The University of Texas at Tyler (also referred to as UT Tyler) is a coeducational public university located in Tyler, Texas, United States. Founded in 1971, it is a component institution of the University of Texas System.
UT Tyler consists of four professional colleges and one traditional college of arts and sciences, offering over 90 academic degree programs at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. The University of Texas at Tyler is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university has a student body of 6,700, a 17:1 student to faculty ratio, and a park-like campus centered around Harvey Lake.
The University of Texas at Tyler was founded in 1971 as Tyler State College. The school was renamed Texas Eastern University in 1975, and then joined the University of Texas System in 1979 as a result of action by the 66th Texas Legislature. Initially, UT Tyler was a "senior" level institution ("senior" as compared to community or junior colleges), teaching only upper division undergraduate courses for juniors & seniors, as well as graduate level courses, and granting bachelors and masters degrees. Thus, until 1998, all U.T. Tyler students were transfer students from other institutions of higher learning—junior colleges or other universities. In 1997, the 75th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1795, signed into law by Governor George W. Bush, authorizing the school to add classes for freshmen and sophomore students. As of the Fall semester 1998, UT Tyler became a 4-year and graduate institution, following the full U.S. university pattern, i.e. educating students from the freshman level through graduate and postgraduate levels.
The university's majors include Nursing, Music, Education, Business Management, Communications, Accounting, Marketing, Finance, Biology, English, History, Economics, Health & Kinesiology, Computer Science and Information Systems, and Engineering (Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical). Additionally, UT Tyler offers doctoral studies in Nursing, and one of the only PhD programs in Human Resource Development in the United States.
UT Tyler's main campus is located on 204 acres (0.826 km2), just inside the eastern city limits of Tyler, Texas. The UT Tyler campus is less than 40 years old, with a modern, master-planned and integrated architectural style of buildings. Because of vigorous growth in enrollment, many new buildings and sports facilities have been constructed at the main campus since 1995. Once located well outside the city's corporate limits, by 2005, the campus was almost completely surrounded by residential housing, and is therefore limited to expansion within its current boundaries.
One of the most prominent features of the UT Tyler campus is the Riter Tower, an 88-foot (27 m) carillon featuring 57 bells. The tower was built with a $1.35 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. A.W. "Dub" Riter Jr. The instrument is not a true carillon, however; there is no console connected directly to the bells. All playing is done on a keyboard in a separate building. The title of largest carillon in Texas goes to the Kniker Carillon at The University of Texas at Austin in the Main Building (Tower); the Austin instrument also boasts a much larger tonnage than the one of Riter Tower.
The Herrington Patriot Center includes a state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio-theater and circuit training, racquetball courts, heated pool and spa, indoor walking/jogging track, and gymnasium/convocation area with basketball/volleyball court and seating for 2,300.
The R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center attracts a wide array of cultural entertainment, and 26,000 patrons attend the performances annually.
On-campus housing options include one dormitory, Ornelas Hall, and two apartment complexes, Patriot Village, which is owned by UT Tyler, and University Pines, which is owned by an outside company but works in conjunction with the college.
UT Tyler offers over 80 student organizations including Greek fraternities and sororities.
Notable alumni and former students
Bryan Hughes - Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Wood County since 2003
Allen R. Morris - Emmy Award winning producer/director/writer; formerly with KLTV; frequent actor at Tyler Civic Theatre from 1979 to 1990; attended marketing and communications courses in early 80's while working on a Master's Degree.
Casey Plummer – Caldwell Zoo veterinary technician whose discovery of a protozoan parasite may help save Attwater’s Prairie Chickens from extinction. (Source: Vet Tech Finds New Life Form at Texas Zoo; redOrbit; March 19, 2009; http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1654487/vet_tech_finds_new_life_form_at_texas_zoo/index.html)
Chris Curtis (B.S. Broadcast Journalism 2009)- News Reporter KEZI Eugene Oregon
UT Tyler competes in the American Southwest Conference of the NCAA's Division III. Both the men's and women's sports teams are referred to as the Patriots.
UT Tyler participates in the following fifteen sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Since 2005, UT Tyler student-athletes have won 29 American Southwest Conference Championships, 29 ASC East Division championships, made 32 team appearances in the NCAA postseason and had 26 students earn All-America or Academic All-America Honors.
In May, 2007, UT Tyler finished their four-year provisional status with the NCAA as a new athletic program. In September 2007, the Patriots became full members of the NCAA, and for the first time eligible for national rankings and NCAA postseason events.
UT Tyler student athletes have been found to earn a higher grade point ratio than the student body as a whole.