Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MSU-Bottineau Considering a Name Change

South Dakota's Minot State University-Bottineau is considering a rebrand makeover; however, a change in status and relationship is not forthcoming. Even if the MSU name is dropped, the school will still remain affiliated with Minot State University. One of the reasons for the proposed change is that there are too many schools with the abbreviation MSU. Another, as Joseph Marks reported in the Grand Forks Herald is that a "nondescript name" may be successful in drawing students. One suggestion was to retrobrand to its former name of the "School of Forestry." Other names considered included the following: Northern Lights University, Peace Garden State University-Bottineau, Four Seasons State College, and Bottineau State College.

Any change in names would need the approval of the institution's president, the North Dakota Board of Education, and the North Dakota Legislature. The soonest total approval could occur is 2009.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Utah Valley State's move to university status is progressing

As announced in this blog on January 6, Utah Valley State College will become Utah Valley University on July 1, 2008. Approved by the institutional trustees but pending approval of the state board of regents, several schools within Utah Valley State will also rebrand.

The School of Arts and Humanities will be split into two schools: the School of Arts and the College of Humanities. The School of Health Science will become the College of Health Science. The School of Technology and Computing will upgrade to college status. The School of General Academics will be repositioned as the University College.

The School of Education, the School of Continuing Education, and the Woodbury School of Business will not experience any name changes.

Typically the rebranding of schools within a university are listed in the HEP Higher Educational Directories (see Spencer, 2005) among institutional name changes. With the exception of the public outcry against the Welmark brand being applied to the University of Iowa's College of Public Health as blatant commercialism, these changes normally occur without any stakeholder furor or outcry.

See UVSC renaming academic schools to fit university model

For a historical perspective of a change that did not occur, see the following stories about the University of Iowa's failed plan to add sponsorship to a college within a university. Dateline 2007.

A College By Any Other Name
Philanthropy with Strings: Wellmark Pulls $15 Million Gift to UI
Wellmark Withdraws Offer of $15 Million Donation to University of Iowa

I thought the University of Iowa's story from 2007 was fascinating as it has some societal implications; however, I omitted it from my dissertation as it really didn't fit any of my main topics of consideration. Therefore, for a historical perspective, I have included it here.

Spencer, D. C. (2005). College and university name change: A study of perceived strategy
and goal achievement.
(Doctoral dissertation, University of Virginia). UMI No. 3161630.
Spencer referred to these rebrandings as occurring in "sub-schools."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Malone College is becoming Malone University

On February 9, 2008, the Malone College board of trustees voted unanimously to rebrand as Malone University. According to an institutional press release, "The Board reaffirmed that mission and emphasized the potential for enhanced educational opportunities within the liberal arts context for the growing number of undergraduate students already studying in 90 different academic programs. The name change is also consistent with Malone’s desire to explore further graduate and continuing studies opportunities in Northeast Ohio and beyond."

Malone began offering graduate programs in 1990 and adopted a university structure in 1999. The official date of the name change has not yet been determined.

Press Release

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Hampshire Community and Technical Colleges all rebrand

Unlike the Lone Star Community College system which unified under a single brand, the New Hampshire Community and Technical Colleges divested themselves of the single brand in favor of individual brand identities. Signed into law in 2007, the new identities were announced on January 30, 2008. The name changes include the following:
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Berlin to White Mountains Community College
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Claremont to River Valley Community College
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Laconia to Lakes Region Community College
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Manchester to Manchester Community College
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Nashua to Nashua Community College
  • New Hampshire Community and Technical College-Stratham/Portsmouth to Great Bay Community College
  • New Hampshire Technical Institute to New Hampshire Technical Institute – Concord’s Community College
The schools are governed under the auspices of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Name changes approved for community colleges
NHCTC to change name: Will become Great Bay Community College
NHTI name change reflects college's role

Lone Star College System - New Name; New Logo

Formed in 1972, the North Harris Montgomery County College District was created by citizens served by the Aldine, Humble and Spring Independent School Districts to be a junior college district. Later, eight other school districts joined over the next 28 years. Unfortunately, the original name was no longer viable. The individual campuses were individually known as:
  • Cy-Fair College
  • Kingwood College
  • Montgomery College
  • North Harris College
  • Tomball College
Several considerations regarding the new name were set forth by the "Name Review Committee." These criteria were as follows:
  • Must be shorter than the current name.
  • Must be distinctive and unique.
  • Must connect all colleges, communities, member school districts.
  • Must support the mission, purpose of the institution.
  • Must reflect a “system” of colleges, not a geographic “district.”
  • Must have an appropriate, easy-to-say acronym.
  • Must reflect the institution’s image as a successful, quality, inclusive, diverse, comprehensive college.
  • May include a key descriptor of the region’s geography, history or location.
  • Should be inspiring and forward-thinking, but not faddish.
  • Must not be the name of an individual.
Stakeholders were invited to participate in the process and the Board of Trustees approved the Lone Star College System name on November 1, 2007. The name became official on January 1, 2008. On January 16, a new logo and a unified color scheme was unveiled to the public.

The New Name Information Site
Lone Star College System Rises as the New Name for NHMCCD
Lone Star College Unveils New Logo for New Name

I love the new logo and the name really makes sense. This was an excellent rebranding scenario and it appears to have gone very smoothly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ohio's Heidelberg College considering University Status

According to President F. Dominic Dottavio, Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio is "considering changing the school’s name back to “Heidelberg University” — not to be confused with the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany — because the scope of its programs is changing, and it offers a wider variety of professional programs."

While the president is considering a retrobranding tactic, The History of Heidelberg College by Williard (1879) indicates that the school was known as Heidelberg College since its 1850 inception. The school was chartered under this name in 1851 and was founded by the Reformed Church in the U.S. The school is currently under the auspices of the Reformed Church's successor denomination: the United Church of Christ.

Time will tell whether the school will make the leap of faith to university status.

'Berg defies "big-box' approach

Fort Hays State University not rebranding

As part of its strategic plan through 2020 announced in fall 2007, Fort Hays State University had considered changing its name to the University of Western Kansas. Part of the justification of the change was that it was unclear where the school was located, it was the only state institution in the western portion of Kansas, and Fort Hays (the namesake of the institution) had not been operational since 1889 and only had a historical connection to Hays, KS. Prior to the 1977 name change to Fort Hays State University, the school had Kansas as part of its previous names:
  • 1902 - Western Branch of the Kansas Normal School
  • 1914 - Fort Hays Kansas State Normal School
  • 1923 - Kansas State Teachers College of Hays
  • 1931 - Fort Hays Kansas State College
  • 1977 - Fort Hays State University
The name change initiative was unpopular with a majority of students and some perspective donors. A Facebook group protesting the name change garnered support from over 1,000 individuals while a similar group promoting the new name only had three proponents.

On December 12, 2007, President Edward H. Hammond announced that the Fort Hays State name would remain.

Dare to Dream document that promoted the name change.

Name Change Causing a Stir
Dissension over FHSU Slogan: "Affordable Success"
Cost Outweighs Benefits, Name Doesn't Change
FHSU Staying That Way