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A Look at UCBA's History Shows Growth and Demographic Changes

By Ben Rigney, Activist Staff
On December 9, 2015

The University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College opened its doors on September 25, 1967. Then it was called the Raymond-Walters branch, with a whopping 700 students. The college is coming up on its 50th anniversary in the 2017-2018 school year. With this rich history, you might wonder how much UCBA has changed over the years. Obviously the student body has grown, but how much has the school changed culturally or otherwise?

The school’s history started in 1955, where the City of Cincinnati bought land for an airport that failed and 10 years later UC bought the land to build an off campus school, Raymond Walters College. Now, a buliding on campus carries his named. Muntz is named after Ernest Muntz, who was named the dean in 1968. 
In this article I will sum up demographical changes within the school over the years as well as major landmarks changing on campus.
In 1977, the school had a heavy majority of female students at 67% compared to the male 33%. The school also heavily focused on students taking evening classes with 46% of the student body only coming in at night. There was an 8% minority percentage and 69% of studnets were part time. The school had expanded exponentially from 1967 with 3,384 students. Regarding age, 36% of students were 20 years or older.
Ten years later, in 1987, the school had grown to 3,713 students. Of this number there was a majority of 65% female and 35% male, relatively similar to the number in 1977. One figure to significantly change was the number of students taking evening classes only, dropping to 9%. Regarding age, 48% of students were over 20, up from the previous figure of 36% in 1977.
At this time, in 1987, Raymond-Walters celebrated its 20th anniversary. Dean Muntz retired in 1990 and was replaced by Dean Bardes in 1992. During the early 90s the busing system was introduced as well as Ray’s Café.

In 1997, another ten years later, the school had expanded to 3,576 students with a large majority of 70% female student body and 30% male. Only 39% of students were full time with 61% part time. The number of minority students had increased to 13%.

Also in 1997, the much anticipated science building was started, the Science and Allied Health Building. It was completed in 1999, the first new building on campus for 25 years. A couple years later in 2001, the infamous sculpture was completed in the common area and the Blue Ash Elementary school construction began.

Dean Barnes retires in 2003 and was replaced by Dean Straker. A year later, in 2004, the Vet-Tech Building opens. Bearcat Television began in 2005.

In 2007, the student body had grown to 4,257 students with a first time majority of full time students at 53%. The number of minority students had also grown to 20%, with 51% taking career majors and 49% transfer majors. Also in 2007, only 4 of the original staff remained.

O’Meara is named Interim Dean in 2008 and the current Dean, Cady Short-Thompson, was named Dean in 2010. Also at this time, the Board of Trustees approved the name change from Raymond-Walters to the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash. 

Pete Gemmer of the communications department commented about the reason for the name change. “It was really for branding purposes – even though Raymond Walters College was always a part of UC from the time our college opened in 1967, a lot of people didn’t realize that.  We wanted to emphasize our connection with the University of Cincinnati and all of the advantages that offers our students.”

The fall enrollment for UCBA in 2014 was 5,024 students and was the 3rd largest college in the University of Cincinnati based on enrollment. The average student age is 23 with a 58%-42% female edge. The student body is currently 31% minority with 50 academic degree and certificate programs. The average class size is 19 with an 18:1 student: faculty ratio. The most popular programs on campus are the pre-business administration, pre-health professions, exploratory studies, biological sciences, and psychology.

The school has changed and grown over the years and even had a name change. The culture of the school started as a small satellite with part time students coming in at night to a much more diverse group of students primarily studying full time. The student body is growing and the campus and expanding every year. This all impacts the significant changes on campus and only adds to the success of the school. Leading with the schools distinguished alumni and personalized student experience. 


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