Names have Political Strength or Weakness

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BroadwayVik
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Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » February 16th, 2012, 7:08 am

Susan Weeks got to be Vice-Chancellor of the Oregon University System long enough to set University of Oregon a presence in Portland. She wrote that she wanted a more prestigious university's set of programs in Portland.

What is rather needed is for each of the OUS's three major univerities to be the caretakers of their own region.

There would be nothing wrong with strategic partnerships, however, between each of the three major universities and the four minor universities and institute. It would seem natural fit for [the UO to pair up with SOU], [OSU with WOU & COU], [PSU with OIT & EOU]. These could serve as mentoring relationships for developmental purposes.

But Portland State University is hampered politically in terms of prestige. What is prestige? In this case, it is what arouses respect and admiration for a university on the basis of its achievements or quality.

If I had to guess, though, I'd estimate that Portland State University's programs are quite comparable to those imported into the region from the University of Oregon. The difference is likely not substantive in basis. The difference is most likely qualitative. The difference is based on perceived quality and image. Essentially fluff and words-with-a-flair.

Political image has taken hold and has become real. It affects our lives and choices.

In social and political realms, sometimes perception is all we really have. Its effects become real when people make hard life decisions based on nothing more than abiding (or fleeting) perceptions.

Of OUS's three major universities, Portland State University has the largest enrollment but suffers from the weakest position politically. I theorize that this perceptul difference is largely attributable to what may be termed "jurisdictional level" of accountability and political support.

The UO and OSU have State-level jurisdictional accountability and political support. Both universities are charged and have the mission of representing the entire state. They also have the express and implicit State-level political support. PSU does not.

In PSU's case, the word "State" means merely public as opposed to private. Its "jurisdictional level," if you will, is at the City-level (and, at most, the Metropolitan-level). The problem is, the university is chartered by neither the city nor the metropolitan region. So not only does it not carry express and implicit State-level political support, it also does not carry any officially at the City- or Metropolitan-level. It is rather treated as a foster-child of the region.

Its name measn that it is a public institution chartered by the state, located in Portland, but not supported politically at State-level jurisdiction.

The perception of Portland State University is in its name. What's in a name? Everything. The Hebrews have it right, Shakespeare has it wrong: Names are highly important.

Portland State University exists without much of any political support other than what it has been able to generate for itself. It has lived as an orphaned institution fending for itself, on mere life-support from the state. My perception that she is a Cinderella whose life will be happy everafter once she marries the (medical) Prince, OHSU.

Right now, they are "going steady." When married, she may take on his name or they may both change their name to reflect their new identity. They will need to bring their new name to at least the State-level of jurisdiction, but may well be deserving of bringing it to a bonus multi-State level to make up for all of her orphaned suffering from the past.

While I would be happy with name like "Oregon University," I might also suggest the "Northwest institute of Technology" to be a suitable appellation (if the OUS is at liberty to use the word "Northwest" in the name). Then the state (and, possibly the entire Northwest) stands implicitly, perceptively and forever politically behind this great new Unversity.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by martymoose » February 16th, 2012, 7:55 pm

BroadwayVik wrote:Susan Weeks got to be Vice-Chancellor of the Oregon University System long enough to set University of Oregon a presence in Portland. She wrote that she wanted a more prestigious university's set of programs in Portland.

What is rather needed is for each of the OUS's three major univerities to be the caretakers of their own region.

There would be nothing wrong with strategic partnerships, however, between each of the three major universities and the four minor universities and institute. It would seem natural fit for [the UO to pair up with SOU], [OSU with WOU & COU], [PSU with OIT & EOU]. These could serve as mentoring relationships for developmental purposes.

But Portland State University is hampered politically in terms of prestige. What is prestige? In this case, it is what arouses respect and admiration for a university on the basis of its achievements or quality.

If I had to guess, though, I'd estimate that Portland State University's programs are quite comparable to those imported into the region from the University of Oregon. The difference is likely not substantive in basis. The difference is most likely qualitative. The difference is based on perceived quality and image. Essentially fluff and words-with-a-flair.

Political image has taken hold and has become real. It affects our lives and choices.

In social and political realms, sometimes perception is all we really have. Its effects become real when people make hard life decisions based on nothing more than abiding (or fleeting) perceptions.

Of OUS's three major universities, Portland State University has the largest enrollment but suffers from the weakest position politically. I theorize that this perceptul difference is largely attributable to what may be termed "jurisdictional level" of accountability and political support.

The UO and OSU have State-level jurisdictional accountability and political support. Both universities are charged and have the mission of representing the entire state. They also have the express and implicit State-level political support. PSU does not.

In PSU's case, the word "State" means merely public as opposed to private. Its "jurisdictional level," if you will, is at the City-level (and, at most, the Metropolitan-level). The problem is, the university is chartered by neither the city nor the metropolitan region. So not only does it not carry express and implicit State-level political support, it also does not carry any officially at the City- or Metropolitan-level. It is rather treated as a foster-child of the region.

Its name measn that it is a public institution chartered by the state, located in Portland, but not supported politically at State-level jurisdiction.

The perception of Portland State University is in its name. What's in a name? Everything. The Hebrews have it right, Shakespeare has it wrong: Names are highly important.

Portland State University exists without much of any political support other than what it has been able to generate for itself. It has lived as an orphaned institution fending for itself, on mere life-support from the state. My perception that she is a Cinderella whose life will be happy everafter once she marries the (medical) Prince, OHSU.

Right now, they are "going steady." When married, she may take on his name or they may both change their name to reflect their new identity. They will need to bring their new name to at least the State-level of jurisdiction, but may well be deserving of bringing it to a bonus multi-State level to make up for all of her orphaned suffering from the past.

While I would be happy with name like "Oregon University," I might also suggest the "Northwest institute of Technology" to be a suitable appellation (if the OUS is at liberty to use the word "Northwest" in the name). Then the state (and, possibly the entire Northwest) stands implicitly, perceptively and forever politically behind this great new Unversity.
My opinion:

When married, they'll be the UW of Oregon.

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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by pdxfan » February 19th, 2012, 5:09 pm

Nice point, Marty, about state vs local jurisdiction. Fact is, we were intended to be a school for just Portland from the beginning. Then (under Ramaley?) we adopted the "urban university" label and pushed it nationally. We figured, probably correctly, we didn't have a chance of taking UO/OSU's state jurisdiction label.

There's the ancient land grants, and then there's us, the "redbricks". I note that in England the redbricks like Manchester, Durham etc. now nearly overshadow Oxford/Cambridge. Our time will come.

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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » February 20th, 2012, 4:22 am

These are two good images you both put forth:

(1) The UW of Oregon, and

(2) Red Brick University (reminds me of Shattuck Hall) like the civic universities of Liverpool and Birmingham. The distinctive red brick (and tremendous architecture) may serve as an applicable feature guideline in the construction of future great buildings of distinction.

But I am concerned that the name may end up being University of Oregon-Portland, OHSU-PSU being largely pseudo-liberal like the Eugene campus. This, I feel, would be ultimately acceptable but only subject to the following conditional demands:

The New University must be

(1) controlled not in the least by the Eugene campus (part of the same system, but with independent campus governance),

(2) a Portland campus with its own Portland culture (unless certain aspects preferred, no Eugene cultural imperialism imposed on Portland campus),

(3) in a UCLA-Berkeley type relationship with the UO (big city oasis type campus viz. the original flagship),

(4) retaining of the names Vikings and Vanguard and school colors for the sake of historical continuity (obviously, OHSU has no athletics teams).

This name may end up being politically imposed. We may not have a choice in the matter. If so, we can still demand retention of the unmistakeable remnants of Portland State (Vikings, Vanguard, Green, Silver & White) to show forth its evolution intact, contained also on the campus buildings bearing the names Epler, Millar, Neuberger, Blumel, Cramer, Smith and Stott. These must remain intact and is non-negotiable.

If it has already been decided that the name will become UO-Portland, then we must have things framed as an evolution Victory for Portland State University to equal status with the ugly stepsisters. OSSHE was the wicked stepmother, OUS is the benefactor, the "fairy godmother."

HS seniors staying in-state for college can then ask one another: So where you going? Oregon, Oregon State or Oregon-Portland? Informally, it may end up becoming known as "the Portland Campus."
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by DustRunner » February 25th, 2012, 1:44 pm

Still not seeing how being possibly connected (even in name) to UO would help us.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » February 27th, 2012, 4:28 am

Which name has perceptibly more clout: (1) Chicago State University, or (2) University of Illiniois-Chicago ... ? The latter because the name reveals a patterned presence of a medical school.

There are no American schools with "... State University" in their names (e.g. Oregon State, Arizona State, etc.) with medical schools. For whatever reason, the "University of ..." school names carry more clout and thus the medical schools go with them.

In parallel with other public universities with medical schools (e.g. Illiniois-Chicago, Texas-Dallas), the natural choice for a name for OHSU-PSU would be Oregon-Portland. Fortunately, the influence of UO will be limited to Eugene and have nothing to do with UO-Portland. Just as UCLA and Berkeley are both UC schools, UO and UOP will be both UO schools with separate identities.

The name University of Oregon at Portland (indicating a medical school presence) brings the New PSU instant legitimacy, and unquestioned State-level jurisdictional and popular support.

The name change then simply becomes part of PSU's nomenclature evolution (from Vanport Extension ("Vanport College") to "Portland State College" to "Portland State University" to "University of Oregon at Portland"). For years, this was late PSU School of Business Administration Dean Virgil V. Miller's vision for Portland State University. It will be a coming-of-age for Vanport College. OUS will continue to be our central administrators and we will still be the Vikings.

We will then enjoy a leg up in social status, political clout, and an unquestioned sense of being firmly established. Imagine a university having both Oregon and Portland in its name with a medical school right here in our own backyard---one that also offers up engineering, having close ties with the region's higher tech companies.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by CaseyOrourke » July 21st, 2012, 7:05 pm

Another idea would be to follow the precedent instituted by Virginia Tech. Its full name is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. But if we offered a partnerships with Oregon Institute of technology &OHSU, then named ourselves Oregon Polytechnic Institute and State University, there might be some confusion and ruffled feathers on the part of Oregon State, so we could just drop the State University or add the city to make it Oregon Polytechnic Institute and State University- Portland. A mouthful, I know, but I've noticed most technical schools are better known by shortened monikers like VT, Georgia Tech and Texas Tech , so we could get away with calling ourselves Oregon Tech.

Just an idea for a name that puts us up with the big boys on the research block.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by DustRunner » July 22nd, 2012, 10:22 am

Except that Oregon Tech already exists in K. Falls. We'd have to be Portland Tech.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » July 25th, 2012, 6:55 am

Another possibility would be to absorb OIT and then, after the three-way merger, rename it all OIT. No tail wagging the dog. The little OIT in Klamath Falls would then be like a satellite campus for the big OIT in Portland. It would be like Oregon promoting the importance of a technological institute to the metro area. The boon to Portland Metro's high tech industry would be palpable. The partner with higher ed from industry would be uproarious. Huge dynamic economic infusion and wealth creation.

One must is the unqualified name of Oregon. The state must have its name and reputation on the line so as to guarantee wholehearted support. Right now, Portland State is considered a regional university only. That must be upgraded to entire state-level jurisdiction. "Portland Tech" would render us only a regional jurisdiction again.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by CaseyOrourke » July 26th, 2012, 3:43 am

BroadwayVik wrote:Another possibility would be to absorb OIT and then, after the three-way merger, rename it all OIT. No tail wagging the dog. The little OIT in Klamath Falls would then be like a satellite campus for the big OIT in Portland. It would be like Oregon promoting the importance of a technological institute to the metro area. The boon to Portland Metro's high tech industry would be palpable. The partner with higher ed from industry would be uproarious. Huge dynamic economic infusion and wealth creation.

One must is the unqualified name of Oregon. The state must have its name and reputation on the line so as to guarantee wholehearted support. Right now, Portland State is considered a regional university only. That must be upgraded to entire state-level jurisdiction. "Portland Tech" would render us only a regional jurisdiction again.

That was my way of thinking, but what's important is to get Oregon in the name, especially if we use the name Oregon Polytechnic University. Cal Poly may be an FCS level team, but among the kids I teach, it is a highly respected research school and a degree from there holds a lot weight in the Chinese electronics industry.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » August 17th, 2012, 10:27 am

I like the idea of PSU+OHSU+oit becoming the big OIT. All the major tech schools call themselves institutes of technology. Cal Poly and Virginia Tech have used the term Polytechnic but I wonder if the term would help or hurt perceptions.

CIT was established in 1891 whereas Cal Poly was set up in 1901. Cal Tech claimed rights to the "institute of technology" name and Cal Poly got the term "polytechnic." Cal Tech has tremendous prestige and has amazing genius. Cal Poly is of quality but is considered more of the norm.

I think that perception rules. "Polytechnic" suggests good but not great. For that reason alone, I would favor the "institute of technology" name over "polytechnic." It has far-reaching marketing consequences. One author said that perception is all we really have.

I'd say do this: Have PSU absorb oit. OHSU then combines with PSU+oit and rename the whole thing Oregon Institute of Technology. The tech school that loves the arts. Technology from which art springs.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by scooter » August 17th, 2012, 2:26 pm

Oregon Vanguard University
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » August 30th, 2012, 2:06 pm

scooter wrote:Oregon Vanguard University
Oregon (Veteran's) Memorial University?ImageImage
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » October 11th, 2012, 10:53 am

I believe that if we were to rename Portland State "Oregon Institute of Technology," we would be nixing the idea of the Arts from our university's identity. But PSU is very well invested in the Arts and so that wouldn't do.

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What I recommend, instead, is the name "University of Oregon - Portland" in that this would make the UO more prestigious as a "flagship" university in a relationship akin to that of UC-Berkeley and UCLA, the new PSU being, of course, the latter and the UO being the former.

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This way, the UO-Portland is distinguished from the UO in that it offers engineering courses where the UO does not. OSU offers engineering, of course, but the idea of the UO in Portland doing so suggests a more "elite form" of it, especially being located in the population center of the state.

ImageImage

Herein the recommendation of OIT and the Oregon Graduate Center affiliating themselves with UO-Portland becomes highly relevant. They would represent significant engineering capacity of the Portland university, being melded together under a unifying and elite umbrella. UO-Portland and OSU can engage in friendly competitions to motivate higher quality greater than the present state of minimally-engaged competition. This would also impel OSU to greater heights. Some engineers would thrive in the smaller town, others in the larger city.

ImageImage

This would add huge value for the state and give metropolitan area higher tech businesses a common "home" and meeting ground for conferences, expositions and youth competition. Also, any investments made by the UO in Portland can be made part of UO-Portland as they both operate under the auspices of the Oregon University System.

ImageImage

The greatest thing about such a name change would be that the state would be putting its name (and reputation) on the line insofar as the present Portland State University is concerned, whereas now they are NOT compelled to do so, it being merely Portland's "regional public university." This name change (and mission) of the current Portland State University would make all the difference and most likely catapult the university to its greatest imaginable heights. Private investment would most probably naturally soar.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Last edited by BroadwayVik on October 11th, 2012, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » October 11th, 2012, 12:31 pm

Eugene Register-Guard EDITORIAL:
A step toward autonomy Panel approves independent boards for UO, PSU

Published: October 7, 2012 12:00AM, Midnight, Oct. 7

The University of Oregon and Portland State University have taken a big step toward gaining greater control over their own affairs. On Thursday the Legislature’s Special Committee on University Governance approved the draft of a bill that would allow the universities to form their own boards. The committee’s unanimous vote is a sign that previously skeptical lawmakers are starting to see the advantages of giving more autonomy to universities that want it.

An appreciation of those advantages can be gained by talking to Joseph Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University. OHSU has been governed by its own board since 1995. An academic medical center differs in many ways from a public university, but their interest in autonomy is parallel. Self-governance has fostered “a culture of self-determination,” Robertson says, allowing OHSU to act more quickly, form partnerships and achieve efficiencies that would otherwise be beyond reach.

Those are the benefits the UO seeks. While some details in the governance committee’s draft legislation remain unsettled, such as the size and precise composition of the university boards, the bill would allow the UO and PSU boards to issue revenue bonds, approve labor agreements and set tuition rates within limits. The boards would have the authority to hire university presidents, subject to approval by the state Board of Higher Education.

The draft bill is explicit in insisting that accountability be preserved, and that universities remain faithful to their missions as public institutions. The experiment in autonomy will even have a control: Oregon State University has not asked for an independent board and under the bill would continue to be governed by the state Board of Higher Education.

The UO and PSU have been forced to become increasingly self-reliant in their financing, and their governance systems need to catch up. The draft bill brings them closer to that goal.
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Evolve in merger -->
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by CaseyOrourke » October 11th, 2012, 9:29 pm

BroadwayVik wrote:I believe that if we were to rename Portland State "Oregon Institute of Technology," we would be nixing the idea of the Arts from our university's identity. But PSU is very well invested in the Arts and so that wouldn't do.

What I recommend, instead, is the name "University of Oregon - Portland" in that this would make the UO more prestigious as a "flagship" university in a relationship akin to that of UC-Berkeley and UCLA, the new PSU being, of course, the latter and the UO being the former.

This way, the UO-Portland is distinguished from the UO in that it offers engineering courses where the UO does not. OSU offers engineering, of course, but the idea of the UO in Portland doing so suggests a more "elite form" of it, especially being located in the population center of the state.

Herein the recommendation of OIT and the Oregon Graduate Center affiliating themselves with UO-Portland becomes highly relevant. They would represent significant engineering capacity of the Portland university, being melded together under a unifying and elite umbrella. UO-Portland and OSU can engage in friendly competitions to motivate higher quality greater than the present state of minimally-engaged competition. This would also impel OSU to greater heights. Some engineers would thrive in the smaller town, others in the larger city.

This would add huge value for the state and give metropolitan area higher tech businesses a common "home" and meeting ground for conferences, expositions and youth competition. Also, any investments made by the UO in Portland can be made part of UO-Portland as they both operate under the auspices of the Oregon University System.

The greatest thing about such a name change would be that the state would be putting its name (and reputation) on the line insofar as the present Portland State University is concerned, whereas now they are NOT compelled to do so, it being merely Portland's "regional public university." This name change (and mission) of the current Portland State University would make all the difference and most likely catapult the university to its greatest imaginable heights. Private investment would most probably naturally soar.
I beg to differ, calling ourselves Oregon Tech would not nix the arts, dance, theater or music from our idenity. Schools like Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, to name a few have outstanding Arts,Theater and Dance departments which by no means have suffered because they are associated with a school with the word Tech in their name, it's only enhanced and greatly influenced the schools prestige as a world class institution.

In our case it would be an institution known for its commitment to the ARTS expanding itself and bringing an equally strong commitment to technology and the future.

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/theatreanddance/
http://www.sopac.vt.edu/
http://www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu/index.php
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » October 12th, 2012, 8:18 am

Those were great examples. Hah. I guess we're back to two great options.

ImageImageImage

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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by CaseyOrourke » October 14th, 2012, 5:24 pm

BroadwayVik wrote:Those were great examples. Hah. I guess we're back to two great options.


"When it comes to technology -- we're Vikings!"
I just hope someone on the board of regents reads this, or knows somebody who reads this and takes our suggestions serious enough to consider them.
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by DustRunner » October 15th, 2012, 5:45 pm

I hate to say it, but Oregon Tech already exists. They're down in K-Falls. ;)
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Re: Names have Political Strength or Weakness

Post by BroadwayVik » October 16th, 2012, 7:47 am

I believe we realize that already. What we're talking about is, essentially, an OIT on steroids located here in downtown Portland. The one in Klamath Falls would most likely operate as a kind of "satellite campus" even though it was the original.

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Last edited by BroadwayVik on May 5th, 2014, 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Evolve in merger -->
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