Mesa State name change would cost

Changing the name of Mesa State College would cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Mesa State President Tim Foster told listeners during a telephone-town-hall conference Tuesday evening.

The call rang out to more than 20,000 alumni Tuesday and offered call recipients nearly an hour to question Foster and other college representatives about the potential name change. Foster said the price of a name change was hard to nail down, but he guessed the figure would include six digits. “We’ll have to change signs,” Foster said.

Other alumni questioned what the new name would be and how soon the college’s trustees would select a name. Foster said the college has “80-some” name possibilities and will send out a poll to alumni, faculty, staff and students as early as next week. A poll of listeners on Tuesday’s call found 125 supported the name change, and 27 did not.

If the name poll is distributed, trustees will use the results to make a decision April 25 on a name to suggest for legislative approval in May.

Associated Student Government President Nick Lopez said tuition is not expected to skyrocket if the college becomes a university, and he expects the Mavericks to continue to play NCAA Division II sports.

As for future growth, Foster said the college possibly could handle 10,000 or 12,000 students, “but we’d have to make some physical adjustments, and more importantly we want to hang on to who we are.” He said 20 to 25 percent out-of-state enrollment would be a plausible goal to shoot for with the name “university” as a draw for those students, who pay more tuition and could help keep revenue stable as budget cuts affect schools across Colorado.

Future master’s degree programs at the institution could include one in exercise science to go with the Monfort Family Human Performance Lab and another to complement the future construction of a forensic anthropology lab, or “body farm,” Foster said.


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