|Motto||Levo Oculos Meos In Montes|
Motto in English
|I Lift My Eyes to the Mountains|
|Endowment||$70.4 million (2021)|
|Chancellor||Kimberly van Noort (Interim)|
|220 (Fall 2022)|
|Students||3,233 (Fall 2021)|
|Undergraduates||3,233 (Fall 2021)|
|Postgraduates||5 (Fall 2021)|
|Colors||Blue and white|
|NCAA Division I – Big South|
The University of North Carolina Asheville (UNC Asheville, UNCA, or simply Asheville) is a public liberal arts university in Asheville, North Carolina, United States. UNC Asheville is the designated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. It is a member and the headquarters of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
UNC Asheville was founded in 1927 as Buncombe County Junior College, part of the Buncombe County public school system. It was the first tuition-free public college in North Carolina. It was located in the Biltmore School in south Asheville on Hendersonville Road (U.S. 25). In 2001, Biltmore School was recognized by the Save America's Treasures program.
During the Great Depression, the college started charging tuition. In 1930 the school merged with the College of the City of Asheville (founded in 1928) to form Biltmore Junior College. In 1934 the college was renamed Biltmore College. In 1936, the name changed to Asheville-Biltmore College, and control was transferred to the Asheville City Schools.
In 1949, the college relocated to the 20,000-square foot Overlook Castle, also known as Seely's Caste, which included 29 acres on the crest of Sunset Mountain. Evelyn Grove Seely, widow of Fred Loring Seely, sold Overlook to the college $125,000; she also donated $50,000 to the acquisition fund. The college renamed the house Seely Hall, as requested by the seller. The house, no longer part of the college, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
In 1961, Asheville-Biltmore College moved to the present UNC Asheville campus in north Asheville. That year, the college desegregated with the enrollment of Etta Mae Whitner Patterson. In 1963 it became a state-supported four-year college, and awarded its first bachelor's degrees in 1966. Its first residence halls were built in 1967. It adopted its current name in 1969 upon becoming part of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, since 1972 called the University of North Carolina System.
UNC Asheville desegregated its faculty in 1981, along with all schools in the University of North Carolina. It is one of three baccalaureate colleges within the University of North Carolina System, and has been classified as a Liberal Arts I institution since 1992.
The university operates under the guidance and policies of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Members of the board are appointed by the governor of North Carolina. As part of the seventeen-campus University of North Carolina System, UNC Asheville also falls under the administration of the system's president, Peter Hans. The UNC System is administered by the UNC Board of Governors, which is elected by the North Carolina Legislature, and advised by the UNC Faculty Assembly. Kimberly van Noort, former interim provost, is currently serving as interim chancellor of UNC Asheville, following the departure of Nancy Cable in December 2022.
Chief executive officers
- 1927–1932: S.B. Conley, Dean
- 1932–1936: A.C. Reynolds, President
- 1936–1941: Charles A. Lloyd, Dean
- 1945–1946: William H. Morgan, Dean
- 1946–1947: Clarence N. Gilbert, Dean
- 1947–1947: R.A. Tomberlin, President
- 1947–1962: Glenn L. Bushey, President
- 1962–1969: William E. Highsmith, President
- 1969–1977: William E. Highsmith
- 1977–1977: Arnold K. King, acting
- 1977–1984: William E. Highsmith
- 1984–1990: David G. Brown
- 1990–1991: Roy Carroll, interim
- 1991–1993: Samuel Schuman
- 1994–1994: Larry Wilson, interim
- 1994–1999: Patsy Reed
- 1999–2005: James H. Mullen, Jr.
- 2005–2014: Anne Ponder
- 2014–2015: Doug Orr, interim
- 2015–2017: Mary K. Grant
- 2017–2018: Joseph Urgo, interim
- 2018–2022: Nancy J. Cable
- 2022–present: Kimberly van Noort, interim
The campus includes 365 acres in a small city setting. Noteworthy campus features include:
- Bob Moog Electric Music Studio is named for Robert Moog, former professor and inventor of the Moog synthesizer
- Botanical Gardens at Asheville is adjacent to campus and features 600 plant species on ten acres with walking trails
- Carol Belk Theatre seats 200 people and is used for Theatre UNCA and other performances
- Kimmel Area with seating for 3,200 people is used for basketball and concerts
- Lookout Observatory for astronomical research is open to the public for stargazing and includes a collection of images from the universe
- N.C. Center for Health & Wellness, including biofeedback lab and meditation space
- Wilma Dykeman Writers-in-Residence home
- S. Tucker Cooke Gallery is used for student and faculty art exhibits
- Earthworks from the Civil War Battle of Asheville are preserved on campus.
UNC Asheville operates on a semester calendar. It offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees in 36 majors, and is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Baccalaureate College–Arts & Sciences (Bac/A&S).
The University's most popular majors include biology/biological sciences, business administration and management, computer science, digital arts, English language and literature, mass communication/media studies, psychology, and sociology. It also offers joint degrees with North Carolina State University, including a 2-2 B.S. in engineering, a 3-1 B.S. in engineering, and a joint B.S. in engineering in mechatronics concentration.
All students complete a capstone or culminating academic experience. UNC Asheville founded the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and has hosted the event five times. Some sixty percent of student complete undergraduate research or creative project. Around 20% of students participate in study abroad or study away. More than 48 of its graduates have received Fulbright Fellowships.
UNC Asheville had 222 full-time faculty members the fall of 2022, with 87% holding terminal degrees in their field. Another 99 faculty serve part-time. Faculty teach all classes, there are no teaching assistants. Nearly sixty percent of the classes have less than twenty students. As of 2022, the student-faculty ratio is 14:1.
UNC Asheville's acceptance rate for the fall of 2021 was 82%. At that time, total enrollment was 3,233, with 57% female students and 43% male students. As of fall 2020, students come from 43 states and seventeen countries; 12% of the current study body is from outside of North Carolina. The student demographics are 73.57% White, 8.84% Hispanic, 5.11% Black, 1.68% Asian, and 5.08% unknown. 87% of the enrollees are full-time students.
D. Hiden Ramsey Library is located in the center of campus. It includes the Media Design Lab and the crAFT (Creativity, Art, Fabrication, and Technology) Studio. The library's holdings include Special Collections and University Archives which started in 1977 as the Southern Highlands Research Center and focuses on the history Asheville and Western North Carolina.
Annually, the library gives the Ramsey Library Community Author Award; the winner receives a yearlong residency in the library.
Rankings and reputation
In 2022-2023, UNC Asheville's ranking in U.S. New & World Report 8 in Top Public Liberal Arts Schools and 136 in National Liberal Arts Colleges. It also ranked 130 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program for institutions that do not offer a doctorate.
|Liberal arts colleges|
|U.S. News & World Report||136|
|THE / WSJ||501–600|
The Princeton Review ranked UNC Asheville as number six for Green Matters, number nine for LGBTQ-Friendly, number 25 for Best Quality of Life, number 22 for Most Politically Active Students, and number 15 for its College City.
The 2022 edition of The Fiske Guide named UNC Asheville a best-buy; the list only includes ten public and ten private universities from across the United States. In 2019, Forbes magazine ranked UNC Asheville number 494 in Top Colleges, number 176 in Public Colleges, and number 165 in Liberal Arts Universities. Washington Monthly ranked UNC Asheville number 76 on its 2022 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: Southeast and number 77 for its national Liberal Arts Colleges Ranking.
Organizations and activities
There are more than sixty campus clubs and organizations. Student activities include Greek organizations, with 2% of males belonging to a fraternity and 1% of females belonging to the one sorority. Some 44% of students participate in a service learning project, while 11% participate in intramural sports.
UNC Asheville's Student Government Association (SGA) consists of two branches, an eighteen-seat Student Senate and an executive branch comprising a president, vice-president, and Cabinet. UNCA Out is a student group dedicated to students that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, asexual, queer, questioning, two-spirit, intersexed, and straight allies.
UNC Asheville’s Concerts on the Quad features weekly outdoor concerts during the summer months. The North Asheville Tailgate Market opens Saturdays, April through November, and features around forty local vendors.
UNC Asheville's athletics teams are known as the Bulldogs. They are a member of the NCAA's Division I and compete in the Big South Conference. The university's colors are blue and white. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, and both indoor and outdoor track and field. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, diving, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
- Sarah Addison Allen – author
- Anne-Marie Baiynd – author and analyst in the financial field
- Timothy Lee Barnwell – photographer and author
- Molly Burch – singer-songwriter
- Tony Campana – professional baseball player
- Cliff Cash – stand-up comedian
- Wiley Cash – author
- Michael Cogdill – journalist, news anchor, novelist, screenwriter, and film producer
- Matt Dickey – basketball player
- Ryan Dull – Major League Baseball player
- Wilma Dykeman – writer and environmentalist
- Jason Faunt – actor
- Kenny George – tallest player (7'7") in NCAA men's basketball history
- Joey Harrell – former professional basketball player
- Keith Hornsby – professional basketball player
- Todd Interdonato – college baseball coach
- Ashley Johnson – member of Puerto Rico national soccer team
- Lassi Hurskainen – professional soccer player
- Veronica Johnson – meteorologist at WJLA-TV
- Autumn Kent – mathematician
- Kevin Mattison – former professional baseball player
- Alana McLaughlin – MMA fighter
- Nick McDevitt – college basketball head coach
- Henry Patten – tennis player
- Josh Pittman – former professional basketball player
- J. P. Primm – basketball player
- Jaleel Roberts – professional basketball player
- Ann B. Ross – author
- Andrew Rowsey – professional basketball player
- Jalen Seegars – basketball player
- Mike Shildt – Major League Baseball manager
- Topper Shutt – meteorologist
- Bryan Smithson – professional basketball player
- Stemage (Grant Henry) – guitarist and composer
- Dwayne Sutton – professional basketball player
- Patrick Tate – former professional soccer player
- Roy A. Taylor – member of U.S. Congress
- MaCio Teague – professional basketball player
- Jethro Waters – filmmaker
- Ty Wigginton – Major League Baseball player
- Susana Žigante – professional soccer player
Notable faculty and staff
- Wiley Cash – author and writer in residence
- Richard Chess – literature and language professor, director of the Center for Jewish Studies and the Creative Writing Program.
- Jane Fernandes – former provost and vice-chancellor
- Grant Hardy – historian
- Tommy Hayes – former faculty, author, and founder of the Great Smokies Writing Program
- David Brendan Hopes – professor of literature
- Elliot Mazer – audio engineer and record producer
- Robert Moog – inventor of the Moog synthesizer and former research professor of music
- Ann B. Ross – literature instructor
- Sylvia Wilkinson – author and former faculty
- Christopher Oakley - animator and professor of new media
- Steve Adlard – former director of soccer and former professional soccer player
- Eddie Biedenbach – former men's basketball coach and professional basketball player
- Jim Bretz – former baseball coach
- Herbert Coman – former football coach
- Janet Cone – athletic director
- Michelle Demko – former women's soccer coach
- Don Doucette – former basketball coach
- Ed Farrell – former athletic director
- Scott Friedholm – baseball coach
- Jerry Green – former basketball coach
- Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick – former women's basketball head coach
- Katie Meier – former assistant women's basketball coach
- Mike Morrell – basketball coach
- Matt Myers – former baseball coach
- Ryan Odom – former assistant basketball coach
- Matt Reid – former baseball coach
- Mike Roberts – former baseball coach
- Tom Smith – former baseball coach
- Sammy Stewart – former baseball coach and former professional baseball player
- Monte Towe – former assistant basketball coach
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