Institute of Technology begins process for possible name change

In an effort to increase the visibility of engineering and science programs within the college, the Institute of Technology has begun a wide-ranging discussion of a possible name change for the college. The Institute of Technology Dean's Advisory Board has identified consideration of a possible name change as a high priority for the coming year.

In a recent recommendation to the dean, the board noted that the name of the college (with its acronym IT) has become increasingly problematic in terms of securing financial support and recognition for critical academic programs. Today, IT has come to mean Information Technology to virtually everyone. The board also stressed that few people outside the University have an understanding of the difference between the Institute of Technology and other University of Minnesota research institutes.

Several highly regarded Institutes of Technology exist in the United States, but these represent entire institutions-for example, the Georgia Institute of Technology-and not colleges within a university, as does the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota. Institutions like Georgia Tech have separate colleges of engineering, sciences, and so forth, and the collegiate names give clear identities to these academic programs, something that is missing at Minnesota.

Institute of Technology Dean Steven L. Crouch has asked the University's Carlson School of Management's Brand Enterprise program to assist with the name change research and process beginning in early 2009. During this process, the college will be involving a wide variety of stakeholders, including alumni, faculty, staff, students, business leaders, and many other groups.

If you have questions about the process, send a message to itdean@umn.edu. Be sure to include "IT Name Change" in the subject heading.

January 13, 2009