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Historical Markers on the GIT Highway
In February of 1958, the University of Arkansas Graduate Institute of Technology offered the first courses to its initial group of master's students at the new Tech Campus location at 1201 McAlmont in Little Rock's MacArthur Park. Established by legislative act the previous year, GIT provided opportunity for those holding undergraduate degrees in science and engineering disciplines to earn advanced technical degrees and to engage in scientific research. The areas of research included physical, organic, analytical, and nuclear chemistry; nuclear and atomic physics; electronics; instrumentation; and process control. NASA was an early contributor to studies in space exploration and instrumental application of lasers. Industry entered into the mix by providing R&D funds to the Institute.
Dr. Maurice Testerman wrote this article for the May 1968 issue of Research/Development. Dr. Testerman led the effort to create GIT by moving the Instrumental Sciences program from Fayetteville to Little Rock for graduate education/research opportunities for engineers and scientists in central Arkansas.
By the early 70s, GIT was offering graduate study leading to the MS in Applied Mathematics, Chemistry, Engineering, and Instrumental Sciences, and to the Ph.D. degree in Instrumental Sciences. Within the next few years the graduate programs in chemistry and mathematics moved to the UALR campus, leaving the Department of Electronics and Instrumentation as the remaining academic program within GIT.
The summer of 1987 marked the beginning of a new direction for GIT when the Institute moved to the new Engineering Technology and Applied Science (ETAS) building on the UALR campus. Two years later GIT was physically separated from the Department of Electronics and Instrumentation (renamed in 1993 as the Department of Applied Science) to become part of the Dean's office in the College of Science and Engineering Technology as an umbrella agency for all graduate programs in the college.
By 2003 GIT has evolved as a service agency for both the College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) and the College of Science (COS). GIT administers two major grants: EPSCOR and the NASA Space Grant Consortium; provides funding for graduate assistantships in research and teaching at graduate level programs in both colleges; offers staff assistance in biosciences, bioengineering, and chemistry; provides mechanical design assistance and educational facilities for machining and metal working, houses STRIVE as summer educational opportunities for Arkansas teachers, and the Short Course training program.
The Director of GIT is Dr. M. Keith Hudson, email@example.com or 501-569-8210.