Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


UNIVERSITY OF PLANO. The University of Plano was chartered by the state on May 8, 1964. It was a private, coeducational, nondenominational institution of senior rank, originally called the University of Lebanon. The name was changed to the University of Plano on September 4, 1964, to indicate the location of the campus. Classes first met during the fall of 1965 in two leased buildings in downtown Dallas. Facilities on a 760-acre campus in Plano were ready for occupancy by April 1966 and included dormitories, a student center, and a former World's Fair pavilion (donated by the Malaysian government), which was reconstructed as an administration-library-classroom building. The university also operated an academy for students with learning problems and a school of experimental education. The Dallas Academy remained downtown when the university moved to its new Plano campus. On September 15, 1967, the University of Plano and the academy became two separate institutions. In 1973 the School of Developmental Education, an experimental program for students with learning disabilities, moved to Philadelphia to the campus of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. Efforts were underway to begin a preparatory school at Plano in September 1966. The college of liberal arts curriculum offered majors in English, foreign languages, history, politics, and economics, leading to bachelor of arts degrees. During the 1968–69 term the university reported 267 students and a faculty of thirty-one. Library holdings in 1969 totaled 20,000 volumes. In 1972 the university had 206 students and a faculty of thirty-three; Donald G. Scott served as president. The university closed in 1976 due to a variety of factors, including low enrollment, poor business management, and financial difficulties. The school was warned as early as 1967 that because endowment money was being used for land speculation, the university could face financial and accreditation problems. In 1975 the land boom ended, and the school was unable to sell the land and repay the money to the endowment funds. In 1976 there were not enough funds available to pay to teachers salaries, and the University of Plano was unable to compete with state-owned universities. Although the university encompassed 698 acres and had twenty buildings, classes ended in July of 1976.

Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1976. Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities (Austin: Eakin, 1986).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "UNIVERSITY OF PLANO," accessed May 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox