The University of Akron is a public research university in Akron, Ohio. It is part of the University System of Ohio.[6] As a STEM-focused institution, it focuses on industries such as polymers, advanced materials, and engineering.[7] It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[8]

The University of Akron
Former names
Buchtel College (1870–1913)
Municipal University of Akron (1913–1966)[1]
MottoFiat Lux (Latin)
Motto in English
Let there be light
TypePublic research university
Established1870; 154 years ago (1870)
Parent institution
University System of Ohio
Academic affiliations
Endowment$235.3 million (2020)[2]
PresidentGary L. Miller
Academic staff
1,092 (2021) [3]
Undergraduates10,279 (2023) [4]
Postgraduates2,070 (2023) [4]
Location, ,
United States

41°04′31″N 81°30′41″W / 41.0752°N 81.5115°W / 41.0752; -81.5115
CampusUrban, 218 acres (0.88 km2)
ColorsBlue & gold[5]
   
NicknameZips
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FBSMAC
MascotZippy the Kangaroo
Websiteuakron.edu

The University of Akron offers about 200 undergraduate[9] and more than 100 graduate majors[10] and has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students. The university's School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is housed in a 12-story reflective glass building near downtown Akron on the western edge of the main campus. UA's Archives of the History of American Psychology[11] is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The university has three branch campuses: Wayne College in Orrville, Ohio; the Medina County University Center, in Lafayette Township, Ohio; and UA Lakewood, in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio. In addition, the university hosts nursing programs in affiliation with Lorain County Community College.[12]

History edit

 
John R. Buchtel, in front of Buchtel Hall

Buchtel College edit

In 1867, at the annual convention of the Universalist Church of the state of Ohio, the Committee on Education expressed an interest in founding a college compatible with Universalist religious principles. It was announced that the location would be given to those who could find an appropriate location and also supply $60,000 for the college. John R. Buchtel, a prominent Akron businessman and Universalist, promptly contributed $25,000 to the endowment fund and $6,000 to the building fund. This led other Akronites to donate, setting the goal and securing Akron as the location for Buchtel College, named after its greatest supporter. John R. Buchtel continued to be the college's most significant contributor, giving $500,000 over his lifetime, approximately equivalent to $16 million today. When the university opened in 1872 it was a single-building campus, housed in what is now known as "Old Buchtel." George Washington Crouse donated $10,000 of the $20,000 needed to build a new gymnasium, completed in 1888. It was named Crouse Gymnasium in his honor, and was known as "the finest gym west of the Alleghenies."[13]

Tragedy struck the small college on December 20, 1899, when Old Buchtel burned to the ground. Insurance only covered $65,000 of the estimated $100,000 in loss. While new campus buildings were being constructed, the Crouse Gymnasium was divided into seven classrooms and served as the college until a new Buchtel Hall was opened in 1901. The new Buchtel Hall, which itself was gutted by fire in 1971, survives to this day but had some blackening on the exterior up until a 2011 restoration.

20th century edit

In 1907, the college shed its Universalist affiliation and became a non-denominational institution, in order to be able to receive funds from the Carnegie Foundation, which would not give funds to religiously affiliated schools.[citation needed] In 1913, Buchtel College trustees transferred the institution and its assets to the city of Akron, and Buchtel College became the Municipal University of Akron. At this time, the enrollment was 198 students. Tax money levied for the school and Akron's growing population led to strong growth for the university. Over the next several decades the university continued to add new buildings to accommodate its growing student population, acquiring more land through purchases and donations. In 1963, Governor Jim Rhodes approved the university as a state-assisted institution. Enrollment in 1964 was 10,000 students. In 1967, it fully became a state university, providing its current name as The University of Akron. In 2015, 25,117 students were enrolled at the University of Akron.

Construction, dropping enrollment, and lay-offs edit

 
University of Akron's Student union at night

During the tenure (1999-2014) of its 15th president, Luis M. Proenza, the University of Akron underwent a $627 million construction project, called "A New Landscape for Learning."[14] A new football stadium, InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field, was also constructed on campus. The new stadium opened for its first game on September 12, 2009.[15] The stadium replaced the Rubber Bowl, which is 3 miles (4.8 km) from campus and was built in 1940.

The university purchased the Quaker Square Crowne Plaza Hotel and shopping complex and uses it as a residence hall space. The university did a land-swap with the city of Akron so that the city may find a new downtown hotel. This means the University of Akron campus is made up of 82 buildings on 222 acres (0.90 km2) near downtown Akron with a total property value of $1.84 billion.[16][17]

In 2015, the university eliminated over 200 positions as the result of a $6 million budget deficit. Subsequently, in May 2016, Moody's Investors Service, downrated the university's bonds from stable to negative, because of low enrollment and high debts and pension burdens.[18] Moody's upgraded the university's outlook to stable in 2018, citing improved enrollment, rising donations and steps to reduce expenses.[19] Still, between 2011 and 2020 the university's enrollment went down almost 40 percent,[20] from 25,190 in 2011 to 15,385 in 2020.[21]

On October 1, 2019, Gary Miller became Akron's 18th president; formerly the chancellor of University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, he was given a five-year contract with a base salary of $475,000, with an annual $25,000 in a deferred compensation plan, monthly stipends of $3,500 and $750 for housing and a car, and $36,000 for moving expenses.[22] In May 2020, president Miller announced that the university will consolidate its eleven academic colleges into five due to budget issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic;[23] the cut is meant to reduce administrative costs, and "the plan does not cut or change any degree program offerings."[24] The "redesign", as Miller called it, was termed a "bloodbath" by the faculty union president, and would eliminate "97 full-time professors out of about 570"; the union commented that "names were selected regardless of rank or tenure status".[25] One study suggested that "women and professors of color were laid off at a disproportionate rate".[20] After earlier layoffs and faculty taking early retirement, that added up to a loss of almost a quarter of the university's faculty since the start of the pandemic.[26] The university's chapter of the American Association of University Professors had advocated the university also consider cuts to athletics and leave NCAA Division I,[25] which had lost $215 million during that decade,[27] but the university said it would cut only $4.4 million from athletics.[25] The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in August 2022 that thirty-six of the professors who had been fired were hired back by the university, but as adjuncts, with a similar workload and lower pay--in one case, at $18,000 a year, one-third of their former salary.[20] In 2021, the Board of Trustees extended President Miller's contract, praising him for "consistent and decisive leadership". They increased the annual deferred compensation to $40,000, promised additional bonuses for 2025-2027 for a total of $107,000 if he remained on the job, and increased his housing and car stipends to $4,000 and $1,000, respectively.[28]

Relationship with tire and rubber industry edit

The tire and rubber industry and the University of Akron have an overlapping history. Historically, several rubber corporations, such as Goodyear, Firestone, General Tire and Rubber Company, and Goodrich, had their headquarters in Akron. In 1909, the world's first courses in rubber chemistry were offered at the university. The university is also credited with featuring the first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in the world, which was founded in 1988.[citation needed]

Academics edit

Academic rankings
National
THE / WSJ[29]> 600
U.S. News & World Report[30]361
Washington Monthly[31]434
Global
ARWU[32]Not Ranked
U.S. News & World Report[33]1,072

The University of Akron offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, ranging from certificate to doctoral programs. The largest college of the university is the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences. Bierce Library is the main campus library. It is named for Lucius Bierce, a Civil War era General, whose personal library constituted the first collection of the University Libraries.[34]

Academic divisions edit

 
E. J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on campus.

The University of Akron comprises the following colleges, schools, and campuses:

  • Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering and Polymer Science (includes School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering)
  • College of Health and Human Sciences
  • The Graduate School
  • School of Law
  • Williams Honors College
  • Wayne College

Undergraduate edit

 
Statue of Simon Perkins in front of the College of Business.

The university offers about 200 undergraduate majors. In conjunction with the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), the university offers an Early Assurance Pathway to the NEOMED MD program.[35] The University of Akron is also the first and only university in the nation to offer a baccalaureate program in corrosion engineering.[36]

Williams Honors College edit

The University of Akron Honors College students earn degrees from any of the four-year accredited colleges in the university while receiving special advisement and having the opportunity to live in the Honors Complex, a resident hall exclusively for honors students. The university announced on February 3, 2016, that the college was renamed in honor of Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams.[37]

Graduate edit

The University of Akron currently offers more than 105 graduate degrees to approximately 2,000 graduate students.[38] The graduate schools at the University of Akron variously offer the Master's degree, PhD, J.D., and LL.M., among others. The Cleveland Clinic and University of Akron have formed the Integrated Bioscience Fellowship in Biomedicine. Fellowships will allow students to conduct cutting-edge research at the University of Akron and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute while pursuing a PhD in Integrated Bioscience. Recipients of Fellowships will be able to work with faculty at both institutions.[39]

Law edit

The University of Akron School of Law was founded in 1921 as Akron Law School and became affiliated with the university in 1959, becoming fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1961.[40] It has both day and evening full-time and part-time programs that lead to the J.D. and LL.M. The University of Akron School of Law is also one of only 22 institutions in America to offer the LL.M. in intellectual property, and one of two such programs in Ohio.[41]

Research edit

Goodyear Polymer Center edit

 
Goodyear Polymer Center

The Goodyear Polymer Center (commonly referred to as "the polymer building"), is a 146,000 sq. ft. research facility, located at the university. Built by Richard Fleischman & Associates and completed in 1991, the center comprises two 12-story and nine-story towers connected by glass-enclosed walkways that serve as areas for informal interaction. It is the 8th tallest building in Akron. It contains eight large polymer synthesis groups, computer simulation and modeling capabilities, a microscopy suite, molecular and morphological characterization labs, surface analysis facilities, and thermal analysis and mechanical properties testing equipment.[42]

The Goodyear Polymer Center houses both the Department of Polymer Science and the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The building houses classrooms, approximately 60 labs, 20 faculty offices, and 25 offices with 200 modules arranged in clusters for students and researchers. It contains the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, the Paul J. Flory Reading Room, The International Rubber Science Hall of Fame portrait gallery, The Applied Polymer Research Center, and the 213-seat Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Auditorium.[43]

Other facilities edit

Athletics edit

 
The Akron Zips 2009 home opener against Morgan State.

The University of Akron's athletic teams are known as the "Zips," originally short for "Zippers," overshoes with zippers made in the 1920s and 1930s. The university's mascot is "Zippy," a kangaroo.[45] Zippy is one of eight female college mascots in the United States. Zippy won the title of Capital One National Mascot of the Year in 2007.[46]

Akron facilities include InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field, the James A. Rhodes Arena, and the FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

In football, Akron's major rivalry is with Kent State Golden Flashes. In 2005, the Akron Zips football team won their first MAC championship, allowing them to compete for the Motor City Bowl, Akron's first Division I-A bowl game appearance where they lost to the Memphis Tigers.

In soccer, the Akron Zips men's soccer team, ranked number one throughout the 2009 regular season, went undefeated, making it to the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship. The following season they secured the 2010 "College Cup" against the Louisville Cardinals. This was the first NCAA national team championship won by the Akron Zips.[47]

In 2009, the men's basketball team won the MAC Tournament title, defeating Buffalo in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena 65–53, thus qualifying Akron for its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1986 and first as a MAC member.[48] In 2010, the team reached the MAC Tournament Championship game for the fourth straight year, but lost in overtime.[49] The Zips played in the postseason CBI tournament where they lost to Wisconsin–Green Bay 70–66.[50] In 2022, the Zips defeated rival Kent State in the 2022 MAC men's basketball tournament championship to earn a spot in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, their fourth MAC tournament title overall and first title and NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013.

Greek life edit

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[51] Total
White 75% 75
 
Black 11% 11
 
Other[a] 5% 5
 
Hispanic 3% 3
 
Asian 3% 3
 
Foreign national 2% 2
 
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 38% 38
 
Affluent[c] 62% 62
 

The University of Akron has more than twenty fraternities and sororities.

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma was the oldest continuous sorority chapter on the campus, locally founded in 1877.[52] This organization suspended operation in 2022.
  • The Lone Star Fraternity (Pi Kappa Epsilon) was the oldest local fraternity in the United States,[citation needed] and the only chapter in existence. Lone Star Fraternity was founded by W.V.N. Yates on February 22, 1882. The 135th anniversary was celebrated in 2017. The organization suspended operation in 2021.[citation needed]
  • Alpha Delta Pi was founded on the University of Akron's campus as "Sigma Delta Theta" in 1920 and at the time it was the oldest local sorority on campus. Sigma Delta Theta later became the Beta Tau chapter of Alpha Delta Pi in 1938.[53]
  • The Ohio Epsilon chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, founded in 1875, is the oldest continuous Greek-letter organization on campus.[54]
  • Phi Kappa Tau was originally founded as Sigma Beta Nu in 1923.[55] The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics offers scholarships to men pursuing political science while being members of the organization.[56] Notable alumni include Ray C. Bliss, Congressman and mayor of Akron Tom Sawyer, retired president/CEO of Goodyear Aerospace Morris Jobe, and former mayors of Akron John Ballard and Roy Ray. The fraternity was incorporated into Phi Kappa Tau in 1938.

Notable alumni edit

Politics edit

  • Former Akron mayor and Ohio Congressman Thomas C. Sawyer attended undergraduate and graduate school there.
 
Judge Deborah Cook
 
Congressman Shri Thanedar

Athletics edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.

References edit

  1. ^ "1913-1966: The Municipal University of Akron". uakron.edu. University of Akron. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "Common Data Set" (PDF). University of Akron. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Enrollment Data". University of Akron. Retrieved January 14, 2024.
  5. ^ ""Colors"". Uakron.edu. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  6. ^ "College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering - The University of Akron". Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
  7. ^ "Strategic Plan - Report". Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  8. ^ "Carnegie Classifications Institution Lookup". carnegieclassifications.iu.edu. Center for Postsecondary Education. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "Academics & majors at UA : The University of Akron". uakron.edu.
  10. ^ "The University of Akron : An Error Occurred". uakron.edu. Archived from the original on July 1, 2005. Retrieved July 17, 2005.
  11. ^ "Center for the History of Psychology". The University of Akron Center for the History of Psychology.
  12. ^ "Lorain County Community College - University of Akron Bachelor's Degree Programs" Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved May 15, 2010
  13. ^ Old Crouse gym served Akron campus Ohio.com Retrieved September 12, 2010
  14. ^ "Campus Then and Now : The University of Akron". uakron.edu.
  15. ^ "Athletics Facilities - InfoCision Stadium". University of Akron Athletics.
  16. ^ Quick Facts: "Brief History of the University" Retrieved September 22, 2010
  17. ^ "Quick Facts" - uakron.edu Archived June 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 22, 2010
  18. ^ Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz, "U. of Akron's Financial Outlook Is Downgraded to 'Negative' by Moody's" Chronicle of Higher Education May 11, 2015, [1] accessed June 28, 2016
  19. ^ Farkas, Karen (March 20, 2018). "University of Akron's financial outlook upgraded to 'stable' by Moody's". cleveland.com. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  20. ^ a b c Myskow, Wyatt (August 9, 2022). "'An Assassination of Our Careers': How faculty layoffs have forever changed the University of Akron". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  21. ^ "Enrollment Summary Fall Semester 2020" (PDF). The University of Akron. Fall 2020. p. 2. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  22. ^ Goist, Robin (August 16, 2019). "University of Akron President-elect Gary Miller's base salary will be $475,000". Cleveland.com. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  23. ^ Goist, Robin (May 4, 2020). "University of Akron to eliminate six of 11 colleges as part of cost-saving measures due to coronavirus pandemic". cleveland.com. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  24. ^ Goist, Robin (May 29, 2020). "University of Akron trustees approve plan to consolidate colleges to cut costs due to coronavirus pandemic". Cleveland.com. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  25. ^ a b c Flaherty, Colleen (July 16, 2020). "Budget 'Bloodbath' at University of Akron: Governing board votes to eliminate 97 full-time faculty positions". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  26. ^ McLean, Danielle (July 15, 2020). "With Latest Layoffs, U. of Akron Has Lost Almost a Quarter of Its Faculty Since Pandemic Began". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  27. ^ "Position Paper on Athletics Spending at The University of Akron (Executive Summary)". Akron AAUP. July 5, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  28. ^ Pignolet, Jennifer (October 6, 2021). "University of Akron trustees approve contract extension, deferred bonus for President Gary L. Miller". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  29. ^ "2024 Best Colleges in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  30. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  31. ^ "2023 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  32. ^ "ShanghaiRanking's 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  33. ^ "2022-23 Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  34. ^ Info on Libraries Archived April 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 10, 2009
  35. ^ "Bacc/M.D. 2+2+4 Pathway : The University of Akron". www.uakron.edu. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  36. ^ Farkas, Karen (June 21, 2016). "University of Akron shows off corrosion research center". cleveland.com. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  37. ^ UA announces the Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College Accessed February 3, 2016
  38. ^ "The Graduate School". uakron.edu.
  39. ^ "Graduate Programs at the Lerner Research Institute and University of Akron". ccf.org.
  40. ^ ABA Info Archived April 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 22, 2009
  41. ^ "LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law" index Archived April 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on June 22, 2009
  42. ^ Home page for the College of Polymer Science and Engineering Archived April 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved May 15, 2010
  43. ^ Building info at College of Polymer Science and Engineering Archived February 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved May 15, 2010
  44. ^ "Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics : The University of Akron". www.uakron.edu. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  45. ^ "Zippy's home page : The University of Akron". uakron.edu.
  46. ^ "University of Akron's Zippy Named Capital One Mascot of the Year". Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  47. ^ "Zips Win National Championship". www.ohiomm.com. December 12, 2010. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010.
  48. ^ "Freshman guard Hitchens sparks Akron to its first NCAA tourney berth since 1986". ESPN.com.
  49. ^ "Ohio overcomes Akron in overtime, earns improbable NCAA tournament bid". ESPN.com.
  50. ^ "Green Bay Phoenix vs. Akron Zips - Box Score - March 17, 2010 - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  51. ^ "College Scorecard: University of Akron". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  52. ^ "Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma". kappakappagamma.org. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  53. ^ "ADPi". alphadeltapi.org. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  54. ^ "Our Chapter - Ohio Epsilon". phideltatheta.org.
  55. ^ "Home". www.akronphitau.com. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  56. ^ Ohio, The University of Akron. "Scholarships". The University of Akron, Ohio. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  57. ^ "National party leadership comes once again from UA".
  58. ^ "Thanedar tests his way to $16 million". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  59. ^ "Quinn and Brenes Join MLS Ranks On Day Two Of SuperDraft". gozips.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  60. ^ Beaven, Michael. "World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber turns pro, forgoes final year of eligibility at UA by signing contract with Nike". www.ohio.com. Retrieved October 8, 2015.

External links edit