ERIC Number: EJ871922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Survival of the Fittest? The Re-Branding of West Virginia Higher Education
Owston, James M.
International Journal of Educational Advancement, v9 n3 p126-146 Dec 2009
From 1996 to 2005, West Virginia produced the greatest percentage (56.25 percent) of institutional re-brandings in the country. In addition, the state experienced the largest proportion (25 percent) of "college-to-university" re-brandings than any other state. This study embarked on discovering possible reasons for this phenomenon and the results of such changes. Using a mixed method approach, a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized to determine the rationale, strategies and implications of these name changes. Eleven West Virginia institutions in total were analyzed. As West Virginia is a nested population within Appalachia, administrators from 51 re-branded universities in the region were also surveyed. Additionally, existing data from 103 institutions across the United States were longitudinally compared before and after a "college-to-university" re-branding. The study addressed the following areas relating to an institution's re-branding as a "university": rationale, implementation, regulatory constraints, stakeholder reactions, effects upon enrollment, resulting prestige, administrative advice, the choice to remain as a "college" and brand protection. While administrators reported that the goal for re-branding as a "university" was to accurately reflect the institution's current mission, there was a tacit assumption that these changes would also produce greater prestige and increased enrollment. Certain indicators of prestige and slowed enrollment were noted following the re-branding effort.
Descriptors: Organizational Change, Change Strategies, College Planning, Etiology, Classification, Educational Development, School Surveys, Administrator Attitudes, State Colleges, State Universities, Institutional Advancement, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; West Virginia