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UM wants to drop "Columbia" from name



Columbia, MO – With so many four-year schools in the state taking on new names, the University of Missouri-Columbia wants to go back to its old one.

Chancellor Brady Deaton and other leaders would like to drop the hyphen and everything after it and return to the name by which the school was known before the four-campus University of Missouri system was formed in 1963.

"Our aim is to properly brand it as the major university in the state," he said. "It should be the University of Missouri, period."

To some, Deaton said, the university's designation as "Missouri-Columbia" marks it as a regional campus.

"Why should we have anything that impedes the ability of people to understand the mission of the university?" Deaton said. "It's really a restoration of the original name of the university."

The Mizzou Alumni Association has presented Deaton with a resolution supporting the name change. So has the national steering committee of For All We Call Mizzou, the university's fundraising campaign.

The system also includes campuses at Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla. But earlier this year, curators approved a name change for the Rolla campus.

On Jan. 1, it will become Missouri University of Science and Technology. That follows several other changes most notably the renaming in 2005 of Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University, a move opposed by the University of Missouri system's leaders for years.

Other schools, including Harris-Stowe in St. Louis, have changed their names to include "university" instead of "college," and the former Central Missouri State University is now the University of Central Missouri.

The move to rename Missouri-Columbia was not directly related to any of those changes, Deaton said, but it did make him think.

"It made us reflect on, 'Gee, what do these names and labels mean?'" he said.

Deaton will float the idea to students, faculty and staff this fall. The system's Board of Curators would have to approve the change.

Thomas George, chancellor of the St. Louis campus, said he wouldn't object to the change and didn't think others there would, either.

"We've matured and grown enough," George said. "There are probably some faculty here that might have a concern, but we're on such a roll. We're standing on our own two legs."


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