University of New Orleans, often locally called
UNO, is a medium sized public urban university located in New Orleans,
University Center, UNO main campus
It is a member of the LSU System
and the Urban
and is currently headed by Chancellor Timothy P. Ryan.
University of New Orleans, originally called Louisiana State
University in New Orleans, was legally established by Act 60
of the 1956 Louisiana Legislature, in the wake of a citizens’
movement to bring tax-supported higher education to the
Greater New Orleans, with more than a
fourth of the state’s population, was without a public college or
university until that time. As a branch campus of Louisiana State
University in Baton Rouge, LSUNO was conceived as a liberal arts
college for commuting students, which might within a few years
develop into a true urban university.
campus site was acquired when the US Navy relocated its air station on the
shore of Lake Pontchartrain in late 1957 and the Orleans Levee Board leased it
to the LSU Board of Supervisors.
A quick renovation of
barracks, service clubs, and other existing facilities made it
possible to begin classes in September 1958, a year ahead of the
original schedule. The inaugural convocation was held in a vacant
aircraft hangar. This event marked the opening of the first
racially integrated, public university in the South. A total of
1,460 students, all freshmen and double the number originally
anticipated, arrived for this occasion.
By September 1961, when the new school had become a full four-year
institution, the enrollment exceeded 3,000, and the faculty had
grown from the original 63 to 150 members. A Junior Division had
been established for the academic administration of freshmen, and
senior academic divisions had been established in liberal arts, in
sciences, and in business administration. Dr.
Homer L. Hitt
, the first employee and
the chief administrative officer, had been promoted from Dean of
LSUNO to Vice President of LSU in Charge of LSUNO.
Two new permanent buildings, the Liberal Arts Building and the
Sciences Building, and a central utilities plant were completed and
in operation by the time of the first commencement in the spring of
1962. The architectural style, established by master planners, was
described as a modern adaptation of Louisiana tradition. The first
commencement was held in a circus tent temporarily erected on the
campus for that purpose. The initial class of graduating seniors
In the summer of 1962, the senior academic divisions were
designated colleges. In 1963, a school of education was
established, as well as an evening division and a graduate
division. The Vice President in Charge was designated Chancellor,
following the establishment of an LSU System of Higher Education.
This signaled the end of LSUNO’s status as a branch of the Baton
Rouge campus. The school of education became the College of
Education in 1964. In 1966, the graduate division became the
To the original site, a strip along its western boundary was added
in 1963. This land was also acquired from the Orleans Levee Board,
and it brought the total campus area to . Still more land was
obtained in 1964, half a mile (800 m) east on the Lakefront, when
the United States Army abandoned its Camp Leroy Johnson facility
and the Levee Board made this site, too, available to the
University. A parcel of this site was released to the Gulf South
Research Institute in 1965. The remaining East Campus subsequently
became the location of a Special Education Center, various outdoor
sports facilities, and a multipurpose Senator Nat G. Kiefer/UNO
In September, 1969, when the enrollment exceeded 10,000, LSUNO
became the second- largest university in Louisiana. By this time it
had developed into a large academic complex embracing several
colleges, schools, and institutes, offering graduate work in many
different fields and awarding both the masters and the Ph.D.
degree. Moreover, a residence hall for both men and women had been
completed. In February, 1974, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved
a name change, and LSUNO became the University of New Orleans. The
new name more accurately defined the institution as the
metropolitan campus of the LSU System.
By the fall of 1983, UNO had an enrollment exceeding 16,000 and had
five senior colleges: Liberal Arts, Sciences, Education, Business
Administration, and Engineering, in addition to its Junior Division
and Graduate School. It also had a School of Urban and Regional
Studies; a School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration;
a School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering; and various
centers, institutes and divisions for specialized research. A new
Metropolitan College offered courses at off-campus locations in the
evening hours, as well as credit and non-credit work in the evening
on the campus. It also administered the nation’s largest summer
program in Europe, UNO Innsbruck, which had been a continuing
success since the early 1970s. In an administrative reorganization
in 1988, the Junior Division was replaced by a system that enrolled
all incoming students in one of the senior colleges or
Currently, the UNO main campus contains twenty-three permanent
buildings plus a dormitory, a housing complex for married students
and a complex of contemporary, apartment-styled, student-housing
units. Land has been set aside for a new dormitory complex and
fraternity and sorority houses. The Chemical Sciences Building
opened in 1997, a state-of-the-art Recreation and Fitness Center
opened in 2001, and the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitors Center
(named for our founding Chancellor) opened in 2003. The Alumni
Center is built around a red brick smokestack, one of the few
reminders of the naval air base that became the UNO main campus.
Completion of Kirschman Hall, which will house the College of
Business Administration, is expected in Spring 2005. A six
building, University-sponsored Research and Technology Park is
adjacent to the main campus. The East campus, approximately one
mile from the main campus, houses athletic fields, the Alumni and
Development Center, and the Senator Nat G. Kiefer UNO Lakefront
Arena and is the location for a planned Teleplex Building that will
house both of New Orleans’ public television stations, a public
radio station, and video broadcast training space for UNO students.
UNO owns satellite campuses in downtown New Orleans, in the suburbs
of Jefferson Parish, and in Slidell, in neighboring St. Tammany
parish. UNO’s Ogden Museum of Southern Art is located in the Arts
District near the central business district. UNO is in the process
of revising its Master Plan to include additional, state-of-the art
student housing, a new University Center, Phase Two of the Research
and Technology Park, and new landscaping and student-centered
outdoor learning spaces.
The University of New Orleans has grown to become a major urban
research university. Categorized as an SREB Four-Year 2
institution, as a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University-Intensive,
and as a COC/SACS Level VI institution, its students now enjoy a
broad range of academic programs nearly one-quarter of which are at
the masters or doctoral level. In addition, extracurricular
activities, including NCAA Division One intercollegiate athletics,
an extensive program of intramural sports, and frequent exhibits
and programs in music, drama, ballet, and the fine arts round out
the student experience. Culturally, socially, economically, and
intellectually, the University of New Orleans is one of the major
assets of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. The
University has conferred over 66,000 degrees since the first
graduating class of 118 in 1962.
- UNO's colors are Royal Blue (PMS Reflex Blue) and Silver (PMS
- The mascot is the Privateer
- Approximately 12,000 students; 9,000 undergraduate and 3,000
- About 9.1 percent of UNO students come from the 49 other U.S.
states and 97 other countries
- Located on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, only 15
minutes from the French Quarter, UNO occupies a campus in one of
the finest residential areas of the city
- 526 full-time and 172 part-time faculty members. Approximately
80 percent of the faculty hold doctorates
- The student-faculty ratio is 18:1 (full time student to full
time faculty 16:1)
- Average class size is 22
- ACT Code = 1591 SAT Code = 6379
- Financial Aid Title IV Code = 002015
- UNO's on-campus apartments, Privateer Place.
UNO has six colleges within the university:
- College of Business Administration
- College of Education and Human Development
- College of Engineering
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science
- Metropolitan College
The university has six campuses in the New Orleans metropolitan area
- Lakefront Campus, the main
campus, located at the Lake Pontchartrain end of Elysian
Fields Avenue on the former site of U.S. Naval Air Station
- Research and Technology Park adjacent to the
main campus on the former site of the Pontchartrain Beach amusement park
- East Campus at the corner of Franklin Avenue
and Leon C. Simon Boulevard; includes the Nat G. Kiefer UNO
Lakefront Arena and Maestri Field at Privateer Park, UNO's
basketball and baseball facilities former site of Camp Leroy Johnson
- Downtown Center
- Jefferson Center
- Slidell Campus
The future of athletics at New Orleans is in question. The athletic
department faces a $1 million dollar annual shortfall. An increased
athletic fee was proposed to make up the short fall but was voted
down by students in April 2009. The university competed in 15
sports before Katrina and the subsequent drop in enrollment. It now
fields seven sports teams. NCAA Division I
requires schools to field at least 14
teams. The university faces the options of dropping all athletics
at the university, changing divisions or raising millions for the
department in the private sector.
On August 29, 2005, the University suffered damage due to Hurricane Katrina
. The main campus is on
relatively high ground and the damage was caused mostly by winds,
rain-driven-water, and human activity during the storm. (The
University was used as an evacuation point and staging area by the
National Guard.) A levee breach on the London Avenue Canal
occurred just a few
blocks south of the main campus and caused the flooding of the
first floor of the Bienville Hall dormitories, the Lafitte Village
couples apartments, and the Engineering
UNO was the first of the large, damaged universities in New Orleans
to re-open, albeit virtually, by using web-based courses starting
in October 2005 . The university was able to offer classes in the
fall semester immediately following Hurricane Katrina at satellite
campuses; the main campus re-opened in December 2005.
Because of hurricane damage and reduced enrollment, Chancellor Ryan
declared "financial exigency". This allowed the university to
restructure its departments, colleges, and programs. Restructuring
involved the elimination of several programs of study and layoffs
of some faculty and staff members. 
Lower enrollments since the storm have
complicated the rebuilding process.
On July 9, 2009 Chancellor Timothy P. Ryan announce that 30
staffers will lose their jobs, mainly from the Metro College. 9
senior staff positions were also elimated as well as 20 vacant
positions for faculty and 50 vacant staff positions. UNO also cut
subsidy to UNO athletics and other various support centers on
campus. Also UNO forced about 20 staffers to take an early
retirement. Also UNO announced the closing of its Downtown
- Walter Boasso - Former Louisiana state senator from
St. Bernard Parish who made
national headlines for fighting to combine levee boards in
southeast Louisiana; gubernatorial candidate in 2007, Democrat.
- Randy Bush - former Major League baseball player; member
of 1987 and 1991 World Series champion
- Joel Chaisson - President of the
Louisiana State Senate,
- James H. Clark - co-founder of Silicon Graphics, Inc., and Netscape Communications
- Carl Crane - former state
representative from Baton Rouge, 1984-2008, Republican.
- Ellen DeGeneres - American
actress, stand-up comedian.
- Jim Donelon - former state
representative, former president of Jefferson Parish, and current
state insurance commissioner.
DuBos - columnist, editor and owner of Gambit Weekly, New Orleans' alternative
- Djuan Edgerton - entrepreneur,
co-founder of No Limit
Communications and Skybar New Orleans
- Reggie Fontenot - poet.
- Eugene Grace- Geospatial Analyst
3001 International, A Northrop Grumman Company.
- Peter Halley - painter.
- Chris Hazel -
Republican state representative from Rapides Parish since 2008.
- Ervin Johnson - current National Basketball
- James Letten - U.S. Attorney for the
Eastern district of Louisiana.
- Paul Mainieri -
current Louisiana State University head baseball coach.
- Renny Martyn - contestant on
Big Brother 10
- Dawn Richard - Singer/Songwriter
formally of Danity Kane, member of Dirty Money.
- Jeffrey D. Sadow - political scientist, columnist, professor at
University in Shreveport
- Brian Seeger - Jazz musician and
producer. Assistant Professor UNO Jazz Studies Division
- Joe Slusarski - former Major League baseball player
- Roy C. Strickland -- businessman and politician in Louisiana and later The Woodlands,
- Taryn Terrell - current WWE Diva working on the ECW
- Ly Tong - Vietnamese American anti-Communist freedom fighter
- Brian Traxler - former Major League baseball player
- James Wayne "Jim"
Tucker - first Republican to become Speaker of the Louisiana House of
Representatives since Reconstruction,
effective January 14, 2008
- Norbert Wabnig - owner of The Cheese
Store of Beverly Hills
- Diane Winston -
Republican member of the Louisiana House from St. Tammany
Parish from 1996-2008]].