College president pushes need for university status

October 22, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

Shepherd College President David L. Dunlop made his pitch Tuesday for changing the school's name to Shepherd University during the first of two open meetings on the proposal.

The trend in higher education is that schools that refer to themselves as colleges are the ones that offer two year-degrees, Dunlop has said.

This concerns Shepherd officials because they do not want prospective students to bypass Shepherd, thinking it is a two-year school, Dunlop said.


"That is not the image we want them to see because that's not primarily what we are," Dunlop said during his opening remarks in the meeting at the Frank Center Tuesday morning.

Shepherd College is a four-year school which has been increasing its graduate study programs. This fall, it began offering a master's degree in curriculum and instruction through its education department.

Only about a dozen people attended Tuesday's meeting. Dunlop said the small turnout illustrates that the proposed name change does not seem to be controversial.

Dunlop said Tuesday that Maine and West Virginia are among a few remaining states in the country that have not changed the name of their four-year schools from colleges to universities.

Dunlop said costs associated with the name switch will include changing business cards, letterhead, brochures and signs.

He said the costs could be as low as in the tens of thousands of dollars, and he does not anticipate that tuition will have to be raised to pay for the name change.

In fact, the school may end up receiving more contributions after it is named a university, Dunlop said.

Other possible ways of dealing with the costs could be using money normally spent on utility costs. That could be a possibility if there is a mild winter, Dunlop said.

"Instead of painting a building, we may change signs or something like that," Dunlop said.

Dunlop emphasized that the name change would not affect the school's mission, which is educating students.

The name change, which would take one or two years to complete, will be sent to the school's Board of Governors for consideration, Dunlop said. The Board of Governors' recommendation would be sent to the Higher Education Policy Commission and then the name change would have to be made by the Legislature, which convenes in January.

The second meeting on the name change will be held today at 4 p.m. in the Frank Center recital hall room M08.

Public meeting

What: The second open meeting on Shepherd College considering changing its name to Shepherd University.

When: Today, 4 p.m.

Where: In recital hall room M08 of the Frank Center on the Shepherd College campus.

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