CU Prez Opposed To Metro State Name Change

Head Buffalo hates Metro's new name
by Brittnay Anas

University of Colorado President Bruce Benson isn't keen on Metro State's bid to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver, telling the Board of Regents in an e-mail that "it's mostly window dressing" and isn't an accurate name for the school.

The Jan. 13 e-mail, obtained by the Camera through an open-records request, preceded the introduction of state legislation seeking to officially change Metropolitan State College of Denver's name. But CU never actually took a public stance on the bill.

SB 12-148, the Metro State name-change bill, won approval from the full Senate in late February and must now clear the House before being sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper for his signature.

"We are not in any way lobbying that bill," CU system spokesman Ken McConnellogue said Tuesday.

Benson, in the e-mail to regents, said the university had some serious concerns about the name change, including brand confusion with CU-Denver, which shares the Auraria Campus with Metro State. Benson is the former chairman of Metro's Board of Trustees.

"I have long thought that it is bad public policy to engage in the kind of mission creep they have with the addition of graduate programs, particularly at a modified open enrollment institution with a six-year graduation rate of just 20.5 percent," Benson wrote in the e-mail. "Changing their name to a university not only creates brand confusion, it does not accurately reflect the kind of institution it is. It's mostly window dressing. I would say this even if I were still wearing my Metro hat."

At the time, Benson said that, if asked, he intended to say he personally opposed Metro's name change.

Officials from Metro have lobbied for the name change, saying there is confusion over whether the institution is a four-year college or a community college, which affects employers and job seekers. School leaders say the name change will increase the value of degrees awarded by Metro, which offers both bachelor's and master's degrees.

Metro State and the University of Denver -- which originally had opposed the name change -- now have a "co-existence agreement" about the use of the proposed name, which state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, helped draft. In exchange, DU has promised not to interfere with Metro's legislative efforts to change its name.


dggoddard said...

Here comes the Hickenlopper Veto.

Aluuum said...

This is clearly a case of "mission creep". Metro fills a very important local educational goal but it is a far cry from being a legitimate university. They should be proud of what they do and and leave it there. But as long as they keep the name Metro in front I don't see a D.U. problem.

dggoddard said...

The problem I see is that if you allow Metro to call themselves "Metropolitan State University of Denver" whats stopping a private start college from calling itself "DeVry University of Denver."

IMO the issue is protecting the phrase "University of Denver."

Anonymous said...

I would agree with DG.

There is no University of Denver beyond our school.

That should be sacred and final.

F**k Metro.

Anonymous said...

Well, looks like you all achieved nothing with your constant complaining and bitching. Your efforts should have been directed towards something that would have provided a benefit to this world as opposed to getting into a spitting match about this matter. Cheers to all DU alums and Metro State University of Denver Alums. What a waste of efforts for both parties.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, he helped alienate DU. They are seen as an ivory tower, who do not care about the community.