Citizens in Fayetteville and surrounding Washington County raised $130,000 to secure the university's location in a statewide competition sparked by the General Assembly's Organic Act of 1871, providing for the "location, organization and maintenance of the Arkansas Industrial University with a normal department [i.e., teacher education] therein."
Today, the University of Arkansas encompasses more than 130 buildings on 345 acres and provides nearly 200 academic programs, more than some universities twice its size. At the same time, it maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio (currently 17:1) that makes personal attention possible. The university promotes undergraduate research in virtually every discipline and makes higher education affordable with competitively priced tuition and generous financial aid.
Fayetteville is home to more than 62,000 residents, and growing every day. The city occupies the southern tip of a metroplex that runs northward 25 miles along Interstate 540 through Washington and Benton counties in northwest Arkansas.
The metroplex is comprised by the municipalities of Springdale, Lowell, Rogers, Bentonville and Bella Vista, and is home to major international corporations: Tyson Foods, based in Springdale, is the world's largest protein producer; J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., headquartered in Lowell, is a major transportation and logistics company; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world's largest corporation, has its home office in Bentonville.
A recent Milken Report on the "Best Performing Cities" ranked the region eighth in the country in economic performance, with the third-fastest wage and salary gains in the nation over the last five years. Fayetteville itself has been named "One of America's Most Livable Cities," one of the "Top 10 Best Places to Retire," "One of America's 'Hottest' Cities," one of the nation's "least stressful" metro areas, and among the "Best Places to Live in America" by publications such as Frommer's Guide and Money magazine.
To view the University's Academic Calendar visit this website, catalogofstudies.uark.edu.
Points of PrideThe distinctive characteristics of one of America's great, burgeoning universities.
Unique TraditionsStarting on Old Main's front step with the year 1876, the names of the more than 125,000 graduates have been chiseled into more than two miles of campus walkways, the names grouped by year of graduation. It's not uncommon to see alumni strolling Senior Walk to rediscover their own names and fond memories of accomplishment and fun.
Old Main, the university's signature building, designed in Second Empire architectural style, has come to symbolize higher education in Arkansas. Old Main is one of 11 campus buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is the home to the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science, the largest academic college within the University of Arkansas.
The Inn at Carnall Hall and Ella's Restaurant comprise the university's own on-campus hospitality center. The beautiful, 50-room historic inn and five-star restaurant are both overseen by the hospitality and restaurant management academic program in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Carnall Hall was built in 1905 as the University's first women's residence hall. The building was named after Ella Carnall, one of the campus' first female faculty members.
The Fulbright LegacySince its founding, the University of Arkansas has compiled a remarkable record of scientific, technological, intellectual and creative accomplishment. This accomplishment is exemplified by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, a Rhodes Scholar as a student and eventual president of the university (1939-41). Fulbright went on to serve at the national level, founding in 1946 the greatest international exchange program for faculty and students in the world.
Fulbright's injunction for academia guides the University of Arkansas to this day: "The highest function of higher education is the teaching of things in perspective, toward the purposes of enriching the life of the individual, cultivating the free and inquiring mind, and advancing the effort to bring reason, justice, and humanity into the relations of men and nations."
The University of Arkansas has long been an institution of strong international orientation. In 1951, under U.S. State Department auspices, the University became the first land-grant institution in the nation to assemble an agricultural foreign mission. The object of that mission was to assist Panama in establishing an agricultural teaching, research and extension program similar to the one that had been so successful in modernizing agriculture in the United States.
Changing the WorldSome internationally significant ways that the University has – and is – changing the world:
- Barnett Sure, a University of Arkansas professor of agricultural chemistry, pioneered nutrition research that led to the co-discovery of vitamin E, a vitamin high in antioxidants. His work also led to understanding of how vitamin E, amino acids and B vitamins affect reproduction and lactation.
- As world population grew during the 20th century, so did the contribution of research at the University of Arkansas. Marinus C. Kik, a professor of agricultural chemistry from 1927 to 1967, developed the process for parboiling rice, one of the most plentiful grains in undeveloped parts of the world. Kik's process increased retention of vitamins and shortened cooking time.
- In 1948, Silas Hunt became the first black person to integrate a traditionally white Southern university, enrolling in the University of Arkansas School of Law six years before the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Likewise, Edith Irby Jones soon after became the first black graduate from a Southern university, attaining her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Both acts happened without litigation or protest.
- When John Pople and Walter Kohn received the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, they cited the research of University of Arkansas chemist Peter Pulay as the building block for their prize-winning work. Early in his career, Pulay developed techniques for determining the shape and size of molecules that would permanently change the way scientists study matter. Today his approach is used by theoretical chemists around the world to determine the geometry of large, biologically important molecules.
- Two professors and a university alumnus — Harold Dulan, E.J. Ball and Lewis Callison — created the nation's first commercial variable annuity life insurance company, later bought by Aetna Insurance. Today, variable annuities are used worldwide in estate planning for participation in economic growth and as a hedge against inflation.
- In 1950, the University of Arkansas built the first American facility to integrate the study of fine arts. Edward Durell Stone, a former student who was by then an internationally recognized architect, designed the Fine Arts Center and followed on this early effort later to design the Kennedy Center for Arts in Washington, D.C. Other universities and colleges also followed Arkansas' example, developing cross-curricular exchanges so that artists, musicians, actors and designers could learn from each other and draw inspiration from other similar disciplines.
- Chemistry professor Paul Kuroda predicted that self-sustaining nuclear chain reactions could have occurred naturally in earth's geologic history. His prediction was later confirmed when scientists discovered a natural nuclear reactor in Gabon, Africa. In 1960, he predicted the existence of Plutonium-244 as an element present during the solar system's formation. Confirmation of his theory enabled scientists to more accurately date the sequence of events in the solar system's early history.
- The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a 60-hour program launched at the University of Arkansas in 1966, has grown into one of the most productive and highly ranked programs of its kind in America. Founded by English professors William Harrison and James Whitehead, later joined by Miller Williams, the program was an early catalyst in the transformation of the traditional study of literature into a demanding training ground for writers.
- University of Arkansas plant pathologists George Templeton, Roy Smith, David TeBeest and graduate student Jim Daniels conducted research in the early 1970s that led to the first biological herbicide for weed control in a field crop, later called Collego. Their work to avoid chemical herbicides led to worldwide development of safer biological herbicides and establishment of the Rosen Center for Alternative Pest Control at the University of Arkansas.
- Physics professors Allen Hermann and Zhengzhi Sheng mixed up a thallium-based material in 1988 that set the world's highest temperature at which superconductivity could be sustained, leading to new advances in the manufacture of high-density electronics. Their patented material held the record for more than five years while researchers around the world raced to catch up.
- Professor Dwight Isely of the department of entomology is considered the father of insect pest management in the United States. His research identified the weak point in the life cycle of insects that made them particularly susceptible to control strategies. Through his work on cotton insect pests, the codling moth, the striped cucumber beetle, the southern corn rootworm, and the rice water weevil, American Agriculture saved millions of dollars.
- Engineering professors at the University of Arkansas invented the next-best thing to the zip code — the wide-area bar code reader, which became the most widely implemented automated mail-sorting equipment in the world. By 2000, more than 15,000 bar code readers were used in every major Postal Service facility, increasing the efficiency of processing 20 billion pieces of mail a year at a savings of $200 million.
- Former President William Jefferson Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton started their careers as faculty members of the University of Arkansas in the mid-1970s. While a law professor, Mr. Clinton made his first runs for political office, getting elected as the Arkansas attorney general in 1976. Mrs. Clinton founded the university's legal clinic, which still provides law students a chance to work with clients on legal problems.