Mission and Origins of the University

[1] Mission

The University of Central Arkansas dedicates itself to academic vitality, integrity, and diversity.
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[2] Origins

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has served the state and the nation for nearly a century. Established in 1907 by the General Assembly as the Arkansas State Normal School, the institution was charged with the responsibly of training teachers. Instruction began in 1908 with 107 students, a faculty of eight, and a physical plant consisting of one partially completed building. The first diploma granted was the Licentiate of Instruction, followed in 1920 by the establishment of curricula leading to a baccalaureate degree. The terms of the act establishing the school and its location in central Arkansas recognized the state-wide service the institution was expected to promote. The autonomy of its Board of Trustees also gave the institution freedom to expand and diversify academic programs to meet the growing needs of the state. Thus, in 1925, the college was renamed to Arkansas State Teachers College and added and broadened liberal arts programs and increased specialized offerings and degrees. In 1955, the college inaugurated its first graduate program. In 1967, the college was renamed to State College of Arkansas to reflect the institution’s varied and comprehensive curricula, and, in 1969, the institution established four colleges to provide administration for the growing number of academic programs. The institution became the University of Central Arkansas in 1975 to reflect its status as a modern comprehensive university. Since 1975, the university has added two additional academic colleges, an honors college, and several new undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral programs in physical therapy, school psychology, and communication sciences and disorders. Today, more than 11,000 students attend classes taught by a faculty of nearly 500, and a campus master plan has been implemented to accommodate the university’s significant growth.

The university seeks to preserve the informality and friendliness of a small school. Its programs and traditions guard against impersonal or disrespectful treatment of students. UCA is a community of several thousand very different individuals about whom generalization is difficult. Yet there does prevail a common devotion to learning, to the creative as well as the critical capacity, to intellectual freedom tempered with responsibility, to personal integrity, and to respect for the freedom and integrity of others. These qualities are deeply embedded in the university, having been developed for over nine decades. Finally, the university conducts its affairs among individuals and groups without discrimination regarding race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or other factors irrelevant to participation in any program.