|President||Robert L. Caret|
|Provost||Marcia G. Welsh|
|Location||Towson, Maryland, United States
|Campus||Suburban, 328 acres (1.33 km²)|
|Colors||Black and Gold
|Athletics||NCAA Division I|
Towson University, often referred to as TU or simply Towson for short, is an American public university located in Towson in Baltimore County, Maryland, USA. It is part of the University System of Maryland.
TU was originally a training school for teachers in Baltimore, and over the years it has expanded and evolved into a 4-year degree granting institution consisting of 8 colleges with over 20,000 students enrolled. Towson is also the second largest public university in Maryland, and still produces the most teachers of any university in the state.
The U.S. News & World Report ranked Towson University 8th in the Public Universities-Master’s (North) category for its 2010 America's Best Colleges issue. Forbes included Towson University in its 2009 list of the top 100 public colleges and universities in the United States. Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine named Towson University one of the top 100 best values in public colleges for the 2008-2009 academic year.
The Maryland Legislature established what would become Towson University in 1865, with the allocation of funds directed toward Maryland’s first teacher-training school, or normal school. On January 15, 1866, this institution, known as the Maryland State Normal School (MSNS), officially opened its doors. Located then at Red Man's Hall in Baltimore, the school originally enrolled eleven students and fostered three faculty members. McFadden Alexander Newell served as the school's first principal as well as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and oversaw the first graduating class of sixteen students in June 1886.
As time passed, the enrollment in the school grew exponentially. The school soon outgrew its facilities in Red Man's Hall and moved to a temporary location, later known as the Athenaeum Club, in 1873. The following year, the General Assembly appropriated money to construct an exclusive building to house the burgeoning school. In 1876, the school moved its faculty and 206 students to this new facility located in West Baltimore on Carrollton & Lafayette Street.
The demand for qualified teachers became overwhelming by the turn of the century. The Maryland Department of Education reported an annual need for 350 new teachers, but the Maryland State Normal School was graduating fewer than 100. The facilities in West Baltimore were now inadequate to meet state demands. Principal Sarah Richmond, one of the original eleven graduates, began a campaign to establish a campus where the school could function more appropriately.
In 1910, the General Assembly formed a committee to oversee site selection, budget, and design plans for the new campus. John Charles Linthicum was appointed president of the committee, alongside State Superintendent Dr. M. Bates Stephens and Sarah Richmond. The committee surveyed locations at Roland Park, Lutherville-Timonium, Mount Washington, Pimlico, Glencoe, and many other areas. Eventually, the committee settled on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) site in Towson and the General Assembly financed the $600,000 move in 1912. Construction began in 1913 on the Administration Building, now known as Stephens Hall. In September 1915, the new campus, comprising Stephens Hall, Newell Hall, and the power plant, began classes.
In 1934, the state decreed that new public school teachers must have baccalaureate degrees instead of two-year teaching certificates, and the school retooled its curriculum to issue Bachelor of Science degrees. The following year, the school changed its name to Maryland State Teachers College at Towson. As the name implied, the college's single purpose was to train teachers. In 1946, however, the institution established a junior college to offer two years of college work on a transfer basis. This expansion lay the foundation of what was later to become the art and sciences program. In 1958, the college offered its first graduate program leading to a Master of Education degree. In 1960, the college expanded the art and science programs into four-year courses and began awarding Bachelor degrees in these fields. Due to this change in focus, the name changed once more to Towson State College.
Beginning in 1964, the college enrollment rates began a dramatic increase as the baby boomer generation began applying to colleges. Within a decade, Towson State's enrollment climbed from 3,537 to 13,399. This expansion led to the construction of the Center for the Arts, University Union, Cook Library, and many other new facilities. Under the presidency of James L. Fisher, the college expanded the courses offered to meet the demands of the growing student body. In 1976, the school's name changed again to Towson State University. In 1988, TU joined 10 other public institutions in the newly created University of Maryland System. On July 1, 1997, another name change took effect. Towson dropped the designation "state" from its name and became Towson University. The new name recognized shifts in funding and the development and growth of Towson as a metropolitan university.
Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Maryland State Department of Education. For 2007, Towson accepted about 69% of their applicants and had a yield rate of 29%. The average grade point average was a 3.45 and the middle 50% of matriculating students had ACT composite scores between 20-24. Towson educates undergraduate and graduate students in thirty academic departments which are subdivided into eight colleges:
|Name of College||Dean|
|College of Business and Economics||Shohreh A. Kaynama|||
|College of Education||Raymond Lorion|
|College of Fine Arts and Communication||Christopher Spicer|
|College of Health Professions||Charlotte E. Exner|
|College of Liberal Arts||Terry A. Cooney|
|Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics||David Vanko|
|Honors College||Maria Fracasso|
|College of Graduate Studies and Research||Chao Lu|
The university provides 64 undergraduate majors, 37 master's degree programs and 4 doctoral programs. Once students have determined a program of study, they become a member of the academic college administering the program.
As a side note, Towson also has a gerontology program which is one of only 100 undergraduate programs offered in the United States. They're also the only public university in the United States that offers an undergraduate degree in e-Business.
More than 20,000 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in the University. Their numbers include over 800 international students from 100 nations. There are more than 15,000 undergraduates; approximately 13% are non-white. Also, in 2006 Towson achieved more enrollment in its business school than any college in the state of Maryland.
About 77% of the freshman class, and over 4,400 students among all four classes, reside on campus. The University has 15 residence halls, which include apartment complexes, modern high-rise towers, and more traditional two- and three-story residential buildings. Students can also choose from five special housing options on campus, including: International House, Honors College, Wellness, Alcohol-free, and Special Quiet. While on campus, students have access to a counseling center, an academic advising center, a health center, and a career center.
Students get access to their meal plan, dorm buildings, and computer labs through the use of their OneCard. They can also go to all of the school sporting events (which are many times free of charge to students) and several on campus events with the use of their card. It also serves dually as identification on campus.
TU has its own on campus shuttle system that operates free of charge to students. The on-campus shuttle travels to most sections of the school, while the off-campus shuttle travels to more remote parts of TU, including some housing complexes (University Village) that students live in that are on the outskirts of the campus. An additional shuttle makes several trips to Penn Station every day. There is also direct access to the MTA Maryland buses with services connecting to the light rail.
Towson Unplugged is one of the largest wireless networks in the Baltimore metro area, and spans the campus’ 328 acres (except inside residence halls).
The value of the updated wired network and new wireless network is $3.2 million. Wireless coverage extends across majority of the size of the TU campus, including 28 academic and administrative buildings that are wireless with approximately 400 access points in those buildings, with each access point having a range of 300 feet (91 m).
TU Unplugged uses 802.11 b/g standard Wi-Fi protocols with 11 Mbit/s is the approximate shared connection speed for Towson Unplugged users with 802.11b wireless adapters and 54 Mbit/s is the approximate shared connection speed for Towson Unplugged users with 802.11 g wireless networking.
On April 11, 2007, Baltimore County officials announced that they may provide wireless internet access throughout the county. However, they will first pilot the program in the Towson area, using donated bandwidth from Towson University to send signals to the Towson area.
The Towson University Police Department (TUPD) is the primary law enforcement agency servicing the students, faculty, and visitors within the campus limits and adjacent streets and roadways. The TUPD is aided by the Baltimore County Police Department as directed by authority. The current chief of police is Bernard Gerst. The TUPD is divided into several units such as the Patrol Unit and the Community Crime Reduction Unit. It also includes emergency communications.
As a response to the University System of Maryland’s (USM) desire for Towson University to grow its enrollment, a new Campus Master Plan was developed for the university and approved by the USM, Board of Regents in December 2003. The university found that in the past, it has been guided by master plans that focused inward, resulting in disjointed campus development that was disconnected from the larger Towson community.
The resulting vision, called TU:2010. addresses both University System of Maryland requirements and community concerns. It contains over 70 specific initiatives that range from growing diversity to increasing student involvement in service learning projects. Perhaps its most visible development is the creation of academic and student life buildings, as well as roads, parking, utilities and landscapes to support those buildings.
As part of this vision, Towson's campus is undergoing many construction projects set into different phases with staggered completion dates.
COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
|Name of Project||Cost||Completion Date||Description|
|Union Third Floor Conference Rooms||$760,000||August 2006||Conversion of existing patio space on the third floor of the University Union into conference rooms for use by student organizations.|
|Cook Library Lobby Renovation and Starbucks Cafe||$1 million||September 2006||Complete renovation of the lobby area to include new inner and outer storefronts with Starbucks Cafe replacing the vending area.|
|Burkshire Marriott Pub||$1 million||January 2007||The patio outside of Nathan T's at the Burkshire Marriott was enclosed and the interior of Pub Smedley was renovated and expanded to create the newly named University Club. The University Club boasts new interior finishes, bar, and bathrooms.|
|Childcare Center||$4.5 million||January 2007||Formerly housed in the Lida Lee Tall Education Building, TU's Childcare Center now has its own newly constructed building located on Auburn Drive.|
|Towsontown Garage Expansion||$10.6 million||December 2007||Expansion of the garage to add 500 parking spaces for use by students, faculty, staff and visitors. Construction is scheduled to begin March 2007 and was completed in December 2007.|
|West Village Housing - Phase I||$36 million||Fall 2008||Delivery of 668 additional beds in the West Village sector of campus by fall 2008.|
FUTURE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
|Name of Project||Cost||Estimated Completion Date||Description|
|Campus Memorial Garden||$200,000||Summer 2007||Construction of a memorial garden between the University Union and the Glen Towers, scheduled for completion summer 2007. The garden will be open to all students, faculty and staff and is designed to provide visitors with a peaceful place where the lives of members of the Towson University community may be remembered and celebrated.|
|College of Liberal Arts - Phase I||$51.5 million||April 2009||Design and construction of the first 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of the 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) academic building that will house the College of Liberal Arts. The university broke ground on the building's construction in September 2007 with completion set for spring 2009.|
|New Athletic Arena||$45.4 million||Summer 2011||A 5,000-plus seat multi-use arena facility complete with state-of-the-art video screens, entertainment suites/boxes, and expanded lobbies. Towson University will have a new arena with the added benefit of preserving the old arena and keeping it operational for practice, general education classroom space, and event space. Moreover, classes and events can continue in the old arena while the new one is under construction. Construction could begin by July 2009 and be complete as early as July 2011.|
Towson University is committed to social and environmental responsibility. The school is achieving this goal by promoting recycling initiatives and green dining. Students partake in “Trayless Tuesdays” and receive incentives for using reusable mugs. Sustainability has also been incorporated into first year orientation so that students can begin a dialogue on environmental stewardship in their daily lives. Towson looks forward to having its initiatives analyzed for the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card.
Before the 1960s, the name of the sports teams at Towson were known as the "Towson College Knights". Towson student John Schuerholz pushed for a new mascot, and the tiger was officially adopted in 1962. Schuerholz later became general manager of the Atlanta Braves and is the team's president as of 2008. The university's present baseball complex is named in his honor.
According to school newspaper The Towerlight, when the Student Government Association first bought the tiger statue that sits outside Cook Library in 1996, the organization hoped to boost school spirit. Instead, it became subject to vandalism and disrepair. In March 2006, after several acts of vandalism, the statue was completely removed from in front of the library.
In September 2006, the Towerlight reported that a new bronze tiger statue had been unveiled as the centerpiece of the university's "Capital Campaign" to raise $50 million dollars. The primary difference between the new statue and previous one is that the new one is made of bronze and all of the legs are on the ground and the tail is wrapped around its legs rather than raised, so it won't get damaged by vandals.
Towson University is one of the first colleges in the United States to have a president who has his own blog and podcast.. Robert Caret created the blog and podcast to convey different messages to TU students.
The Towson Tigers, formerly the Towson College Knights, are the athletics teams of Towson University. All of the major athletic teams compete in the Colonial Athletic Association with 18 Division I athletic teams (11 in women's sports, 7 in men's sports).
Towson is particularly known for its 11 time National Champion Dance Team. Every year the team travels to Daytona Beach, Florida to compete in the National Dance Association College Nationals in D1 Division. The team won their eleventh consecutive title in April 2009.
Towson's men's lacrosse team is a nationally known program, regularly appearing in the NCAA tournament. In 1974 it won the Division II national title. The team reached the finals in the 1991 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship and staged a return trip to the final four in the 2001 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship.
In addition to Division I sports, Towson also has active club sports and intramural sports.
Tigerfest is TU's annual spring festival that features interactive activities for students, as well as live musical entertainment. Tigerfest, which is also open to the public (not just TU students), occurs in late April and is held on Burdick Field. The event has become increasingly popular throughout its history, mainly because mainstream music acts headline Tigerfest each year. The Roots, Immortal Technique, and Alex Band of The Calling performed at the 2008 Tigerfest on April 26. Artists such as Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional, The Used, and Yellowcard have appeared at Tigerfest in the past. The 2009 Tigerfest featured The All-American Rejects as the headliner. The concert also featured Shiny Toy Guns, Vedera, and Ace Enders as opening acts.N.E.R.D. will headline the 2010 festival.
Towson University, Maryland’s Metropolitan University, is committed to addressing education, economic development and broad social issues. To further Towson’s role as a premier metropolitan university, the Division of Economic and Community Outreach (DECO) was established in 2004 as an initiative of President Robert L. Caret. DECO’s charge is to provide a focus for engagement with the external community and to provide a path into the university's research and project talent. DECO includes over 130 experts in the following areas: IT Solutions, Mapping Solutions (GIS), Technical Training, Applied Economics and Human Services, Information Assurance, and Business Growth.
The initiative is a partnership among the Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore City government, Towson University and Cherry Hill's community organizations. Together, the programs are trying to rebuild the Cherry Hill neighborhood in southern Baltimore. The program interacts with Cherry Hill’s civic leaders, community organizations and citizens, the Learning Zone hopes to serve as a resource for the academic progress of Cherry Hill’s young residents and improvement of the overall environment in the community.
The Towson Speech and Debate team has close ties with the Baltimore Urban Debate League and often volunteers people from the team and the university to judge and facilitate the running of the tournaments.
The university often acts as a host for league tournaments at least once a year.
Towson also has what they call an Urban Debate Scholar award that they give to one graduating senior every year. The scholarship pays for full tuition and fees at TU. They also offer varying awards between $2,000 - $4,000 to other graduating seniors.
President Caret has also established a program called Adopt-A-Campus, which gives local businesses, organizations and others an opportunity to help beautify the TU campus. Every group will be assigned a certain section of the campus, and will be encouraged to pick up litter and help keep the area clean of trash and debris.
Recently the school newspaper, The Towerlight, announced that in February 2008, the school administration was planning to implement a "Free Speech Policy". Within the policy, it defines several things that would be considered free speech, and that students would be restricted to where they could assemble and have demonstrations or protests. This has caused serious backlash from the students, and has solicited various protests on campus and vocal dissent from the Student Government Association as well. Jenny Haley, the SGA president at the time, said the policy was not discussed nor negotiated with the SGA and that she feels it is a mistake to exclude students from the decision making process. It was also noted that during a meeting with the administration to discuss the policy, several administrators said that the only input initially solicited from students for the Free Speech policy was from a committee called the Student Leadership Council that consists of student leaders who are in charge of very large student groups. Several of the students contested that not only did they not know who was on this committee, but that most of them did not even know that kind of committee even existed.
The administration is currently reworking the policy and will rename it the Time, Place and Manner policy.
|SGA Affiliated||Cultural Organizations||Recreation and Sport Clubs||Religious Organizations||Community Service|
|Interfraternity Council (IFC)||National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)||Unified Greek Council (UGC)||Panhellenic Association (PHA)|
Nicholas K. Webb, Jay T. Jordan