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Opening Arguments

Brand recognition

When lawmakers and educators get to the serious discussion of whether IPFW should break away from IU and Purdue and become an indpendent Fort Wayne University, they might want to study a similar breakup in Florida, where the University of South Florida Polytechnic was given permission to split from the main campus. There, as here, it was felt the local community was slighted by the main campus. The change, however, did not go over well with students:

A survey last September found students at USF Polytechnic, however, overwhelmingly disapproved of independence for the school for a reason that should sound familiar to IPFW students:

The USF name was identified as important for the following reasons:

  • It’s an established university among Florida’s state universities. 
  • It has name recognition when marketing to potential employers.
  • The college degree has a higher value with the USF name on it.

In other words, “brand recognition.”

Purdue is a strong brand. IU is a strong band. "Fort Wayne University" would have to prove itself and earn a reputation. No doubt it could, but students in the early years would suffer from the "Huh? Where's that?" effect.


Fri, 08/24/2012 - 7:23pm

The silly season is upon us.  All states own and operate multiple campuses but few have the same organizational structures.  All state-supported smaller schools in all  states complain that the big schools get all the goodies.   That is true and it is unlikely to change.  

It really doesn't matter whether you are stupidly called "IP" instead of "Indiana" the name of the city appears.  Wisconsin and California  use the state name and city to differentiate multiple compuses, Louisiana, Missouri and Michigan get directional and Ohio and New Jersey just do not care what name is used - outside of the land grant  school, of course.

My suggestion is that we do nothing here, since the school just spent a ton of money on all those exxpensive entry signs and changing literature, advertisements and stationery would involve unneeded taxpayer money.  Our politicians need to look at the economy a little more carefully.



Harl Delos
Fri, 08/24/2012 - 10:38pm

Is there any other state that has multiple universities jointly operating branch campuses?  No man can serve two masters.  Back in the 1960s, when IPFW and IUPUI were established, the very same politicians merged city and county government in Indianapolis.  Heard anyone bragging lately about how great Unigov is?  Heard of any other place in any state that merged city and county government?  Has Beech Grove or Speedway petitioned to become part of Unigov?

BTW, the former Stout State University isn't located in Stout, Wisconsin.  There is no such city.  It's in Menomonie. And I've never heard anyone complain that his diploma says Stout State University instead of UW-Stout.  Stout State University had a better reputation when they ran their own show instead of being an afterthought to the administrators in Madison and Milwaukee, neither of which has a polytechnic program you'd brag about. 

There are more people who've heard of Antioch than of Defiance, although Antioch shut down their campus, but a diploma from DC is quite acceptable to employers.  Similarly, Rose-Hulman is fairly unknown, but potential employers of RH grads have heard of - and respect - Rose Hulman.  Wouldn't it make more sense to build IPFW into a diploma deserving respect instead of aissuing counterfeit Purdue or IU diplomas?  Employers have learned to ask whether the student went to Bloomington or West Lafayette, or a branch campus that gets leftovers after profs get hired for the main campus, equipment is purchased for the main campus, books and periodicals are purchased for the main campus library.