Archive for Friday, November 30, 2007

MU can drop ‘Columbia’ - sometimes

November 30, 2007

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— The University of Missouri-Columbia campus is keeping the hyphen and everything after it for official purposes.

But the Board of Curators for the four-campus system agreed Thursday to let the state's flagship school go by the University of Missouri for recruitment, fundraising, marketing and intercollegiate athletics.

The campus also can drop the regional designation or go by MU or Mizzou on second reference in official correspondence.

Bunky Wright, general counsel for the university system, said that the Columbia campus has been known as the University of Missouri for generations.

"What we are trying to do is get this to conform with reality," he told the curators. "That's hard to do sometimes, but that's what this change is about."

Columbia Chancellor Brady Deaton expressed interest this year in returning to the school's original name. The Columbia campus was known simply as the University of Missouri from its formation in 1839 until the four-campus system's creation 124 years later.

The idea came from the steering committee for the $1 billion For All We Call Mizzou fundraising campaign. Members said the regional designation was a hindrance to some fundraising efforts.

Deaton and other supporters pointed to the upcoming name change for the Rolla campus, which will be known as the Missouri University of Science and Technology starting in January.

But the proposal generated concern among faculty and student groups at the Rolla, St. Louis, and Kansas City campuses.

University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Guy Bailey said a Columbia name change could create interest for his campus to also change its name, perhaps to its pre-system designation as the University of Kansas City.

System spokesman Scott Charton said the measure that won approval Thursday by a vote of 8-0 was a "compromise" that had the support of the chancellors from the other campuses. Curator David Wasinger was not present.

"We're giving them part of a loaf," Charton said. "Not the whole thing."

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