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Purdue faculty members question campus merger renaming process

Updated: May 25, 2014 3:54PM



Students, alumni, faculty and staff at Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central last week voted on seven proposed names for the combined campus, but the process of soliciting and vetting those suggestions has some concerned about its fairness.

The names up for consideration are, in alphabetical order, Purdue University Lakefront, Purdue University Lake Michigan, Purdue University Lake Shore, Purdue University Lakeshore, Purdue University Lakeside, Purdue University Shoreline and Purdue University South Shore

In February, the campuses announced they would start the process of combining their administrative and academic functions, and last month they said they were looking for a new name. They accepted suggestions via email, tallied the most popular names and then surveyed the campuses.

The voting results will be presented at the May 9 meeting of the Unification Committee, which will narrow them to two or three choices to be presented to the university’s board of trustees for a final decision.

The Purdue University Calumet chapter of the American Association of University Professors released the letter it sent to the two chancellors protesting the process.

“After proposed names were gathered, a decision was made by you and the Marketing and Communications Committee to select seven proposed names for voting,” the letter read. “It is clear from the communication of the decision that these were not the seven most popular names. There was no mention of the fact at that time that names would be screened by a small group of individuals and then restricted based on criteria not mentioned in the original request.”

PUC spokesman Wes Lukoshus said the process is ongoing, but inviting responses wasn’t the only method that the universities used to arrive at the seven finalist names.

“A group comprised of communication-marketing staff members from both campuses, as well as both chancellors met to select 10 suggested names for survey inclusion,” Lukoshus wrote in an email. “When consensus was reached on no more than seven names, only those names were listed on the survey.”

He said other suggestions and comments will be collected at May 9 meeting, and all of the information will be evaluated in the naming process.

“The Unification Committee also has recommended that the unified university identity will preserve North Central and Calumet campus references,” Lukoshus wrote.



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