Focus groups to discuss Mesa State name change

Mesa State College wants to know how community members feel about a potential name change for the college.

The school is pondering the idea of placing “university” in its title and possibly changing its entire name. Beginning in the third week of this month, the college will host a series of focus groups where people can discuss the pros and cons of a name change and what the school’s new title could be.

Mesa State President Tim Foster said if even the first group is divided on changing the name, the school may back off the idea.

“There’s no rush. We can come back and try it again in five years of 10 years or maybe never,” he said. “We don’t want to get into a humbug about the name and forget the vision.”

Foster is undecided about whether the college should change its name. But he definitely opposes one idea: “Mesa State University is not an option. It’s the worst of all worlds,” he said. That’s because the name university conjures up an image of a large school for most people, and the name Mesa State is recognizable to only 2 percent of potential students and their parents surveyed in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Idaho and Texas, Foster said.

Foster said a change to Mesa State University would not gain recognition points outside Colorado, and recruiters would have the added task of explaining the school has a smaller campus.


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