The University of Bridgeport, commonly referred to as UB, is a private, independent, non-sectarian, coeducational university located on the Long Island Sound in the South End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE). The University is known for its diverse student population, currently ranking as the eleventh most racially diverse national university in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The students of the University of Bridgeport are from 80 countries and 46 states. In 2010, the percentage of students graduating that had participated in an English as a foreign or second language (ESL) program was one of the nation's highest at 5%.
Connection to P. T. Barnum
The stately old Victorian homes on campus date from the late 1800s to early 1900s â" many owned by family and friends of showman P. T. Barnum.
Expansion and decline
The university grew rapidly in the 1960s by capitalizing on the increased number of people seeking to attend a U.S. college resulting from the baby boom, Vietnam War veterans eligible for a higher education under the G.I. Bill, and international students who wanted to attend college in the United States. Enrollment peaked at 9100 students in 1969, and an Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership was added in 1979. Enrollment declined in the 1970s and 1980s after the waves of baby boom and Vietnam era veterans eligible for the G.I. Bill declined. By 1990, the university had cut tuition, room and board fees to $18,000 per year, but the school's reputation had not improved. More than a third of the 50 campus buildings were empty. To cut costs, the university decided to terminate 50 tenured faculty, and asked the other faculty to accept a 30% wage cut. In addition, the university decided to eliminate its Liberal Arts College, alienating many students. This led to the longest faculty strike in the history of American higher education. Dr. Greenwood, the president at the time, quit abruptly, and around 1,000 students left the school, contributing to the cash crisis.
Financial Assistance from the PWPA
In 1990, discussion began about affiliating or possibly merging the university with either the University of New Haven or Sacred Heart University. The university was approached by the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), an affiliate of the Unification Church, but its offer to bail out the university was spurned by the trustees who said the school was "not going to have anything to do with the offer" and were concerned that such an affiliation would damage the university's reputation.
Problems continued to plague the University; enrollment fell to 1,300 in 1991. Debt rose to over $22 million in 1991â"92. Serious plans to merge the university with Sacred Heart fell through in 1992; the law school instead wanted to associate with Quinnipiac University, but Sacred Heart maintained that any takeover would have to include the Law School. There were other universities willing to take over the school, but were unwilling to take on its debt. The university's charter required the trustees to enter into "serious negotiations", and they accepted the offer, giving the PWPA sixteen spots as trustees, constituting a majority. The PWPA invested $50.5 million in the university on May 30, 1992, enabling the university to keep its accreditation.
A two-year faculty strike, started in the midst of the university's financial troubles, intensified when the trustees gave control to the PWPA. Eventually, sixty-six professors and librarians agreed to a "divorce" with the university in return for compensation of up to a year's salary. In a similar move, the Law School decided to cut ties with the university, separating from it. In order for the law school to remain open it had to merge with a financially sound university. The law school faculty and students voted to merge with Quinnipiac University and the name was officially changed to the Quinnipiac University School of Law.
After the PWPA assumed control of the university, the trustees retained the president at the time, Dr. Edwin G. Eigel, Jr. (1932â"2008). Eigel served as president until 1995. He was succeeded by distinguished professor and former PWPA president Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, who served from 1995 to 1999. Neil Albert Salonen, a member of the Unification Church, was the Chairman of the University's Board of Trustees when he was chosen to serve as ninth University president in 1999. He had earlier managed several Unification Church related organizations, and had served as President of the Unification Church of the United States from 1973 to 1980, and as Chairman of the International Cultural Foundation, prior to becoming the chief executive of the university.
Since 2003 the University has been financially independent from PWPA after having received funding from the PWPA from 1992 until 2002. It has remained non-sectarian throughout.
21st century growth
Enrollment has grown dramatically in recent years, from 1,383 total students in 1992 to 5,323 students in fall 2008. In 1991, the school added a Chiropractic Program, the first university-affiliated program of its kind in the U.S. Additional doctoral programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Computer Science and Engineering were added in 1996 and 2006. The Physician Assistant Institute matriculated its first class at the University in January 2011 In 2014, the school partnered with the Peace Corps to offer New England's first Peace Corps Preparatory Program. At present the program has Accreditation-continued status with the relevant accreditor Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant and its next review is 2020.
In its 2012 rankings, University of Bridgeport placed in Tier 2 of National Universities, by U.S. News and World Report, with a 57.5% acceptance rate. According to the university's website incoming students have an average GPA of 2.8, and an average SAT score of 1000 (Math and Verbal), 80% go on to get their masters. In its 2006 annual college rankings, The Washington Monthly ranked University of Bridgeport 147th of all 245 National universities, with criteria based on research, community service, and social mobility. The University of Bridgeport is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The University is also accredited by the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.
Academic programs range from Associate degrees in areas such as Business Administration and Dental Hygiene, to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees in areas such as Accounting, Psychology, Graphic Design, Computer Science, Biology, Music, Computer Engineering, and International Business. The school also offers Masters and Doctoral programs in areas such as Counseling, Electrical Engineering, Naturopathic Medicine, and Education. UB also has adult and continuing education/distance learning programs on their main campus, as well as their Stamford and Waterbury branch campuses, with a total of 125 different programs of study.
For undergraduates, as of 2004, the school has started an honors program that allows for the awarding of an honors degree upon graduation, if certain honors course requirements and academic standards (such as a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0) have been maintained. The program also offers additional course options to students enrolled in the honors program.
As of 2014 the university consists of thirteen schools, institutes and colleges:
Best Online Degree Programs By U.S.News & World Report
In its 2013 rankings, The Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Program at University of Bridgeport ranked #4 by U.S. News & World Report and it was ranked # 1 in its 2012 rankings while the online bachelor's degree program at UB ranked #12 by U.S. News & World Report, the ranking is based on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates, and academic and career support services offered to students. Also, the online master in engineering degree program at UB has been placed as #16 by U.S.News & World Report in its 2013 rankings.
Active Student Organizations And Clubs
The University of Bridgeport has over 50 clubs and student organizations, as well as numerous intramural sports teams. Clubs and organizations on campus include:
The University of Bridgeport competes in NCAA Division II athletics and has 8 Women's sports, and 5 Men's sports.
In 2012, The University of Bridgeport womenâs gymnastics team won their fourth straight USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. Also, in 2013 UB womenâs gymnastics team won their fifth consecutive USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship.
To address concerns of safety both on and off campus, the University has instituted a program where students are issued a portable alarm unit (PAL) that pinpoints their position and enables campus security to get to them in under two minutes. This system works immediately on the university campus, and in the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Further, the Campus Security Department has 40 unarmed personnel that provide security services 24 hours a day, with both on-foot and on bicycle patrols. The University has been the recipient of the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award.
Bridgeport's seal combines 4 core elements of its traditions and distinct character. In the upper left quadrant, the lamp of learning, which has been an element of the official Bridgeport's seal since 1931, is shown. In the upper right quadrant of the seal, the tree of life is shown, symbolizing personal and institutional growth. The lower left shows Bridgeport's seascape, illustrating the universityâs campus on Long Island Sound. The lower right quadrant shows the Perry Arch, representing tradition, solid foundations, and performance.
- Ellen Alemany, CEO, chairman and CFO of Citizens Financial Group. Alemany is presently the only female CEO of top 10 United States bank.
- Ivan BarbaliÄ, Permanent Representative to the United Nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Manute Bol, former professional basketball player, one of the best shot blockers in NBA history and one of the tallest people in the world.
- Julius Boros, former professional golfer, winner of 18 PGA Tour events
- Fred DeLuca, co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich restaurants
- George Dixon, former professional football player, collegiate football coach, and Canadian Football Hall of Fame member
- Kenichi Ebina, winner of America's Got Talent (season 8)
- Michael J. Jarjura, Mayor of the City of Waterbury, Connecticut
- Bill Smitrovich, an American actor.
- John Rassias, linguist and Dartmouth faculty member
- Dennis Walcott, past Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education
- Dave Weckl Acclaimed jazz drummer
- Bob Kamelowicz Former college and NFL football coach.
- Robert V. Bruce, 1988 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History
- Bill Finegan, composer
- Richard L. Rubenstein, religious writer
- James Shomate, pianist
- Igor Sikorsky, aviation pioneer
- Clark L. Wilson, psychologist
- John Worley, saxophonist
- Official website
- Official athletics website
- University of Bridgeport YouTube Channel