October 30, 2009 11:49:00 AM
Those who support changing the name of MUW to Reneau University are missing a critical link in the Profit-Loss-Costs equation..
Good business men and women know that in any financial calculation - whether on your business ledger as revenue/expense, profit/loss or filing your capital gains/losses with IRS - both gains and losses, assets and liabilities - must be taken into account.
That is not being done here. Those who support the name change are gambling - betting that the change will increase enrollment, save the university, and sustain the economic impact the university has on the business community in Columbus. But they offer no evidence whatsoever to support their claim and continue to ignore evidence that suggests the opposite will occur while failing to take into account the costs and losses that will occur if the name is changed.
At a time when education budgets are being slashed at all levels, it makes no sense to be spending scarce dollars on something as unnecessary as selling a new name. The timing is further impacted by the fact that The W has a lame duck president and no representative on the IHL Board. What is needed now is a real search for a new president who believes in the mission of The W and has the personal communication skills and political savvy to unite the alums, make friends for The W and market the university vigorously. Bringing in a new president and saddling them with the responsibility of selling the new name is senseless.
What will be lost? The stellar reputation for excellence that the current name carries with it. The women''s mission that has produced women of integrity and intelligence who are in positions of leadership all over the state. Four or 5 meetings annually when women come from all over the state to conduct the business of the association. Homecoming where hundreds of women come to celebrate the school from which they graduated....the fervent support of the 22,000-plus alums whose diploma will become an artifact... outstanding faculty committed to the current mission ... and when The W becomes a cookie cutter regional school...a commuter school altogether...giving to the foundation will take a big direct hit.
What will it cost? I''m not sure anyone knows how much the name change will cost in actual dollars. A search for comparisons suggests that the ultimate cost for a name change can range from several hundred thousand dollars to millions. The administration dodges questions on costs and suggests that private funds will cover the transition. If by that they mean from the foundation will cover the costs, it must be noted that any foundation dollars spent on a name change are dollars not spent on the more critical and fundamental needs of the institution.
The W must be saved - and can be saved, but first things first. Complete the search for the next president first. Find a new strong voice as an advocate for the institution and then address the name change issue.
Jimmie Moomaw, Avondale Estates, Ga.
Educate Yourself commented at 10/30/2009 4:23:00 PM:
Oh, please get a clue! The money was just poured down the drain for the "marketing study", which was a complete and utter farce. You're one of the group of ignorants who have accepted everything that proponents of a name change put in the paper. Get real - they're feeding you what they want you to believe!!
!!! commented at 10/30/2009 5:25:00 PM:
Oh please get your head out of the sand and look at the clues yourself. You are living in the past.
Don''t Ask commented at 10/30/2009 6:18:00 PM:
Please stop asking for evidence that you will never accept. Educate Yourself is a perfect example. You will classify everything as an "utter farce" that comes anywhere near confirming the need for a name change. You have done that repeatedly....I guess that's the dead horse !!!! was referring to.
Heavy Dense commented at 10/30/2009 6:35:00 PM:
EVIDENCE? You want evidence!!? How is 20 years of stagnant growth as Mississippi university for Women.
just curious commented at 10/30/2009 10:04:00 PM:
Why is it that a university's enrollment must continue to grow to justify its existence or to prove it is a quality school? Our colleges and universities all over the state have already lowered their admissions standards from what they were decades ago in order to increase enrollment, which has led to the problem they all now have with graduation rates and retention! If Columbus is counting on having a Reneau University the size of MSU to help increase its coffers, it better think again. Students from The W already live in Starkville and commute because they don't want to live in Columbus. It's going to take more than a name change, Columbus, and I don't believe that is the answer to the problems at The W or those in Columbus.
George commented at 10/31/2009 9:15:00 AM:
"just curious" The answer to your first question is economy of scale. One must have a sufficient number of students to justify the infrastructure. The bad economy is actually good for educational institutions as a rule and MUW needs to do everything it can to remove enrollment detriments as they compete for students. Changing the name is long overdue.
The second part of your statement about Columbus is another matter. You fix that by growing the city in the right direction and electing good leadership. People need to care enough to study the candidates, expose the bad ones, encourage good people to run, and VOTE for them.
What Sex? commented at 11/1/2009 8:04:00 AM:
The writer of this letter is named "JIMMIE".
Is "Jimmie" a male or female or someone that is unclaimed?
Did "Jimmie" graduate from MUWomen?
That's what I call it: MUWomen. It rolls off the tongue.
??? commented at 11/2/2009 1:27:00 PM:
Why does it matter?
1. Our View: A strong case for a liberal arts education DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Froma Harrop: Canada can be tough on immigration NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Our View: Ben Bradlee's enduring legacy DISPATCH EDITORIALS
4. Dana Milbank: President pariah NATIONAL COLUMNS