The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities endorsed an initiative that changes how the system refers to itself from “MnSCU” to “Minnesota State” on Tuesday. The move does not change the nation’s fifth-largest higher education system’s legal name, which is written in state statute.
“Research has shown that the vast majority of Minnesotans – including prospective students, parents, and community leaders – don’t know what ‘MnSCU’ means or how our state colleges and universities are different from other higher education institutions,” said Michael Vekich, board chair. “The Board of Trustees has made presenting a clearer identity a priority. It is critical for any organization to build awareness and understanding with it key constituents.”
“Minnesota State should be known and understood as a system of colleges and universities united to provide an extraordinary education that is affordable and accessible, enhancing quality of life, and ensuring prosperous communities,” said Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “More clearly communicating this will help prospective students and the communities we serve to better understand the tremendous value our colleges and universities deliver.”
“Minnesota State” is the new nickname for the system as a whole, as well as a system affiliation identifier. Individual state colleges and universities are not required to change their names, but they will use the system affiliation identifier in conjunction with their logos and brand identities to signify that they are members of the Minnesota State system. The new nickname creates a platform for future communication and promotional materials that will raise awareness of how the colleges and universities of Minnesota State differ from other higher education institutions in the state.
The Minnesota State system office will begin making the change in July by taking such steps as revising electronic letterhead, updating the website, and using it on newly printed mailers and brochures. Campuses will take steps to indicate they are a member of the Minnesota State system in phases over the next two years, as supplies of existing materials are depleted.
Minnesota State consists of 37 colleges and universities with over 16,000 employees offering nearly 4,000 educational programs to nearly 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.