Satellite campus should consider leaving identity as is
The University of Houston-Downtown may no longer be seen as part of the UH system.
According to the Name Change Exploration Survey Executive Summary, published in December by UHD, a study was conducted to ascertain whether students, faculty, staff, alumni and other citizens of Houston fully understand the relationship between UHD and UH.
The survey found that many misconceptions about UHD stemmed from its connection to the UH system, and as a result, UHD is now tentatively planning a name change. But is being considered a joint identity such a bad thing?
It is said that a book should not be judged by its cover, but in truth it is. When it comes to college degrees, the name of the institution is often very significant.
UHD sophomore Sarah Short said she feels that, without the UH name, the degree she is working so hard for might not possess the same amount of influence with prospective employers.
‘What if I go for an interview and a potential employer doesn’t recognize the name of my school?’ she said.
The survey found that different colleges within UHD have not come to a consensus about the name change. Faculty and students from the College of Business appear almost completely open to the change, but those from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are overwhelmingly opposed to it.
Like Short, many of those opposed to the name change appreciate the current name as decidedly descriptive of UHD’s connection with UH. The affiliation is seen as a kind of security blanket.
Those in favor of the name change think it could help UHD create its own identity, giving the university more independence. This would be done by relying on the positive standing that has already been built and, to a certain extent, the influence of past accomplishments.
But what about those who chose to attend UHD for its connection to the UH system? Having satellite schools adds to the reliability and availability of UH to Houstonians and, in some cases, Texans located outside of Houston.