University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Wikis


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University of North Carolina
at Charlotte
UNC Charlotte Seal.gif
Established September 23, 1946
Type Public
Endowment $147.753 million [3]
Chancellor Phillip L. Dubois
Provost Joan Lorden
Faculty 1,350 (2008-09)
Students 24,700 (2009-10)
Undergraduates 19,400 (2009-10)
Postgraduates 5,300 (2009-10)
Doctoral students 713 (2008-09)
Location Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
Campus Urban/suburban 1000 acres (4 km²)
Colors Green and white
Nickname Charlotte, Niners, Forty Niners
Mascot 49ers / Norm the Niner
Affiliations Atlantic 10, ORAU, UNC
UNCCharlotte logo.jpg

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (also known as UNC Charlotte) is a public, coeducational, doctoral/research university located in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas and second largest banking center in the United States.[1] Today, the university is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Nation's Top 10 Up and Coming Universities.[2] The university is projected to have 35,000 students by 2020 and is one of the largest and fastest growing schools in the 17 institution University of North Carolina System.[3][4] UNC Charlotte has four campuses, the main campus is located in University City.



The original sign of Charlotte College

The university opened on September 23, 1946 as the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina. It was originally founded to serve the education needs of returning World War II veterans. Today, UNC Charlotte has grown to become a doctoral and research-intensive institution and is the fourth-largest of the 17 UNC System institutions.

The city of Charlotte had sought a public university since 1771 but was never able to sustain one. For years, the nearest state-supported university was 90 miles (140 km) away.

Like many of the United States' "post-World War II" universities, it owes its inception to the G.I. Bill and its effects on public education. In 1949, when the state closed the centers, the Charlotte Center was taken over by the city school district and became Charlotte College, a two-year institution. Funded first by student tuition payments, then by local property taxes, it became state-supported in 1958 upon joining the newly formed North Carolina Community College System. Classes were held at Central High School, near uptown Charlotte, until the school moved to its current location in 1961.

In 1963, Charlotte College became a four-year college. It adopted its current name July 1, 1965, upon becoming part of the Consolidated University of North Carolina System, since 1972 called the University of North Carolina System. In 1969, the university began offering programs leading to masters degrees. In 1992, it was authorized to offer programs leading to doctoral degrees.[5]


The Carillon and J. Murrey Atkins Library entrance on UNC Charlotte's main campus (left) and the Belk Tower (middle).
This new quad-style area was completed in 2007 with the completion of the College of Health and Human Services (left) and the College of Education (right). The clock tower of the Barnhardt Student Activity Center is in the background. Upon completion of the new Student Union, this will be one of the busiest areas on the entire campus.

Main Campus - University City

The University operates several campuses in Charlotte. The Main Campus is situated on just under 1,000 acres (4 km²) of rolling land between U.S. Route 29 and N.C. Highway 49, about 10 miles (16 km) from Uptown Charlotte in the University City neighborhood. The campus is self-contained, meaning that no major roads run through the campus. The campus boasts several manmade lakes, and is heavily wooded. Near the center of campus are two gardens that attract over 300,000 visitors a year. Much of the architecture on the campus, particularly the oldest buildings, are precast concrete and utilitarian-looking because they were built with limited state funds in the 1960s and 1970s. Under the campus' third chancellor, James Woodward, the campus has and is undergoing a major change. The newest buildings, funded from state bonds, are being constructed in brick with neoclassical architecture. Concrete and asphalt sidewalks have largely been replaced by brick. The campus' road system is being upgraded to include landscaped medians and more trees.

Charlotte Research Institute Campus

Attached to the main campus is a 100 acre (0.4 km²) campus, created in 2000, called the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI Campus). This research-oriented campus focuses on precision metrology and intelligent manufacturing; opto-electronics and optical communication; and software and information technology. This campus brings together faculty, students, and outside researchers to work together.

Uptown Charlotte Campus

The third campus is located in Uptown Charlotte. This campus primarily focuses its attention on business and evening courses, which caters to center city workers. Currently located in the Mint Museum of Craft+Design, the future Uptown campus will be located at the corner of Ninth Street and Brevard Street, within walking distance of a proposed station of the forthcoming LYNX Blue Line Extension. The 12-story Center City Building is expected to be inaugurated in the Fall 2012 semester and it will house the MBA, Master of Urban design, as well as other graduate-level programs.

Uptown Campus in the Mint Museum of Craft + Design.

South Charlotte Campus (Ballantyne)

The fourth campus is located in an area of South Charlotte called Ballantyne. At this campus, the University's College of Computing and Informatics (formerly the College of Information Technology[6]) offers a limited number of graduate courses. The University occupies space in an office building for this campus.


Of the approximately 24,700 (19,400 undergraduate) students enrolled at the school, 47 percent are male and 53 percent female. Students come from 50 states and 80 countries.

Student demographics

  • Faculty: 1350
  • Student-faculty ratio: 17.3:1
  • Average Classroom Size: 33
  • Average SAT score: 1559.6
  • Campus size: 1,000 acres (4.00 km²)
  • Black: 24.6%
  • Asian: 4.6%
  • White: 63.4%
  • Hispanic: 2.6%
  • Non-resident alien: 4.7%
  • Native American: 0.1%


The university offers 90 baccalaureate (bachelors, undergraduate) programs, 62 master's degree programs, and 18 doctoral (Ph.D.) programs. Fifteen degree and certificate programs are offered via distance education, from 25% to 100% online. UNC Charlotte's first emphasis is on teaching, followed by research, engineering and responsive public service.


  • The Chronicle of Higher Education:
    • Three Programs Ranked (Special Education Program ranked 9th, Infrastructure and Environmental System Program ranked 4th,Information Technology Program ranked 10th: Top Research Universities Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.[13]
  • U.S. News & World Report:
    • Ranked No. 9 "Up & Coming" Best College 2009, due to its substantial improvement in academics, faculty, students, campus life, diversity, and facilities.
    • America's Best Colleges 2009-National Universities: Tier Three.[14]
    • America's Best Colleges 2007- Cheapest (Most affordable) public schools.[15] 9th in the state of North Carolina and 98th in the U.S.A.
    • Top 10 public regional undergraduate universities in the South.[4] (2006)


Levine Scholars

In 2009, UNC Charlotte received the largest single donation from a private source, when The Leon Levine Family Foundation donated $9.3 million to the University to form the Levine Scholars program.[16] The scholarship program, named for Leon and Sandra Levine, will provide a four-year scholarship to UNC Charlotte. The scholarship includes tuition, fees, books, room, laptop computer, and an $8,000 grant for community service initiatives. The Scholars program also includes four summer enrichment programs:

  • summer one (prior to Freshman year): outdoor leadership enrichment program and City of Charlotte introduction;
  • summer two: career-related internship;
  • summer three: community service project; and
  • summer four: international project.[17]


University of North Carolina at Charlotte is designated a Doctoral/Research Universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This classification is the second highest of the foundation's, there are only two (the other being East Carolina University) public universities in the state of North Carolina and out of 84 universities in the nation.[5]

Library system

UNC Charlotte's J. Murrey Atkins Library system, named for the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of Charlotte College, has over a million books, diverse electronic and media resources, as well as an area for special collections. The recently renovated library includes a ten story tower that accentuates the library's place at the heart of UNC Charlotte's campus. In April 2007, Atkins received its one millionth volume, a copy of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.


With $99.5 million (as of August 21, 2006) for approximately 22,254 students, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has the 4th largest per capita endowment of any state of North Carolina public university at $4,623 per student.

Compared to other public universities of its state: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill–$61,592 per student; North Carolina State University–$14,417 per student; University of North Carolina at Greensboro–$7,970 per student; University of North Carolina at Charlotte–$4,623 per student; University of North Carolina at Asheville–$3,727 per student; Appalachian State University–$3,241 per student; East Carolina University–$2,963 per student; University of North Carolina at Wilmington–$2,878 per student.

Considering public university endowments nationwide: University of Virginia –$177,000 per student. (Largest per capita endowment of any national public university in the United States) University of Michigan –$142,000 per student. (2nd largest) University of Maryland, College Park–$8,600 per student.


Charlotte 49ers logo

For athletics purposes, the school is known as simply Charlotte, a change made official by the athletic department on August 23, 2000. The athletic department sponsors sixteen varsity teams and competes in the NCAA's Division I. The university has been a full member of the Atlantic 10 Conference since 2005. Charlotte is considered a I-AAA member of Division I since the university does not have football; a grassroots movement has emerged with the goal of energizing financial support to bring college football to Charlotte. On September 18, 2008, Chancellor Dubois recommended to add a Division I-AA football program to UNC Charlotte. On November 13, 2008, the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees voted 8-0 in favor of adding football to the University.

The nickname of the athletic team is the 49ers, indicative of the fact that UNC Charlotte (then Charlotte College) was saved from permanent closure in 1949. The mascot is "Norm the Niner," an old miner. The school's colors are green and white; gold and black are both featured in the logo and frequently used in the uniforms of several sports.

Men's basketball is the most followed sport on campus. The team, currently coached by Bobby Lutz, has reached the NCAA Tournament eleven times, including a trip to the Final Four in 1977. NBA players that once suited up for the 49ers include Boston Celtics great Cedric Maxwell, DeMarco Johnson, 2001 NBA Draft lottery pick Rodney White, and Eddie Basden.

Women's basketball has seen a surge in popularity on campus over the past several years, with the 2003 team, led by coach Katie Meier, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The team has made the WNIT in every season since then. Meier was succeeded in 2005 by Amanda Butler, who left after two seasons to take over the same position at the University of Florida. Karen Aston took the reins for the 2007-08 season.

Baseball has also experienced a resurgence at Charlotte, with the 2007 team posting a school-record 49 wins under coach Loren Hibbs and winning two games over N.C. State in the NCAA Tournament. Baseball alums with Major League experience include Chris Haney (Kansas City Royals), John Maine (New York Mets), Jason Stanford (Cleveland Indians). Also Fieldin Culbreth is a MLB umpire who worked the 2008 World Series. Other notable baseball alums include minor leaguers Adam Mills and Spencer Steedley. Adam was a finalist in 2007 for the Roger Clemens Award. He is currently in the Boston Red Sox system, while Steedley is in the Minnesota Twins system.

The men's soccer team reached the College Cup in 1996. 49ers soccer players now playing in the MLS include Floyd Franks and Jon Busch.

In September 2007, the Charlotte golf team became the top-rated golf team in the nation.[18]

Student organizations

A large number of student organizations are associated with the university. Ranging from Academic, Graduate, Honor Societies, Interest, International, Multicultural, Political, Religious, Service and Sports. UNC Charlotte also boasts a diverse Greek Life, with over 10 sororities and 14 fraternities serving the campus community.

University name

The official name of the university is "The University of North Carolina at Charlotte." "UNC Charlotte"(no hyphen) is also an acceptable nickname for the university, but the athletic department has used "Charlotte" exclusively for its sports teams since 2000.

Name Change Proposal

The University has received requests to change the name of university from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte to The University of Charlotte several times in a continuing effort to rebrand the school. Prominent members of the Charlotte community, alumni, and students work to advance the cause, believing that the intangible benefits of this change will last for decades. The current name was adopted as the University attained its status by becoming a member of the UNC system. Proponents believe that the name change reflects what is now a independent research-intensive university, while the current name endorses a persistent community-college reputation. The name change would not reflect a change in relationship to, or membership in, the UNC system.

Opponents, including the current Chancellor, site concerns over the expense of the change. Opponents to date have not provided any financial analysis of the change or research of alumni giving to the change to bolster their stance. Attempting a compromise, the University has increased funding for a branding and marketing campaign. This campaign recently sponsored the 4.Niner K, an annual scholarship run, which boasted earning over $26,000 for need-based scholarships. The campaign and sentiments to change the name, however, still exist and some would say are growing. Many students and alumni attending the 4.Niner K scholarship run and actively involved with the University also are members of the Facebook community, "The University of Charlotte", which is the official online community supporting the change. The group is restricted to students, alumni, and faculty, and numbers in the thousands(The University of Charlotte).

University nickname

The nickname, the 49ers, was chosen in recognition of the importance of the year 1949 in the history of the university. UNC Charlotte would have died in 1949 had Bonnie Cone and her supporters not convinced the N.C. Legislature that Charlotte needed a permanent college. Charlotte College was established that year. It is fortuitous that the campus is also located on N.C. Highway 49 and that Charlotte has a rich gold mining history - the term "49ers" symbolizing gold mining even though the Charlotte area gold preceded the one in California by a number of years when gold was discovered in neighboring Cabarrus County in 1799. A bronze statue of the 49ers Gold Miner sits in front of the Reese Administration building on campus. The statue recalls the region's history as a gold mining center and symbolizes the pioneering spirit and determination that has led to UNC Charlotte's dramatic growth.

UNCCharlotte logo.jpg

UNC Charlotte's logo has become one of the Charlotte region's most distinctive insignia. It symbolizes the university's link to the UNC system, to the Charlotte metropolitan region, and to the discipline of learning. The logo is suggestive of a "crown," reminiscent of Britain's Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III, for whom the city of Charlotte is named. The "crown" also can be interpreted as a lamp of learning, a burning bush, an open book, the flowering of a plant or an individual, or a graduate in cap and gown. The letters "UNC" refer to The University of North Carolina, which was opened in 1795. The word "Charlotte" not only refers to the city but also to the surrounding 11-county metropolitan region, which is the university's primary service area, and the area from which it draws more than 12,500 of its students.

Alma Mater

UNC Charlotte's Alma Mater has deep roots in the institution's history. It was part of an "Academic Festival March" composed for UNC Charlotte by James Helme Sutcliffe, a Charlotte composer and music critic who lived in Germany at the time. Dr. Loy Witherspoon, a Professor of Religious Studies, commissioned the March in 1965 when he learned that Charlotte College would become a campus in The University of North Carolina system. The March was first performed in 1967 at the installation of Dean W. Colvard as UNC Charlotte's first chancellor. Afterwards, it was performed as a recessional at every Commencement during Dean W. Colvard's time as chancellor. When UNC Charlotte founder Bonnie Cone heard the March, she said, "I can hear an alma mater in it," referring to a hymn-like refrain. Dr. Robert Rieke, a professor of history, also heard an alma mater in it.

On a 1990 trip to Germany, Rieke visited Sutcliffe, picked up a recording of the March, and began writing words to fit the final refrain. On Christmas Eve 1991, he sent Bonnie Cone the words and music as a Christmas present to her and to the university, from which he had retired a year earlier.

Chancellor James. H. Woodward approved the composition as the university's Alma Mater in April 1992. It was sung for the first time at the following May Commencement and has been performed at every Commencement since.

Leaders of the university

Administration timeline

Chancellors of UNC Charlotte Years as Chancellor
1 Bonnie Ethel Cone (founder; director, 1946–1949; president, 1949–1965; acting chancellor, 1965–1966)
2 Dean W. Colvard (1966–1978)
3 E.K. Fretwell (1979–1989)
4 James H. Woodward (1989–2005)
5 Phil Dubois (2005–current)

Bonnie Ethel Cone, founder

Bonnie Cone's final resting place on the campus of UNC Charlotte, with Cato Hall and Fretwell Hall in the background.

Bonnie E. Cone (1907-2003), or Miss Bonnie as she was known to students, was chosen to lead the Charlotte Center in 1946, and she was instrumental in convincing the state to keep the school open in 1949. She was the leader that chose the current site of the school, and helped plan the original campus master plan. Until 1965, she served as president of Charlotte College. She stated that March 2, 1965 was the "happiest day of her life"; it was the day the North Carolina legislature voted to bring Charlotte College into the UNC system. She served as an acting Chancellor of the university until 1966, when Dean Colvard was selected as permanent chancellor. Even though she had led the college since 1946, the State wanted a leader with experience of running a 4-year, public university. Cone and the university were profiled in the July 16, 1965 issue of TIME Magazine. In the article, she stated, "we are not here to elevate ourselves but the institution", when asked about the chancellor position. She served in various official positions until her retirement in 1973, at which time the main campus's student union was renamed the Cone University Center. Cone continued to work on behalf of the school in unofficial capacities until her death in March 2003 . She is interred in the Van Landingham Gardens on the east side of the main campus, and a non-denominational meditation center is planned near the site. She is posthumously known as the founder of the school, a title which she rejected during her lifetime because she felt many people had a hand in creating and building the university. During her lifetime, she received 10 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities and was inducted posthumously into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition to her contributions to North Carolina history. In 2004 the stretch of U.S. Highway 29 near the main campus was officially renamed the "Dr. Bonnie Cone Memorial Highway."


Dean W. Colvard

Dean W. Colvard (1913-2007) was appointed the first chancellor of the young university in 1966. A North Carolina native, Colvard had served as president of Mississippi State University (MSU). At MSU he was the first president to defy university policy of not playing against integrated teams when he ordered the men's basketball team to play Loyola University Chicago in 1963. At UNC Charlotte, Colvard took on the challenge of converting the school from a junior college to a 4-year member of the UNC system. He oversaw accreditation of the university, development of University Research Park (now one of the top 5 largest research parks in the country), constructed the first residence halls, created the first graduate programs, and grew the enrollment from about 1,700 to just over 8,000 students. He retired as chancellor in 1978, served as Chancellor Emeritus until his death. Colvard also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The Colvard building, completed on the main campus in 1979, is named in his honor and houses the Department of Psychology.

E.K. Fretwell

E.K. Fretwell, the second chancellor of the university, was named in 1979. Fretwell came to the university from University at Buffalo, where he was president. Under Fretwell, campus enrollment surged from 8,000 students to over 12,000. He oversaw the creation of the Graduate School, created more graduate degrees, integrated the library's card catalog into the Internet in 1983, created the ground work for a major business incubator, helped to develop the university's surrounding neighborhood, and increased academic grants to over $6.1 million dollars. Fretwell retired as chancellor in 1989. He served as interim president of the University of Massachusetts from 1991-1992, and in 1998, he served as the interim president of the University of North Florida. In 1996 UNC Charlotte opened the Fretwell building, dedicated in honor of him and his wife Dorrie. The building headquarters the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He and his wife live in Charlotte.

James H. Woodward

James H. Woodward succeeded Fretwell in 1989. Woodward came to UNC Charlotte from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he served as dean of engineering and senior vice president of academic affairs. Under Woodward, enrollment grew to over 19,000 students. Like his predecessors, he continued the growth of the Graduate School, and added various new doctoral programs. He also oversaw the largest fundraising campaign in the school's history and its largest building boom; as of the summer of 2005, no less than six buildings were actively under construction on the main campus. Woodward also oversaw creation of the CRI Campus. Woodward announced his retirement in 2004, and left the office of chancellor on June 30, 2005. Woodward Hall, the main campus's newest science and technology building, was dedicated in his honor on November 16, 2005. Woodward is currently serving as Chancellor Emeritus and teaches in the university's engineering department.

Phillip Dubois

Chancellor Phillip Dubois

'Phil Dubois' is the fourth and current chancellor, assuming his current duties on July 15, 2005. He returns to Charlotte after serving as the president of the University of Wyoming from 1997 through 2005 . Previously, Dubois served as the Provost and professor of political science at UNC Charlotte from 1991 until 1997.

Dubois is the first chancellor, along with his wife and children, to occupy the brand new Chancellor's House (known as the Bissell House) on the UNC Charlotte campus that was completed in the winter of 2005. Phil is expected to oversee the process of the University becoming the fourth research-extensive university in the State.

Alumni and faculty

Every graduate of UNC Charlotte automatically becomes a member of the Alumni Association, an organization of more than 80,000 former students whose primary purpose is to advance the interests of the university. There are no membership fees, annual dues or initiation rites, but there is an expectation that members will be active participants in the organization. In addition to promoting the interests of UNC Charlotte, the Alumni Association acts as a network of UNC Charlotte graduates who assist each other in their personal, professional and social development, and recognize and cheer the accomplishments of their fellow members. The association offers members a number of benefits and services. Some are in the form of information and communications, including a UNC Charlotte magazine and a quarterly electronic newsletter which keeps alumni up to date on news from the association and the university. The only requirement for membership is that alumni maintain contact with the Office of Alumni Affairs, provide an up-to-date address for alumni files and keep the association informed about their personal progress and career achievements.


See also


  1. ^ UNC Charlotte In the News
  2. ^ US World & News Report - Top 10 Up and Coming Universities
  3. ^ UNCC News Release
  4. ^ UNCC Engineering Technology
  5. ^ UNC Charlotte :: Public Relations :: University History
  6. ^ UNC Charlotte :: Public Relations :: News Release Detail
  7. ^ "Carnegie Foundation's Doctoral/Research Universities". Carnegie Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-23.  
  8. ^ "Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index's Top 20 Small Research Universities". Academic Analytics. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-23.  
  9. ^ "FSP Index Top Performing Individual Programs 2006-2007-Architecture, Planning, & Design, Various". Academic Analytics. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.  
  10. ^ "FSP Index Top Performing Individual Programs 2006-2007-Special Education". Academic Analytics. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.  
  11. ^ "FSP Index Top Performing Individual Programs 2006-2007-Information Technology/Information Systems". Academic Analytics. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.  
  12. ^ "FSP Index Top Performing Individual Programs 2007- Family, Consumer and Human Sciences". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-13.  
  13. ^ "The Chronicle of Higher Education". The Chronicle's. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  
  14. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2009- National Universities: Tier Three". US News & Records. 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-27.  
  15. ^ "America's Best Colleges 2007- Cheapest public schools". US News & Records. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-26.  
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ UNC Charlotte :: Public Relations :: News Release Detail

External links

Coordinates: 35°18′12.80″N 80°43′56.57″W / 35.303556°N 80.7323806°W / 35.303556; -80.7323806


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