By Caitlin Gibbons
Metro State’s Board of Trustees voted 6-3 this morning to take a major step forward in changing the College’s name to Metropolitan State University of Denver.
A bill allowing the name change will be introduced in the Colorado General Assembly within the month by primary sponsors Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. If approved by the legislature and the governor, the new name will be implemented in the 2012-2013 academic year.
“What was most important to me was to increase the value of degrees for students today and all alumni and students into the future,” says Metro State President Stephen Jordan. “It reinforces our heritage; it makes a clear stake in the ground who we are. We are Metro State. We are the Roadrunners. We are the urban institution who is doing so much for our community.”
The board previously had approved Denver State University as the name to submit to the 2011 legislature, but pulled the request following objections from University of Denver officials, who said it was too similar to the name of their school. Metro State spent the summer and fall conducting further outreach and analyzing branding considerations.
The board’s split decision reflected differences of opinion on a coexistence agreement with the University of Denver and whether the goals of the name-change initiative had been met.
“We worked really hard with DU and the legislators involved, Sens. Mike Johnston, Rollie Heath and Guzman, and Rep. Duran to work out a compromise with DU and a coexistence agreement,” says Trustee Terrance Carroll. “This takes one giant leap forward in the history of Metro State as we head into the next 45 years of existence.”
Trustee Melody Harris, who works in trademark law, opposed the name-change motion, citing concerns about what she called the limitations of the agreement. Chair Rob Cohen and trustee Michelle Lucero also voted against the proposal for similar reasons.
With the vote concluded, Cohen asked the board to unite behind the decision to best serve the collective interest of the institution.
“I promise as long as I’m alive, I’ll remain scrappy and fight on behalf of the administration and the faculty for this institution to achieve the recognition we have so rightly earned and deserve,” Cohen says.
Student government senator Jeffery Washington attended several of the board and committee meetings to voice his support of Denver State University as the new name.
He told the board he moved from Oklahoma to come to Metro State after his aunt told him about the institution. No matter what the name of the College, he believes its mission will continue.
For more information about the Strategic Name Initiative visit: www.mscd.edu/namechange.
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