Thursday, September 28, 2006
College Names I Don't Understand
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Miami University (in Ohio)
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis (a backslash?)
Washington University (in St. Louis)
University of Phoenix (anywhere except Phoenix)
East Carolina University (there's no such state as East Carolina)
Practical Bible College
Beaver College (finally changed to Arcadia)
SUNYIT (admittedly, the entire SUNY system has lousy names, but that's especially ugly)
Hobart and William Smith (Huh? Shouldn't Hobart get his first name in there, too?)
Hamburger University (don't get me started)
Northwestern University (in Illinois. Illinois?)
Sewanee: The University of the South (pick one)
Community College of Vermont (huh? Isn't Vermont a state?)
Community College of Rhode Island (ditto)
Do you have a good one?
If you are are going to be a small state school, please give me the state (Western Kentucky), a town (Emporia State), or some indication of connection to a state (Truman State).
Also, Western Maryland College, my alma mater, is not and never was in Western Maryland. They changed it to McDaniel College a few years back.
Then, of course, there's the University of Indianapolis, which, despite its name, is a small Methodist college.
The first two schools, California, and Indiana (Both of PA) are located in towns that had their names before the states did.
Miami University (founded 1809) was named after the Miami Nation (as is the Miami Valleyin the same region) As they are fond of saying, "Miami was a University when Florida was still Spanish."
Of course, as one of the anonymous posters mentioned, Western Maryland College (Whimsy, as we pronounce it!) recently changed their name. Rather than embrace their heritage as coming from the Western Maryland Railroad, it's first benefactor, they felt they needed a name that reflected that they were "A small liberal arts college committed to Excellence in Teaching." Yup. McDaniel says that... (HUH?)
Bishop's University - that sounds fun! When you flunk out of Bishop's, if you are really lucky, you get to go to Redeemer University College.
OK, as the mother of a proud Pitt Panther (and as a primarily auditory learner, so saying is more salient than spelling), I have to say the acronym is a fine thing. [insert panther snarl for persuasive purposes]
They did. It is the University of the South. Sewanee is a nickname.
Or didn't you know that?
The answer to why John Hobart's first name is not listed is that the College always was Hobart College. William Smith College was always WSC.
For historical perspective, check out:
Community College of Vermont makes sense, too, but in a different way. Vermont is a small, thinly populated state (about half a million people total, largest town has only 40K people in it), so it only supports about as many people as a standard-issue Eastern Seaboard county. So, you only need one community college, with a few branch campuses.
It was located on prime real estate in northwest DC, which the college sold to Howard University for their law school.
"Ball State" refers to Mason jar and electric railway tycoon George Ball, who deeded a college to Indiana.
Junior University? Is that a step above junior college?
This leads to the question of why in the world there's a town named Miami in Florida and if it has any connection to the Miami tribe. The answer is that it doesn't. The much younger town of Miami, Florida gets it name from the Tequesta tribe word Maymi, which may mean wide lake.
While there are many Midwestern towns and regions named after the Miamis, there are also places in Oklahoma with similar names, and those are connected. The US government forced the Miamis to leave their lands for Oklahoma, where they have a reservation. Some Miamis have moved back to the Indiana/Illinois/Ohio/Michigan area that they originally came from, but they don't have a reserveration there.
I would have thought that this dean, of all people, would point out that community colleges are more defined by their mission (2 year, etc) than by their local or regional "ownership." Perhaps some of the tension between the CC's and the 4 yr institutions would be alleviated if more states "owned" both.
Here's cheering for the day when all community colleges are part of a state CC network.
(i work for a wa state cc, and all of my experiences with doing things as a "system" has been teh suck.)
And on the SUNYs: many of the larger institutions have moved toward separating themselves from the SUNY brand, including Binghamton University and, my fave, the University at Buffalo. Not of, but at.
O, and Dictyranger? You can't hide from your SCAdian connection now that you've revealed that tidbit on Dean Dad's blog.
* U of Fla
* U of N Fla
* U of S Fla
* U of W Fla
* U of Central Fla
* Fla State
* Fla A&M
(* Fla Tech is private)
* Fla Atlantic
* Fla International
* Fla Gulf Coast
* New Coll of Fla (Fla Coll was taken)
You can see what happened: nobody wanted a second-class name, and they ran out of compass directions. (Same phenomenon as the SUNYs: nobody wants to be a branch campus these days.)
Bonus points: Indiana's state CC system,
"Ivy Tech Community College."
IUPUI must have the hardest-working cheerleaders in the business. "Gimme an I! Gimme an N! Gimme a D!" It just keeps going. "Gimme a Hyphen!"
Binghamton and Buffalo apparently agree with me on the SUNY naming system. It's just an ugly acronym.
The Professor needs to get over himself. Community colleges are, in fact, bound to their (our) host communities, and that shows in the different programs that different communities need. In my area, for example, the transfer program is HUGE, and we don't even run HVAC or auto repair. In some other areas, cc's are almost entirely vo-tech, with just a token helping of transfer. The mission depends on the community. The community is not simply an accident of geography.
That's why "Community College of Vermont" or "Ivy Tech cc" strikes me as odd. It's hard to be as responsive when the community is defined so broadly. Besides, state colleges are almost always four-year schools or comprehensive universities.
I'd forgotten about Transylvania U. Good one.
On the other hand, using the same metrics to evaluate all three public post-secondary schools (CCRI, RI College, Univ of RI) doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Research grant dollars are de-emphasized, for example. No, I'm not kidding; this is really done here...
While I understand different CC's have different missions, I don't see why that cannot occur inside a state system. If you look at Pennsylvania, the Penn State system (not to be confused with the "State of Pennsylvania" system) is comprised of 24 different campuses. Each campus has their own mission, and many of those are tied directly to the community they serve. It can be done. Yes, most of the campuses are now 4 year campuses. They weren't always that way. Some were two year lower division, some 2 year upper division with graduate programs. But each has their own mission, and yet is part of the larger system and can benefit from the economies of scale, and to some measure the benefit of name, that accrues with being part of Penn State.
UIUC is so called because the university was originally founded (and most of the campus is still technically located) in Urbana. Champaign, though around before the university was, was merely a blip of a railway station a couple of miles away and called West Urbana.
And yes, yes, yes on the SUNY names. Do you know how humiliating it is to say that your undergrad degree is from the University AT Buffalo? It sounds like you don't know the name of your own damn school! Upstate NYers usually follow along pretty well, but in my graduate department, I think everybody believes I'm trying to make it sound fancier.
But I can see why both Bingo & Buffalo wanted to change their names (although nobody in Binghamton refers to Bing U as anything other than SUNY or SUNY-B, while UB has been more successful in separating themselves from SUNY), especially since so many people seem to have trouble distinguishing UB from Buff State.
What was the matter with Union Institute?
That's the nice thing about the name...no one should ever be confused about where it is (even if people sometimes are).
Thomson River University (in BC) which until quite recently was called -- wait for it:
University College of the Carribou.
First of all: Is it a univeristy, or a college? (a BIG distinction in Canada).
And Why would Carribour need either one? To learn to be better heard animals, perhaps?
Messiah College in PA is an odd one.
Geography, no. Founder, probably not. It does not leave to the imagination what the curriculum is about, though.
Sewanee is the name of the town before the university took over.
The town is still there. They are telling you that the university is in the town.
I know. I live there....
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