Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Mystique of Utah State University


[Image: 500px-Utah_State_University_Seal.svg.png]

The Mystique of Utah State University

By Dane Thomas
The Daily Magi
Steptember 18, 2041


Utah State University (USU) is a public research university located in Logan, Utah. It is a land-grant and space-grant institution and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Founded in 1888 as Utah's agricultural college, USU focused on agriculture, domestic arts, and mechanic arts. The university now offers programs in liberal arts, engineering, business, economics, natural resource sciences, as well as nationally ranked elementary & secondary education programs. The university has eight colleges and offers a total of 176 bachelor's degrees, 97 master's degrees, and 38 doctoral degrees. USU has grown extensively in the 21st century, which has been marked by a successful $400 million fundraising campaign and record levels of enrollment.

USU's main campus is located in Logan with regional campuses in Brigham City, Tooele, and the Uintah Basin. In 2010, the College of Eastern Utah, located in Price, Utah joined the USU system becoming Utah State University College of Eastern Utah (USU Eastern). Throughout Utah, USU operates more than 20 distance education centers. Regional campuses, USU Eastern, and distance education centers provide degrees to more than 40% of the students enrolled. In total, USU has more than 180,000 alumni in all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

With more than 16,000 students living on or near campus, USU is the largest public residential campus in Utah. USU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Utah State Aggies. They are currently members of the Western Athletic Conference but will join the Mountain West Conference in summer 2013.

POn December 16, 1861, Justin Morrill (VT) introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives, "to establish at least one college in each state upon a sure and perpetual foundation, accessible to all, but especially to the sons of toil..." President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act into effect in July of the following year. Meanwhile, after visiting a few rural agricultural schools in his native Denmark, Anthon H. Lund of the Utah Territorial Legislature decided that there existed in Utah a need for such a school fusing the highest in scientific and academic research with agriculture, the way of life for the vast majority of locals. Upon returning to the states, Lund heard about the Morrill Act, and pitched a vision for the college that would receive widespread support among the Territorial Legislature, who was at the time seeking to reapply for statehood. Now there came the question of location. According to historian Joel Ricks in 1938, "Provo had received the Insane Asylum, Salt Lake City had the University and Capitol, and the majority of the legislature felt that the new institutions should be given to Weber and Cache Counties." Citizens in Logan, Cache County, banded together and successfully lobbied representatives for the honor. The bill to establish the Agricultural College of Utah was passed on March 8, 1888, and on September 2, 1890, 14-year-old Miss Vendla Berntson enrolled as its first student.

In its early years, the college narrowly dodged two major campaigns to consolidate its operations with the University of Utah. Much controversy arose in response to President William J. Kerr's expansion of the college's scope beyond its agricultural roots. Detractors in Salt Lake City feared that such an expansion would come at the expense of the University of Utah, and pushed consolidation as a counter. In 1907, an agreement was struck to instead limit the curricula of the Agricultural College strictly to agriculture, domestic science, and mechanic arts. This meant closing all departments in Logan, including the already-impressive music department, which did not fall under that umbrella. Consequently, the University of Utah became solely responsible, for a time, for courses in engineering, law, medicine, fine arts, and pedagogy, despite the Agricultural College's initial charter in 1888 which mandated that it offer instruction in such things. The bulk of the curricular restrictions were lifted over the next two decades, with the exception of law and medicine, which have since remained the sole property of the University of Utah.

mid the tumult, the Agricultural College grew modestly, adding its statewide Extension program in 1914. A year later, the first master's degrees were awarded.[12] UAC, as it was commonly abbreviated, also received a notable boost as a direct result of World War I. Colleges and universities nationwide were temporarily transformed into training grounds for the short-lived Student Army Training Corps, composed of students who received military instruction and could then return to their educations following their military service. As the then-tiny campus could not otherwise support such large numbers of new students, college president Elmer Peterson convinced the state in 1918 to appropriate funds for permanent brick buildings, which could be used as barracks for SATC students during the war, and instruction afterward. Though the war was soon to end, the campus essentially doubled in size.

The 1920s and 1930s saw the genesis of major growth. A School of Education was added in 1928, a prelude to the institution being renamed Utah State Agricultural College in 1929. Doctoral degrees were first granted in 1950. In 1957, the school was granted university status as Utah State University of Agriculture and Applied Science;[12] but the short name Utah State University is used even in official documents. At the beginning of World War II, Utah State was one of six colleges selected by the United States Navy to give a Primary School in the highly unusual Electronics Training Program (ETP). Starting 23 March 1942, and each month thereafter, a new group of 100 Navy students arrived for three months of 14-hour days in concentrated electrical engineering study. Smart Gymnasium was converted to a dormitory, and Old Main was fitted out for classrooms and laboratories. Larry S. Cole was named Program Director and Waldo G. Hobson was the Director of Instruction. ETP admission required passing the Eddy Test, one of the most selective qualifying exams given during the war years. At a given time, some 300 Navy students were on the campus, greatly augmenting the war-years regular enrollment of 1000. Sidney R. Stock had earlier developed the Radio and Aviation Department, and entered the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander to assist in organizing electronics training. He was a member of the committee in Washington that planned the ETP, and shortly returned to Utah State as the Officer-in-Charge. The ETP Primary School continued at Utah State until August 1944, graduating about 2,750 students in 30 classes.

During the late 1970s, controversy again erupted on campus surrounding the school's historically large Iranian population. As U.S. relations with Iran began to deteriorate throughout the decade, Iranian students on campus began staging protests against the Shah, which protests met with some backlash in the community. Following the outbreak of the hostage crisis of 1979, immigration officials arrived on campus to interview each Iranian, an event which alienated many international and domestic students. For a time, the population of Middle Eastern students declined sharply and has only recently begun to rise again.

Toward the end of the 20th century, Utah State began taking more strides to shed its reputation as a small regional college and transform itself into a nationally prominent university. Under the auspices of President George Emert, who served at USU's helm from 1992 to 2000, the university's endowment increased from $7 million to $80 million. Scholarships, contracts, and grants increased substantially as well. Recently, especially under the tenure of current president Stan Albrecht, USU has forged collaborations with several foreign institutions and governments. The university is continuing to grow in terms of enrollment, endowment, and research. The Merrill-Cazier Library opened in 2005, and other facilities have followed. In 2010, USU acquired both the Swaner EcoCenter outside Park City as well as the former College of Eastern Utah, with its two campuses and various undergraduate and vocational programs. In 2012, the university successfully concluded a $400 million fundraising campaign—the largest ever at USU—which Albrecht said will go down in history as one of USU's most pivotal moments.

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