1918 UCA Statistics

As we embark on a new academic year, we sometimes forget the humble beginnings of this great university.  Dr. George Thompson, a friend of mine and professor emeritus of history at Hendrix College, often said to me that we have to overcome something called “present mindedness.”  That is the idea that the past is like the present.  We often forget that as time goes by technology changes, values change, educational methods change, and so forth.  I thought these statistics from 1918 might open our eyes to those who were attending, and were employed by Arkansas State Normal School during the 1918-1919 academic year.

In 1918, most of our male students were serving in the U.S. military due to the Great War (later known as World War I) and only about 18 men were on campus in the fall of 1918.  Also, the Spanish Influenza pandemic was impacting Arkansas, but for some reason there were no known cases on the UCA campus.  Hendrix College had the opposite experience and they suffered greatly, two of their students died from Spanish Influenza.  The leading medical officer of Arkansas, Dr. C.W. Garrison, issued a quarantine order for all state schools in October 1918 that was not lifted until November.  During the quarantine order there were still students on the UCA campus, but it has not been determined if they were attending regular scheduled classes.  We do know that Doyne Hall, the residence hall for women, was occupied and operating as normal.  Possibly more research will determine what was going on during the quarantine period. 

Below are some numbers regarding the operation of Arkansas State Normal School (now the University of Central Arkansas) when it was just beginning its 11th academic year. 
Number of Faculty:  19
Number of Staff:        6
Total Employees:     25

Total Salaries of all Employees:  $2,885.06  for September 1918

President Torreyson’s Salary:     $250.00 monthly
Highest Paid Faculty Member:    $165.00 monthly

Enrollment Fall 1918:  301

Postage for Month of September:  $13.00

Telephone and Telegraph Costs:    $27.97

Furniture to Equip newly built Old Main $455.44

Fire and Tornado Insurance on Old Main $152.00

Reimburse Registrar for two trips to Little Rock:  $4.00

Coal for Steam Plant:   $398.86