University of North Carolina at Asheville

The University of North Carolina Asheville (UNC Asheville or UNCA) is a public liberal arts university in Asheville, North Carolina.[3] UNC Asheville is the only designated[4] liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

University of North Carolina Asheville
MottoLevo Oculos Meos In Montes
Motto in English
I Lift My Eyes to the Mountains
Endowment$40.5 million[1]
ChancellorDr. Nancy J. Cable
Academic staff
310 (part & full time)
Location, ,
United States
ColorsBlue and White[2]
AthleticsNCAA Division IBig South
AffiliationsUNC System


UNC Asheville was founded in 1927[5] 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.

The 20,000-square foot Overlook, or "Seely's Castle", home of Fred Loring Seely, who designed Grove Park Inn, described as "one of Asheville's most pretentious private residences", became part of Asheville-Biltmore College in 1949. The house, no longer part of the college, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[6][7]

In 1961 Asheville-Biltmore College moved to the present UNC Asheville campus[8] 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.

UNC Asheville has more than 215 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),[9] the university offers thirty-six baccalaureate programs and a master's degree in liberal arts and sciences, first granted in 1991.

Chief Executive Officers

Chief Executive Officers of the university:[10]

  • Presidents/Deans
    • 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
  • Chancellors
    • 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-present: Nancy J. Cable


University rankings
Forbes[11] 494
Times/WSJ[12] 501-600
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[13] 148
Washington Monthly[14] 135

UNC Asheville offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 36 majors.[15]


The university is led by Chancellor Nancy J. Cable, along with Acting Provost Karin Peterson 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.[16]

As part of the University of North Carolina's 17-campus university system, UNC Asheville also falls under the administration of President Margaret Spellings[17] and the UNC Board of Governors advised by the UNC Faculty Assembly.[18][19]

Student Government Association

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'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.[20]

Points of interest


UNC Asheville has 296 faculty members, mostly holding doctorate degrees.

Notable Faculty

Notable alumni


  1. As of June 30, 2016. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2015 to FY 2016" (PDF). 2016 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 15, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  2. "Color Palette | Communication and Marketing". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  3. "UNC Asheville Fact Book" (PDF). UNCA. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  4. "Office of the Chancellor". UNCA. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-07-10.
  5. "About UNCA". UNCA. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  6. "Today in Asheville history: Seely's Castle". Asheville Citizen-Times. October 22, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  7. Lois Staton (July 1980). "Overlook" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  8. "Today in Asheville history: Botanical gardens created". Asheville Citizen-Times. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  9. "University of North Carolina at Asheville". Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 2008.
  10. "2007 Fact Book - UNCA" (PDF). University of North Carolina Asheville. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  11. "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  12. "U.S. College Rankings 2020". Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  13. "Best Colleges 2020: National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  14. "2019 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  15. "UNC Asheville Degrees". University of North Carolina at Asheville. April 27, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  17. "Search | UNC GA". Archived from the original on 2003-06-08. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-03. Retrieved 2008-06-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. "Search | UNC GA". Archived from the original on 2007-06-17. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  20. "UNC Asheville Bulldogs Official Athletics Site". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  21. "Division of Legal Affairs of the University of North Carolina (System) Records, 1927-1999 (bulk 1970-1981)". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  22. Masonson, Leslie N (2012-06-01). "The Trading Book: A Complete Solution to Mastering Technical Systems and Trading Psychology - Book Review". Futures. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  23. "Honorary Degree Recipients". University of North Carolina Asheville. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  24. "Roy A. Taylor Award". UNC ASHEVILLE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.

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