University of North Carolina at Asheville

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University of North Carolina
at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Asheville seal.png
Motto Levo Oculos Meos In Montes
Motto in English
I Lift My Eyes to the Mountains
Established 1927
Type Public
Endowment $21.1 million[1]
Chancellor Mary K. Grant
Academic staff
182 (part & full time)
Undergraduates 3,609
Postgraduates 35
Location Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Campus Suburban
265 acres (1.1 km2)
Colors blue and white
Athletics NCAA Division IBig South
Sports 12 varsity teams
Nickname Bulldogs
Affiliations UNC System
University of North Carolina at Asheville

The University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) is a co-educational, four year, public liberal arts university.[2] The university is also known as UNC Asheville. Located in Asheville, Buncombe County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, UNCA is the only designated[3] liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.


Asheville, North Carolina

UNC Asheville was founded in 1927[4] as Buncombe County Junior College, part of the Buncombe County public school system. 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 and placed in the control of a board of trustees. 1936 brought both a further change of name to Asheville-Biltmore College, and control was transferred to the Asheville City Schools.

In 1961 Asheville-Biltmore College moved to the present UNCA campus in north Asheville. 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. It is designated as one of three liberal arts universities within that system, and has been classified as a Liberal Arts I institution since 1992.

UNCA has more than 207 full-time faculty members and an enrollment of approximately 3,600 students. Classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Baccalaureate College—Arts & Sciences (Bac/A&S),[5] the university offers thirty-two baccalaureate programs and a master's degree in liberal arts, first granted in 1991.

Precis of the University's History[edit]

Year - Name and Levels
1927 First 86 students (men and women) attended Buncombe County Junior College
1929 First graduating class, merges with Asheville City College, name changes to Biltmore College
1936 Chartered as Asheville-Biltmore College
1957 First two-year college in NC to receive state funds
1958 First African-American student enrolled
1963 Asheville-Biltmore College authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees
1969 College joins the UNC System & chartered as the University of North Carolina at Asheville
1992 Officially recognized as one of the nation’s first public liberal arts colleges
2007 University celebrates 80th anniversary


Ramsey library, UNCA campus

The school's quality and value for money has drawn praise from national college guidebooks. The Princeton Review's 2008 edition of "America's Best Value Colleges" ranked UNCA third[6] on their list of Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges. The 2003 Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked UNCA among top 20 Best Buys[7] in public liberal arts education, saying, "The University of North Carolina at Asheville offers all the perks that are generally associated with pricier private institutions: rigorous academics, small classes and a beautiful setting. And it does it for a fraction of the cost." The 2003 U.S. News & World Report's college rankings placed UNCA fourth in the nation[8] among public liberal arts colleges. In 2002 the Princeton Review listed UNCA in "the Best 311 Colleges",[9] saying, “For students who seek a public education in a smaller campus environment, this is a great and excellent choice.”


UNC Asheville offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 32 majors.[10]


The university is led by Chancellor Anne Ponder the chief administrative officer, along with Provost Jane Fernandes and several advisory groups. The institution operates under the guidance and policies of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

As part of the University of North Carolina's 16-campus university system, UNCA also falls under the administration of UNC President Tom Ross and the UNC Board of Governors advised by the UNC Faculty Assembly.

  • William Haggard - Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • John G. Pierce - Vice Chancellor for Finance and Campus Operations
  • Janet Cone - Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics
  • Skip Capone - University Counsel
  • Christine Riley - Chief of Staff

Chief Executive Officers[edit]

Chief Executive Officers of the university:[11]


  • 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-: Mary K. Grant (Chancellor Elect)

Student Government Association[edit]

UNC Asheville's Student Government Association (SGA) consists of two branches, an 18-seat Student Senate and an executive branch comprising a President, Vice-President, and Cabinet. Representation in the Student Senate is divided among the four classes, with three additional seats each being given to residential and commuter students. SGA's authority is derived from the Chancellor and the Board of Governors.


UNC Asheville Bulldogs logo

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 basketball team is coached by Eddie Biedenbach.


  • 1984 - The Women's Basketball team won the NAIA National Championship.
  • 2003 - The Men's Basketball team won the Big South Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, going 1-1, winning the "play-in" game before falling to top-ranked Texas.
  • 2006 - The Men's Baseball team won the Big South Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
  • 2006 - The Women's Soccer team won the Big South Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
  • 2007 - The Women's Basketball team won the Big South Tournament and advanced to their first NCAA Tournament.
  • 2008 - The Men's Basketball team set a new school record for victories (23) and won a share of the Big South Regular Season Championship. UNCA became the first team in the history of the Big South Conference to advance to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
  • 2011 - The Men's Basketball team defeated Coastal Carolina in the Big South Conference Final to win the Big South Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time. The Bulldogs then won their "First Four" game in the Southwest bracket against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. They advance to play the 1-seed Pittsburgh in the Southwest bracket.
  • 2012 - The Men's Basketball team defeated VMI in the Big South Conference Final to win the Big South Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time.

Points of interest[edit]

Lightning over the Wilma M. Sherrill Center.


UNC Asheville has 330 faculty members, mostly holding doctorate degrees.

Notable Faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "UNC Asheville Fact Book" (PDF). UNCA. 2008. 
  3. ^ "Office of the Chancellor". UNCA. 2008. 
  4. ^ "About UNCA". UNCA. 2008. 
  5. ^ "University of North Carolina at Asheville". Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 2008. 
  7. ^ "UNC Asheville Named a Best Buy in the Fiske Guide to Colleges". UNCA. August 4, 2003. 
  8. ^ "UNC Asheville Gaining in National Recognition". UNCA. August 21, 2003. 
  9. ^ "UNCA Listed Among Top Twenty Best Academic Values in the Nation". UNCA. August 29, 2002. 
  10. ^ "UNC Asheville Degrees". University of North Carolina at Asheville. April 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "2007 Fact Book - UNCA" (PDF). University of North Carolina Asheville. 2007. 
  12. ^ Masonson, Leslie N (2012-06-01). "The Trading Book: A Complete Solution to Mastering Technical Systems and Trading Psychology - Book Review". Futures (magazine). Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  13. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". University of North Carolina Asheville. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  14. ^ "Roy A. Taylor Award". UNC ASHEVILLE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°36′58″N 82°33′58″W / 35.61619°N 82.56614°W / 35.61619; -82.56614