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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:41 pm 
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Also,

IUPUI can't become U of Indianapolis because there is a private school by that name. Metropolitan State runs into the same thing with the University of Denver (which in good midwestern tradtion, abbreviates DU) of the Sun Belt. Denver State might actually be their best remaining possibility that keeps Denver in the name, short of merging with UC-Denver. Central Colorado might be a possibility.

Speaking of Colorado,
Adams State College => Southern Colorado
Mesa State College => Grand Junction
Western State College => Western Colorado


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:45 pm 
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The point is that each of them has a relatively statewide name, and changing them to a more local name is like renaming U.C. Davis the University of Central California, or U.T. Austin University of Austin, or Uuniversity of South Carolina-Columbia Columbia State! ;)


Going along that line of thinking, you could also make a more "statewide" appeal if you created UT-Memphis (from Memphis), OSU-Cincinnati (from Cincinnati), UK-Louisville (from Louisville), and so on... I'm not sure if any of these would be more beneficial than the current name, unless they went by common names of the city only. The only "state-city" common name that works well that I can think of is UCLA (UT-Austin goes by Texas, USC-Columbia goes by South Carolina, etc...)

One problem with this whole thread is that is was presented in very black and white terms, whereas reality is gray as always. I didn't realize that Virginia's state nickname was that appealing, although their's is one of the few state nicknames that couldn't be used as a team nickname (i.e. Buckeyes, Wolverines, Volunteers, Cornhuskers) but actually works well as a university name.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:06 am 
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I'd argue there's many cases in which the statement of state affiliation is preferable, Tier 1A if you will. Such as when the school system has a good reputation, such as a UCal or UTexas. It's all the UCs and UTs that drive that brand and all the UCs and UTs that reap the benefits of that.
Also, being known as U of Davis or Brownsville means little outside their regions. And within those regions, it gives the impression the schools are insignificant regional institutions rather than colleges that challenge for acclaim on the field, class or labs on an international level. The same holds true whether there's a school system in place or not. The universities known as Maryland-Baltimore County (U of Balt. Co. would sound like a community college) and Maryland-Eastern Shore can piggy-back off the prestige of the flagship produces.
I think there's also some worry that the U of city has been traditionally used by private schools. Indeed in most cases in which schools may want to rename themselves to U of city because their city is influential, they can't because there's already another school that uses that name. Most of them private. Denver, Baltimore (was private), Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, Mobile. Even on down to Harrisburg, PA and Greensboro, NC. Branding yourself as U of city would imply that you were a private institution. Much like the flagship school of the State system of most southern schools implies being a HBCU. Separating yourself from your peer institutions, targeted student body and independent supporters may not be the right path for the school to grow.
The original post is correct in saying that a college's name can carry a lot of meaning. But each school is different and would have to make this choice carefully. Naming conventions are not likely to work on the grand scale. Whether I'm looking at schools or browsing the scoreboard, UMontana isn't going to attract my attention over a Norfolk St. or Southern Illinois. In the end, it's still Montana (no offense).


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:24 pm 
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UMBC is unique because it is an honors college that has been spun off into a separate university-it would be like if Alabama's Honors College (which was just a program when I was there from 1998-2002) left Tuscaloosa for suburban Birmingham.

Interesting footnote on U of Mobile (formerly Mobile College)-their main rival in the NAIA's Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, Spring Hill College, actually owned the rights to the name, but sold it what is now the University of Mobile for $1.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Interesting note on Mobile.
UMBC though wasn't formed from an honors program at Maryland. Maryland has always been the leading public in academics in the state. UMBC was created to expand college opportunities to the baby boomer generation in the Baltimore area. For its first decade it existed as a commuter school. Only recently has the university taken to calling itself an Honors University. Yet an ingenious branding strategy. Same with the "public ivies".


Last edited by rferry on Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:34 am 
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Pardon if this has already been brought up, but I think acronyms play a part in the perception game as well. I know my school (UCF) writes in EVERY media guide that they prefer to be called the University of Central Florida, or UCF, but not Central Florida, C.Florida, or C.FLA. If you use "Central Florida" in an official capacity, you'll get a kind phone call from our admin. I guess UCF sounds less "directional" than Central Florida. Perhaps USC, UAB, and UTEP have had similar thoughts.

FYI, UCF was Florida Tech till 1978. While UCF had its origins as a technical institution to compliment NASA's presence in nearby Cape Canaveral, it had grown to offer an increasing number of non-technical degrees. I believe the admin feared the "Tech" tag was deterring potential non-technical students from applying, hence the switch to the more generic University of Central Florida. I'm curious if those officials would again change the name if they'd have it to do all over again.

I'm curious why USF officials chose their name even though they're not located in south Florida. I know U of Tampa was already taken, but UCF was not. Some of their fans say it was because they, at the time, were the southern most public university. One of life's mysteries.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:08 pm 
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1: UNC CHarlotte has been promised by the UNC System President to be granted flagship status as soon as they reach 24,000 students. Officially changing the campus name would be a slap in the face of that offer.


Be that as it may, as soon as they are "in", they should do it. Being UNCC to UNC is still a secondary role, even with a share of flagship status. Frankly it puts them below universities like NC State. Being "U of Charlotte" as one of many flagships is a much better position. It gives them the potential of eventually being equal to or even ahead of NC state in public perception. (EVENTUALLY! :) UNCC is rated an academic tier 4, NCSU an academic tier 2.)


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2: Old Dominion is already one of five Virginia State Flagship Universities, and the officially designated Sea Grant school In addition, there is also the HBCU Norfolk State. What's next? University of Charlottesville? University of Blacksburg? University of Williamsburg?


ODU is IMO an exception. They are already a flagship, their university name is "classic", does not infer a lesser status than UV, and it abreviates nicely into a 3 letter designation. Really the larger Virginia school's names generally hold up well. VCU and Virginia Union are good too.

I do think there would be SOME logic to adopting a name like the University of Norfolk --- it would immediately ID where the university is located, but IMO that would be offset by by a loss of esteem. VCU, ODU, V Union... These are not only all well established brands, but these are all universities whose names are like equivilants of "the Univerversity of Virginia", in a way. Their names are not barriers for growth, so there is no compelling reason to change their names. The name "William & Mary" is just a totally elite classic university name as well and very well established.

Now it may seem that I am stepping back from the premise of renaming a bit, but really I am not. My point was renaming can be a great tool for a university to use their athletics to change their academic lot in life. William & Mary doesn't NEED to change their academic lot in life. VCU, ODU, & Virginia Union's academics are not capped by their names.

Anyway I am hitting on semi-worn territory on this. wbyeager has covered a lot of this (although he does ignore the fact that I did say in the initial post that both school and city have to be large to get a good bump by city naming and that schools smaller than 15K would not profit ftom renaming.). Most of the 20K plus Universities --- the universities i think could often profit from renaming --- are well named in Virginia. The smaller schools in that state are too small.


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3: UALR is the Home of the UA Medical School, Law School, and the household pets portion of the Vetrenary school (The rest of the Vet School is in Fort Smith). It spends roughly twice the amount research Fayetteville does.


As Dafoe mentions UALR parallels the Memphis State scenario. As UALR, the university has a real chance of being passed by Arkansas State in the next 20 years or so due to A. St's football (potentially higher profile national status) and better name. UALR has great academic respect in Arkansas and neighboring states, but academically they are ranked as an academic tier 4 university. I think if they were ULR and were able to get the state to allow them to play football, their national academic perceptions would mysteriously change overnight and they would find themselves an academic tier 3 school. :)


Last edited by finiteman on Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:20 pm 
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...
Norfolk State U - U of Norfolk (unless if it merges with Old Dominion)
....
Virginia State U - unchanged, but should merge with VCU
...


While I realize it is far outside of the realm of this forum, someone really should start a thread about "Universities that should merge and why".

I would add ULM and La Tech to the list. Why does a poor state like Lousiana need two public universities 15 minutes apart when they could have one legit #2 northern FBS university to the southern LSU? Why duplicate resources?


Last edited by finiteman on Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:55 pm 
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Going along that line of thinking, you could also make a more "statewide" appeal if you created UT-Memphis (from Memphis), OSU-Cincinnati (from Cincinnati), UK-Louisville (from Louisville), and so on... I'm not sure if any of these would be more beneficial than the current name, unless they went by common names of the city only. The only "state-city" common name that works well that I can think of is UCLA (UT-Austin goes by Texas, USC-Columbia goes by South Carolina, etc...)


The problem with this line of thinking is that you would tier your university with every other university in the university system that isn't the dominant in the system. In that regard your aren't tied for second --- you are tied for last.

Generally, tying your cheif identifier to a major city and becoming, in essence, the flagship of a smaller region (a city) is preferrable to being just another satellite that happens to be in a large city. That is why the list of non-flagship "successes" if very breif after UCLA. Many people in the system get the power of names and use this type of naming to enforce the pecking order.


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One problem with this whole thread is that is was presented in very black and white terms, whereas reality is gray as always. ...


Not sure where this criticism is coming from. I did list a NUMBER of qualifiers in the initial post (university size being the cheif one) and did state that there are exceptions to the rules (tech and A&Ms that rank ahead of "State"s and one or two more).

Frankly, these caveats have been largely ignored by you guys in this particular side discussion. (Surely, I can't be held responsible for that! :) )


Last edited by finiteman on Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Thank you very much for contributing. I happen to disagree with a lot of your post, but I hope you won't take offense.


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I'd argue there's many cases in which the statement of state affiliation is preferable, Tier 1A if you will. Such as when the school system has a good reputation, such as a UCal or UTexas. It's all the UCs and UTs that drive that brand and all the UCs and UTs that reap the benefits of that.
Also, being known as U of Davis or Brownsville means little outside their regions. And within those regions, it gives the impression the schools are insignificant regional institutions rather than colleges that challenge for acclaim on the field, class or labs on an international level. The same holds true whether there's a school system in place or not.


In california, I do agree. As I mentioned in an earlier post, California universities are a product of a maturing before the maturation of national athletics. A ton of California schools bailed on football before the advent of Big TV. Now there is a general perception that California is too laid back to support football. Perception is often reality, so they likely won't make the jump back to FBS en-masse. They have a system that is tolerable and probably yeilds either modest profits or modest losses. Manageable either way.

But Texas is an entirely different story. I wrote this in part based on conclusions I have reached in looking at Texas's systems. The UT system sucks. It does not carry the national academic respect that the UC system does. There are 2 nationally recognized non-specialty schools in the system --- UT and UT Dallas --- and UT Dallas is debateable. UT, Tech, A&M, and now Texas State and UNT have each set up their own systems and the member schools get very little out of each system in terms of esteem.

Now perhaps there are functionality issues behind this split up of the smaller schools, but it appears a little like the powerbrokers have carved up the state's smaller publics into their own empires to enhance the headliner's national rep. UTA joined the UT system because they were an afterthought in the previous system they were in. They are an afterthought in the UT system. They would do much better in trying to become the dominant school in DFW via a name change and seeking their own ID like UNT.



Quote:
The universities known as Maryland-Baltimore County (U of Balt. Co. would sound like a community college) and Maryland-Eastern Shore can piggy-back off the prestige of the flagship produces.


Well this is not applying my guidelines as presented. Applying the inital rules would not yeild the U of Balt. Co., it would yelid the rather impressive sounding U of Baltimore or Baltimore University.



Quote:
I think there's also some worry that the U of city has been traditionally used by private schools. Indeed in most cases in which schools may want to rename themselves to U of city because their city is influential, they can't because there's already another school that uses that name. Most of them private. Denver, Baltimore (was private), Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, Mobile. Even on down to Harrisburg, PA and Greensboro, NC. Branding yourself as U of city would imply that you were a private institution.


This is a fair point, but frankly I think if a school like UTA chose to become Dallas University, I think the small private University of Dallas might just chose to become Dallas Christian University or somesuch. But you are right, there could be legal challenges or institutional resistance. My point is being the DFW U or the University of Central Texas is still a ton better than being UTA. Universities should try to improve.


Quote:
Much like the flagship school of the State system of most southern schools implies being a HBCU. Separating yourself from your peer institutions, targeted student body and independent supporters may not be the right path for the school to grow.


It is a good point which deserves to be repeated. I would almost never recommend this to a school with less than 15K enrollment. I think after you hit the 20K range you have your own momentum and seeking a unique identity often makes sense. Remember, you don't have to remove yourself from a state system to become a city school --- again U of Memphis is a great example.



Quote:
The original post is correct in saying that a college's name can carry a lot of meaning. But each school is different and would have to make this choice carefully. Naming conventions are not likely to work on the grand scale. Whether I'm looking at schools or browsing the scoreboard, UMontana isn't going to attract my attention over a Norfolk St. or Southern Illinois. In the end, it's still Montana (no offense).


I would argue that naming conventions DO work on a grand scale. This is why SE Missou chose to follow so many other's in becoming that state's "state" school. They looked at it and realized that in 2 generations they would be seen as a peer of every other school carrying their state's headline "state"designation (many of which are from the land grant legislation)---- just like a ton of other "state" jumpers of the last century.

I do understand your point about montana not being everyone's cup of tea, but the flip side of that is that for people in that region if Montana St. is seen as just as viable as say Kansas State or Okl State, they are far more likely to go there than Norfolk State or chosing something closer Nebraska-Omaha. In that, branding helps them. If Montana State was instead the University of Montana at Bozeman there would be little chance they would be seen as a rival of UM and a peer of other "State U's". As unbelievable as that may sound to some, the rivalry angle does figure in to enrollment numbers as does the peer angle. UMBozeman would have a far more difficult time attracting students vs. nearby "state U's" and falgships. It is possible that multiple 1000's of students might be shaved off their enrollment numbers in that scenario IMO.

(But I could be wrong. Perhaps without MSU holding UM back legislatively, UM would be larger and a member of a high profile conference like the MWC --- perhaps even displacing Wyoming over time by winning a larger share of contested new students. That advertising for the state and the University of Montana system might legitimize the UM system as the UC system is. Maybe in that instance without a "state brand" being a strong #2 with that UM brand might be worth more than today's Montana State brand. I doubt it, but I freely admit nothing happens in a vacuum.)


Last edited by finiteman on Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Pardon if this has already been brought up, but I think acronyms play a part in the perception game as well. I know my school (UCF) writes in EVERY media guide that they prefer to be called the University of Central Florida, or UCF, but not Central Florida, C.Florida, or C.FLA. If you use "Central Florida" in an official capacity, you'll get a kind phone call from our admin. I guess UCF sounds less "directional" than Central Florida. Perhaps USC, UAB, and UTEP have had similar thoughts.


This was not really stated in the inital post, but absolutely. In very general terms, the shorter the abreviation, the better the name. I think 2 or 3 is great. The human creature is inherently lazy. 2 letters is easy. 3 letters is often sing-songy and that offsets the ease of saying it. 4 and 5 letters often gets cumbersome unless you can read it like "U TEP". You don't want to give people a reason not to like your school, even if it seems a really petty reason.


Quote:
FYI, UCF was Florida Tech till 1978. While UCF had its origins as a technical institution to compliment NASA's presence in nearby Cape Canaveral, it had grown to offer an increasing number of non-technical degrees. I believe the admin feared the "Tech" tag was deterring potential non-technical students from applying, hence the switch to the more generic University of Central Florida. I'm curious if those officials would again change the name if they'd have it to do all over again.


An excellent question. Speculating, I think it is possible that UCF was the rare scenario where the needs of the community overcame maybe the direction preferred by many of the power brokers in the university at a healthy and large university.

Academically UCF is considered a tier 3 university. I suspect if they had stayed Florida Tech, their name very well might have discouraged non-technical enrollment cutting perhaps as much as 10-15K off their total enrollment today. Everything has a flipside though. The flipside for them taking the path of specialization might have had their academics improved to the point where they might have been seen as ACC caliber. Perhaps if things had taken a different path they might have been seen as becoming a a peer to Georgia Tech rather than a lesser USF (meant with no malice--- i am only referring to USF being BE and UCF being CUSA due to the athletic budget difference. UCF is a great school.).

It is a fantastic insight and I thank you for adding it to this thread.


Last edited by finiteman on Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 10:51 am 
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The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System have a peculiar historical reason for setting up all these branch campuses, and naming them "[UT or TAMU] at [wherever].

In the late 19th century, our legislature created the University of Texas (located in Austin), that included an agricultural branch (90 miles away, in the middle of nowhere that became the town of College Station). They granted the University of Texas hundreds of thousands of acres of land in western Texas-- Texas is the only State in the union to control its public lands to the exclusion of the feds, to the extent that we do, because of terms of the treaty by which Texas joined the union (initially) in 1845.

The thought was that the university could lease the grazing rights to this (thought-to-be) near worthless, arid grazing land, and raise a little money to help support the school.

Then oil and gas was discovered on all this university property. Mineral royalties were paid into what still exists today, the "Permanent University Fund". The PUF is now the second largest university endowment in the world, behind only Harvard's.

For political reasons, Texas A&M was separated from the University of Texas, and became an independent institution. As part of that "divorce", A&M got 1/3 of the land and the PUF, and the University of Texas got 2/3.

As the PUF grew and grew and grew in the early and mid-20th century, other State colleges began to cast covetous eyes on the PUF, and political pressure built to make it available to all state-supported Texas colleges and universities. To keep from having their goodies taken away, the regents of A&M and the U. of Texas joined forces, and had the legislature recreate them as "systems". They began to set up branch campuses hither and yon.

Some of the old state colleges joined the systems. Arlington State College evolved into UT-Arlington, for example, and several other campuses went through similar changes.

To avoid being gobbled up by the UT or the A&M System, it seems like every college with any political clout formed or joined their own systems-- none of the politically-connected regents wanted to lose their positions as "regents", or so it seems to me.

So the respective regents of the UT and the A&M systems get to remain in control of the PUF, and the ENORMOUS political swag that controlling that much money brings. And other "systems" expanded.

The "Texas State University System" was an invention to help what were then teachers' colleges keep their identities. Political influence got a "system" for the University of Houston, and for Texas Tech.

By the way, one of the unintended consequences of this system of "systems" is that Texas has only 2 State-supported "research 1" comprehensive universities (the U of California system may have 6 or 8-- UCSD and UC-Davis, for example, in addition to UCLA and Berkeley). A primary reason for this is, every time a university campus makes a serious attempt at an upgrade to "research 1" academics (UT-Dallas has made a very serious attempt; UT-San Antonio has made loud noises; UTEP and UT-Arlington have made faint, "me-too" noises), the other systems (and sometimes competing campuses within the UT system) raise holy hell with the legislature, and the resulting compromise is a general increase in funding for all campuses, resulting in none gaining the resources to be come a "research 1" university.

I love Texas politics.

With Texas public universities (and this is a gross simplification), generally the schools provide the land to build facilities on, and a very little money to build facilities and maintain athletic programs, and private enterprise and donors turn the programs (if they are turned) into D-1 programs.

So we have strong D-1 programs at the traditional, historic (by Texas standards of longevity) schools-- UT and A&M-- and reasonably strong programs at schools with relatively many rich and influential alums-- Texas Tech and the University of Houston. And the other state-supported universities scramble for resources both athletic and academic with varying degrees of success.

And many of the "lesser" state schools fine, academically, even though they may not get national acclaim.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:19 am 
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Hmm I can understand you.
I visit the Bryant University and it´s nearly the same thing...
I think it´s interesting to know what happened at other universities.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:48 am 
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benbreeck wrote:
1: UNC CHarlotte has been promised by the UNC System President to be granted flagship status as soon as they reach 24,000 students. Officially changing the campus name would be a slap in the face of that offer.



What?

Pass me some of that good stuff you're smoking because we'll be granted "flagship" status when Chapel Hill gets hit with a 30 megaton nuke!

We even have Chapel Hill coming into OUR city of Charlotte (largest metro area in the country without a medical school) and starting a med school extension program over our backs!

By 2020 we'll be the second largest school in this state and larger than CH and still rank near the bottom in per student funding.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:50 pm 
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essency wrote:
Pardon if this has already been brought up, but I think acronyms play a part in the perception game as well. I know my school (UCF) writes in EVERY media guide that they prefer to be called the University of Central Florida, or UCF, but not Central Florida, C.Florida, or C.FLA. If you use "Central Florida" in an official capacity, you'll get a kind phone call from our admin. I guess UCF sounds less "directional" than Central Florida. Perhaps USC, UAB, and UTEP have had similar thoughts.

FYI, UCF was Florida Tech till 1978. While UCF had its origins as a technical institution to compliment NASA's presence in nearby Cape Canaveral, it had grown to offer an increasing number of non-technical degrees. I believe the admin feared the "Tech" tag was deterring potential non-technical students from applying, hence the switch to the more generic University of Central Florida. I'm curious if those officials would again change the name if they'd have it to do all over again.

I'm curious why USF officials chose their name even though they're not located in south Florida. I know U of Tampa was already taken, but UCF was not. Some of their fans say it was because they, at the time, were the southern most public university. One of life's mysteries.


Good stuff. You'd think they'd be all over a return to Florida Tech, especially when you have so many FBS Florida schools (UF, FSU, USF, FAU, FIU). UCF to Florida Tech would give them the instant marketing boost.

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