A premier institution of teaching and research in languages, social sciences and the humanities, the Faculty of Arts, owes its genesis to The Baroda College, established in 1881 by H. H. Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad – III of the erstwhile Baroda State. The Faculty is sanctified by the name of the seer and philosopher, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, who had been appointed by Sir Sayajirao to teach English and also as the Vice-Principal of the erstwhile Baroda College.
The idea of establishing a Separate University for Baroda was mooted first as early as 1927 by Sir Sayajirao himself. It came into existence on April 30, 1949, at the time of the merger of the Baroda State with the State of Bombay. Necessary changes were incorporated into the constitution of the Baroda College with a view to establishing separate Faculties in the University. Thus, the Baroda College, one of the oldest Centres of learning in Western India, came to be known as The Faculty of Arts.
The alumni of the erstwhile Baroda College and the present Faculty of Arts included well-known personalities like Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Shri Ranga Avdhuta, Shri Mota, Shri K. M. Munshi, Kakasaheb Kalelkar, Shri Rajendra Shah, Dr. M. N. Srinivas, Dr. B. Subbarao, Dr. I. G. Patel, Dr. V. Y. Kantak, Dr. Suresh Joshi, Dr. Sitanshu Yashashchandra and others.
The founding vision of the Faculty was charted, realized, and furthered by eminent academicians and stalwarts in different disciplines, and it remains committed, through its sustained efforts, to the enhancement of this rich tradition as well as the expectations and demands of the present day changing environment. Among other institutions in the region, the position of the Faculty of Arts is distinguished by the wide variety of disciplines in which it imparts training and knowledge.
The Faculty has always endeavoured to establish a network of intellectuals with a view to contributing to the cause of knowledge and imparting education, responsive to the changes taking place in the field of knowledge and technology, to encourage multi and interdisciplinary research, to introduce and develop courses, bringing them in line with contemporary theoretical developments and also relate them to societal concerns and issues. It also attempts at promoting and developing educational opportunities in tandem with the demands of social justice.
In an endeavour to bring all its Programmes in line with the proposed uniform pattern all over the state and the country, with effect from the Academic Year (2011-2012), the Faculty of Arts introduced a Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), initiated by the National Knowledge Commission, University Grants Commission and the Association of Indian Universities.