University of Missouri-Rolla Chancellor John F. Carney III wants the campus community and alumni to discuss the merits of changing the university’s name to something that better reflects its role as one of the nation’s top technological research universities.
Carney raised the name change issue during his State of the University Address to the campus community on Monday, Oct. 9. UMR’s current appellation does not distinguish the campus as one focused on engineering, technology and science, he said.
Soon after he joined UMR in September 2005, Carney set a goal of making UMR one of the nation’s top five technological research universities by 2010. While UMR’s marketing materials already carry the tagline of “Missouri’s premier technological research university,” the institution is not as well known as it should be in other parts of the United States, Carney says.
“The University of Missouri-Rolla is unique among the four University of Missouri campuses because of our focus as a technological research university,” Carney says. “We believe a more distinctive name would afford UMR several advantages in recruiting students on a national level.”
Carney plans to gather input about the possible name change from the campus over the coming weeks. He plans to send a survey to alumni later this month and also survey students, faculty and staff. Any name change would require approval from the University of Missouri Board of Curators.
The Board of Curators must approve a name change for any of the four University of Missouri campuses.
A name change would be nothing new for the campus, which was founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. It was informally known as the Missouri School of Mines, or MSM, until 1964, when it was renamed the University of Missouri at Rolla. The campus became known as the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1968.