Article Comment 

Reneau University

 

 

The saga to find a new name for Mississippi University for Women enters a new phase today. With this morning''s announcement by MUW President Claudia Limbert that the campus choice is Reneau University, the rough and tumble business of selling it to the IHL Board, Legislature and alumni begins. 

 


Limbert hopes a new name -- the school''s fourth -- will be approved during the 2010 Legislative session. She has left wiggle room on the actual choice. Getting rid of the school''s gender specific name is the main thing, she says.  

 


Until then, we expect what has been a long, costly and contentious battle will rage on. Chief opponents of the change are a vocal faction of disaffected alumni who think the only thing that needs changing is the occupant of the president''s office. The group launched a letter writing campaign last week and has been lobbying the Legislature to reject the change. 

 


The two are separate and distinct issues. Regardless one''s opinion of Limbert''s leadership, a name change is in the best interests of the university. MUW is no longer a school for just women; that''s been the case since 1982. Studies have shown that many men just aren''t interested in a school that bills itself as a women''s university. We believe the welfare of The W, perhaps even its very existence, is dependent on a name change. 

 


Regardless what critics of the selection process say, Reneau University is an inspired choice. Sallie Eola Reneau was everything one could hope for as a patron saint for a school with The W''s heritage. It was Ms. Reneau''s tireless lobbying of the Legislature that led to the creation in 1884 of Industrial Institute and College, the first state-supported school for women in the country. 

 


Reneau has a distinctive sound. It suggests quality, refinement and tradition, attributes that define The W, attributes any university would envy. Suggested names that use a geographic reference -- University of Columbus, East Mississippi University, Mississippi University -- are either ambiguous (There are more than 30 communities in the U.S. named Columbus and the University of Mississippi is already taken.) or sound like a community college. 

 


A new name will be a welcome change, but it is not going to be a cure for all that ails MUW. Far from it. The rift between Limbert and the disgruntled alumni is a debilitating condition. The school still lacks a clearly defined identity and mission.  

 


That said, MUW, with its high academic standards, storybook campus and welcoming, student-focused emphasis, is a wonderful place for men and women to get an education. 

 


A gender neutral name will make that point as nothing else can.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment JW commented at 8/10/2009 11:36:00 AM:

"A new name will be a welcome change, but it is not going to be a cure for all that ails MUW."

I know you haven't been listening, but that's exactly what the alumni have been trying to say. A name change should have been the least of the school's concerns. They are spending time and money on this issue when a) they don't have the money to do so and b) it's not going to fix what's really wrong at the school.

The alumni has had some legitimate concerns (unrelated to the name change) with the way our contributions and tax dollars are being spent, but instead of addressing these problems the administration and the sycophants who support them accuse the alumni of being stuck in the dark ages and unwilling to change.

Are you saying that if/when Limbert finally gets a name she can live with then and only then will she begin to address things like money being spent to promote the university, possible corruption with the use of alumni money within the foundation, and other issues that everyone has been asking about for years without any answers? (well, unless you call disaffiliation an answer)

 

Article Comment Herbet Jones commented at 8/10/2009 2:35:00 PM:

I like that they considered changing the name. Maybe the enrollment will go for about a second. Once people attend the school they will fastly flee to another school in the area, unless their major is nursing! The school is yes indeedly stuck in the dark ages, i.e. post civil war. So, a heart change and mind change is in order. I am not to sure whats the problem with Limbert leadership, she gets kudos from me for firing the thiefs in the alumni donation department. They should be proscuted and thrown in jail for spending 150,000 dollars. They need to fire everybody in that department and start anew and major them. Perhaps still has been going on for years. Who knows, but not is the time to correct it.

 

Article Comment Explanation commented at 8/10/2009 3:28:00 PM:

Can anyone tell me what Herbet is talking about in this incoherent comment?! Some of it sounds pretty libelous to me, but most of all, I hope the Herbet is NOT a graduate of the MUW Nursing School!

 

Article Comment Explanation commented at 8/10/2009 3:35:00 PM:

Can anyone tell me what Herbet is talking about in this incoherent comment?! Some of it sounds pretty libelous to me, but most of all, I hope the Herbet is NOT a graduate of the MUW Nursing School!

 

Article Comment XNavyChic commented at 8/10/2009 4:53:00 PM:

"I am not to sure whats the problem with Limbert leadership, she gets kudos from me for firing the thiefs in the alumni donation department. They should be proscuted and thrown in jail for spending 150,000 dollars. They need to fire everybody in that department and start anew and major them. Perhaps still has been going on for years. Who knows, but not is the time to correct it."

It seems as though someone has their facts twisted and is making unfounded, veiled accusations and has not one iota of a clue in what they are talking about...

Regardless of what our disagreements are, one thing I would hope everyone agrees on, is the standard of excellence that is instilled in all W grads.

 

Article Comment melody commented at 8/11/2009 12:22:00 PM:

It doesn't matter if the name is changed a hundred more times , it will be called the W in Columbus forever!!!! and ever, Amen.

 

Article Comment bear commented at 8/13/2009 1:35:00 PM:

All I can say is thank heaven I graduated from a real university and not Estrogen College.

 

Article Comment JW commented at 8/14/2009 2:53:00 PM:

Well bear, your university should be worried too because when Limbert disaffiliated MUW's alumni association it set a legal precedent that any university in the country can do the same thing - even on a whim. So when we are fighting for our rights for our school we are really doing so for all schools. Oh and bear, studies show that females make up the majority of ALL universities these days - even yours.

 

Article Comment KB commented at 8/19/2009 11:46:00 PM:

The one thing all of your comments have in common is that you refer to our university as the "W"!!! If we are to be Reneau University, this means we'll be called RU!!!! Can you imagine all the jokes!!! Where RU from? I don't care about the name change, but at least keep the "W" in it!!!!!
a concerned student!

 

Article Comment Burks commented at 8/30/2009 9:30:00 PM:

tHE "w"

 

Article Comment alan commented at 9/1/2009 8:46:00 AM:

While you people are enjoying the tit for tat nonsense on here, might I remind you that everyone who graduated from MUW will now have a degree with a name on it that no longer exists.

As a male student it was difficult enough putting up with all the snarky remarks about the school I graduated from, but now I have the distinction of having graduated from a university which no longer exists.

Thanks Limbert.

 

Article Comment J Baker commented at 9/1/2009 12:38:00 PM:

I think that it will be strange no longer having MUW, but Reneau is a nice name if a change has to be made. Thankfully, the directional options were not approved. I'm an Ole Miss graduate, so I appreciate the desire to retain some traditions. Retaining a name with "Women" in it has no more place here in 2009 than the confederate flag had a place at UM football games a few years back. Best of luck to the "new" W. We Mississippians know all too well that progress and change isn't easy but sometimes it just has to be done.

 

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