December 1, 2011
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Trustees vote to withhold final choice of new name for 30 days
By Caitlin Gibbons
Metro State’s Board of Trustees voted this morning to hold off taking a final vote on a new name for the institution for at least 30 days.
Their vote followed the presentation by Corona Insights of the results of research conducted in November that included two online surveys sent to 18,372 students, alumni, faculty and staff as well as one-on-one interviews with community leaders. The Denver-based research firm had 2,520 responses to its test of four names: Denver Metropolitan State University, Metropolitan Denver State University, Denver State Metropolitan University and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
The board outlined four principles to uphold as the search for a new name continues: use University in place of College, keep Metropolitan in the name, have Denver in the first or second position in the name and minimize potential trademark litigation.
“The board did what a really good board does,” says President Stephen Jordan. “They have examined all the research that’s been presented to them and have established a set of principles that will be used as a filter moving forward.”
The Strategic Name Initiative Committee will meet sometime within the next two weeks. A final vote of the full board will be held during a special meeting that will be scheduled within 30-45 days.
A bill for legislative approval for the name change has been secured and when the board approves a name it will be inserted into the draft. If approved by the legislature in the 2012 session, the new name would be implemented by fall 2013.
The College submitted the name Denver State University during the 2011 legislative session, but pulled the request following objections from University of Denver officials that it was too similar to their name. Metro State spent the last eight months conducting community outreach, further market research and analyzing branding considerations.
The board acknowledged input from Student Government Assembly representatives who expressed strong interest in pursuing Denver State University as well as the alumni’s passion for keeping Metropolitan in the name.
Although the board did not reach a consensus on what name they will pursue, they each affirmed their commitment to furthering the mission of the institution.
“I am completely committed to ensuring that we get an outcome for our student body, faculty, alumni and staff that allows the school to move forward not only in the 21st century but in the next 40 to 90 years of the institution’s life,” Trustee Terrance Carroll says.
Jordan says that with Metro State educating one in five resident students seeking undergraduates degrees in Colorado and 80 percent of its students staying in the state after graduation, it’s “more than reasonable that the College be able to choose a name that more accurately reflects what we have become as an institution.” He adds that he remains committed to the principles of selecting a name that will demonstrate the quality of the College’s degree and eliminate any confusion that Metro State is a community college, even if the chosen name must be a little longer to do so.
Watch @Metro for continuing coverage of the Strategic Name Initiative.