Texas System in 1965. In the fall of 2014, UTA reached a student population of nearly 35,000, a gain of 65% from autumn 2001, and is the second-largest institution within the UT System.[8] UTA is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a "High Research Activity" institution and named one of the fastest growing public research universities in the nation by The Chronicle of Higher Education.[9][10] The university offers 80 baccalaureate, 74 masters, and 31 doctoral degrees.[11]

The university operates the Fort Worth Education Center in downtown Fort Worth and the UTA Research Institute in River Bend Park in eastern Fort Worth.


Establishment (1895–1916)

An undated image of the first building on the campus of Arlington College

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.[12] 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.[13]

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.

Bird's-eye painting of Carlisle Military Academy, 1911

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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,[13] and Arlington Military Academy closed after one year.

Texas A&M University System (1917–1965)

The Science Building at the North Texas Agricultural College in 1941. The building was constructed in 1928 and has since been renamed Preston Hall. It is one of the oldest surviving structures on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington.
NTAC Corps of Cadets on the campus quad, 1920s.

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.[16] The campus in Arlington was established as a branch under the authority of Texas A&M University and was called Grubbs Vocational College.[17] 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.[18] 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.[13]

Davis continually worked to improve the quality of students, faculty, and facilities.[19] 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[20] 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[13][23][24] 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,[13] which led to land acquisition and construction of many buildings. Jack Woolf was named president in 1959 as serious efforts began to make ASC a four-year college.[25] The Texas legislature approved the four-year status on April 27, 1959.[26] Enrollment reached 9,116 students in the fall of 1963, a larger total than the Texas A&M College Station campus.[13] 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.[27] 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.[13]

University of Texas System (1965–present)

Chemistry & Physics building with planetarium.

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.[13] 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.[28] The university adopted its current name in 1967.[29] 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.[30] 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.[13] The Texas Select Committee on Higher Education recognized UT Arlington as an emerging research institution in 1987.[31]

The first of several new on-campus and edge-of-campus residence halls was constructed in 2001 which significantly increased the residential character of the campus.[32] Several more construction projects followed, including a Chemistry and Physics building with 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2) of space[33] and an expansion of the activities center.[34] Under the administration of former president James D. Spaniolo and current president Vistasp Karbhari, 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,[clarification needed] 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.[35] In 2005, the University administration proposed a new special events center for basketball, volleyball, and other university activities.[36]

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.[37] 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.[38]



The university encompasses approximately 420 acres (1.7 km2) and 100 buildings.[11] 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.[39] 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.[13] AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park, and the Six Flags Over Texas theme park are all located 2–3 miles to the northeast.


Numerous significant construction and renovation projects have been completed in recent years, including a $150 million engineering research complex, a $78 million special events center, and the $80 million College Park District. Shown below are: Nedderman Hall, Engineering research buildings, Arlington Hall, Texas Hall, Jack Woolf Hall, and Kalpana Chawla Hall. 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.[40]

Academic profile

University rankings
Forbes[42] 506
U.S. News & World Report[43] RNP
Washington Monthly[44] 159[41]

UT Arlington is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a high research activity institution and a "Next Generation University" by the New America Foundation.[9][45]

UT Arlington leads all University of Texas System institutions in degree production ratio.[46]

The College of Engineering offers 10 baccalaureate programs, 14 master’s and 9 doctorates. It is the third largest engineering college in Texas, with over 7,000 students.[47] The engineering faculty includes over 50 Fellows in professional societies.[48] U.S. News & World Report ranked the engineering school among the 100 best in the country.[49]

The School of Social Work offers three main academic programs: the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW), and the Ph.D. in social work. The BSW and MSSW programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.[50]

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation is a nationally recognized program and one of the five largest public nursing programs in the U.S. with over 125 faculty members and 8,000 nursing students in the BSN, RN‐to‐BSN, MSN, Post‐MSN, DNP, and PhD programs.

The College of Business is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the region through the graduate level, offering the Ph.D. in six fields. The College ranked 131 out of 472 ranked programs in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges list. The College has one of the largest executive MBA programs in China, and offers a U.S. executive MBA program that features a study trip to China.[51] The endowed Goolsby Leadership Academy is a cohort program for high achieving undergraduate students and distinguished faculty.[52]

The College of Liberal Arts provides unique programs such as Southwestern Studies, Mexican-American studies, and African-American studies.

The Interdisciplinary Studies program, a department in the 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 architecture program in the North Texas region.[53] The architecture program in conjunction with the College of Engineering are the first to offer an architectural engineering bachelor's degree in the region as well.[54]

Colleges and schools

The university contains 11 colleges and schools, each listed with its founding date:[55]

The Library

Fort Davis Campaign Map
A hand drawn military map from the 1880 campaign against Victorio and his Chiricahua Apaches. Image from the Special Collections of The University of Texas at Arlington Library.

UT Arlington Libraries have three locations: Central Library, the Architecture and Fine Arts Library, and the Science and Engineering Library. Central Library is open 24/5 during the fall and spring semesters.

The Libraries Collections includes historical collections on Texas, Mexico, the Mexican-American War, and the greater southwest. An extensive cartography collection holds maps and atlases of the western hemisphere covering five centuries. Also included is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo archives, a collection representing over 100 years of North and West Texas history. All together, Special Collections holds more than 30,000 volumes, 7,000 linear ft. of manuscripts and archival collections, 5,000 historical maps, 3.6 million prints and negatives, and thousands of items in other formats. Some of the Library's more rare and interesting materials are available online in their digital collections.[57]

Research and facility

The Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies (SIRT) at UT Arlington is a centralized research resource focused on providing access to instrumentation and expertise to support research in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, cognition, engineering, geoscience, material science, nanotechnology, and neuroscience.[58]

UT Arlington is home of a university-based nanotechnology research facility, NanoFab Research and Teaching Facility.[59]

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.[60]

According to the university's Research Administration, research expenditures for the FY 2013 totaled $77.7 million.[61]

Student life

Student profile

As of the fall 2014 semester, UT Arlington has a student population of nearly 35,000. UT Arlington is ranked the fifth (5th) most ethnically diverse institution in the nation.[62] Females account for about 55% of the total population. The top three countries of origin for international students are India, China, and Taiwan.[63]

Demographics of fall 2014 student body[11][64]
UTA Texas U.S. Census
African American 15% 13% 13%
Asian American 10% 5% 5%
Non-Hispanic White 40% 44% 62%
Hispanic American 22% 39% 17%
Other 2% N/A N/A
International students 11% N/A N/A

Residential life

The campus has six residence halls with a total capacity of at least 5,300 students.[65] 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.[66]
  • 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, fireworks display, pep rally, and homecoming game match-ups.[67]
  • Mav Swap: This annual tradition encourages students to trade apparel from their high school or another university for free UT Arlington gear.[68]
  • 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.[69]
  • 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.[70]
  • Oozeball: An annual event hosted by the Student Alumni Association[71] and Campus Recreation[72] 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.[73]
  • Rubbing Hereford's Head: Dr. E.H. Hereford was 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.
  • Soaping the fountain: Occasionally mischievous students will pollute the main 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.
  • 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.[74]
  • 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.[75]

Greek life

The fraternity and sorority community at UT Arlington consists of 31 national and local organizations with four governing councils.[76] Eight percent (8%) of undergraduate students participate within the councils.[77] The year indicates the original charter date:

Interfraternity Council

National Pan-Hellenic Council

College Panhellenic Council

Multicultural Greek Council


UTA logomark
The UT Arlington College Park Center.

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.[78] UT Arlington 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. Athletic director Jim Baker began work on the same date.

UT Arlington’s Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team won seven national championships. They have a rich history of leading the nation in intercollegiate wheelchair basketball, exemplified by offering full athletic scholarships to team players. Team members are consistently being named to the First-Team All-American squads, and participating in the Paralympics.

UT Arlington became a member of the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2012.[79] After a single season in the WAC, the Mavericks joined the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2013.[80] The switch comes after continued shake-ups in college conference membership.

Varsity sports

File:UTA Athletics logo.png
UTA mascot signature

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.[81]

UT Arlington fielded a football team, playing out of Maverick Stadium, until it was discontinued after the 1985 season. The university administration noted major financial losses of about $1 million per year and low average attendance (5,600, the student body at the time was 23,100). 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.[82] Discussions take place periodically about restarting football but have not gained traction as an institutional priority.[83]

UTA Cheer

UTA's small coed cheerleading team has become a perennial power in Division I competitive cheerleading. The team has been crowned National Cheerleaders Association national champions in 2010, 2014, and 2015.[84]

Sports rivalries

The Texas State Bobcats, from a Central Texas peer institution, are a primary in-conference rival dating back to 1987 with concurrent memberships in three different conferences. As of March 2015, UTA leads the all-time series volleyball (42-31), men's basketball (32-31), softball (59-51), and football (2-0), and the Bobcats lead in women's basketball (28-38), and baseball (40-59).

UTA also maintains a relatively heated non-conference rivalry with the North Texas Mean Green. Periodic sporting events between the two are among the best attended for each team due to close geographic proximity and status as large, peer universities. The longest standing sport rivalry is men's basketball which began in 1925.[85]

One of UTA's most anticipated baseball rivalries is with the TCU Horned Frogs. The two Tarrant County teams play annually in games that generate high attendance from both universities. 4,015 saw the UTA/TCU match-up at Globe Life Park in Arlington in 2013. Four of the top eight most attended games at Clay Gould Ballpark feature TCU as the visiting team.

With UTA beginning Sun Belt membership in 2013, conference rivalries were resumed with the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, and Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks, who were all members of the Southland Conference at various points during UTA's tenure.

Notable people

University leaders

Presidents, deans, and other heads of UT Arlington and its predecessor institutions:

  • Lee Morgan Hammond & William H. Trimble, Co-principals, Arlington College, 1895–1902[86]
  • James McCoy Carlisle, Chief Administrator, Carlisle Military Academy, 1902–1913[86]
  • 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[86]
  • Frank Harrison, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1968–1972
  • Wendell Nedderman, PhD, President, UT Arlington, 1972–1992[86]
  • 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


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External links

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