Worst university name

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by emmzee, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    I was recently discussing online learning options with a friend of mine and mentioned Excelsior College as a potential option, and she ridiculed the name, saying it sounded dumb, like a sci-fi college or something. (My friends' opinions do not necessarily reflect my own, don't flame me!)

    So this got me wondering, what do you think is the worst name that an accredited school currently has (or previously had)?

    (Since this is mostly (but not entirely) subjective, try not to flame others, mmk?)
  2. taylor

    taylor New Member

    The University of Guelph and Tyndale University, LOL! Just kidding, sort of...no really kidding.
  3. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    Full Sail University?
    Morehead State University?
  4. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

  5. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member

    Le Tourneau University

    Le Tourneau University. I'm sure that this is a perfectly good university...it's SACS-accredited. But for anyone in Seattle the name would get laughed at due to the notorious Mary Kay LeTourneau. The case is older now, so it might not be a problem in other parts of the country.
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I resided in Pugetopolis from 1986 to 2001 and the LeTourneau affair occurred within that time frame, so that's exactly what I was thinking when I found out about the existence of LeTourneau University while building the MEd Sticky.
  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    'Alliant International University' generates the image of a struggling cell-phone company or maybe a failed bank.
  8. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    UMUC! I just think having University twice in the name is quite redundant-sounding. I enjoy my classes though!
  9. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Well both Dyke and Beaver have changed their names in recent years for obvious reasons (which the schools acknowledged). So did General Beadle State (in part because of its close association with Richard Nixon). And the splendidly named RA school called Flaming Rainbow University is no longer with us.

    There was a legend in Iowa around 20 years ago, about the proposal to name a school (a high school I think) after a very well-known educator who had recently died. That would be, I kid you not, Bess Goodykuntz. (see http://tinyurl.com/yzvl6f6) I don't believe it happened.

    I once proposed a school merger game, which the Chronicle of Higher Education featured for a number of issues, as readers sent in some very clever proposals. If, for instance, Sacred Heart University merged with Washburn University, you could have Heartburn University (and/or Sacred Wash). If Skidmore merged with the College of Great Falls . . . but you get the idea.
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I was just wondering if they even make excelsior any more, or has it been entirely replaced by bubble wrap. (Bubble Wrap University?)

    Well, apparently so:
  11. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    Well there's Maharishi University of Management. The founder could also be in contention for having trained the most high profile students (Beatles).


    And I suppose might contend for the longest beard in a university founder.
  12. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Eureka College
  13. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Fairfield University = FU
    Pepperdine University = PU
    Ball State University = BSU
  14. major56

    major56 Active Member

    No offense intended to its students or graduates, but Nova Southeastern has always seemed a little different to me as a university name (e.g., nova definition: "a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity"). And I could even add my current school’s name “Tarleton” State. But what do I know...
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Boise State University = BSU
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Alliant is an unfortunate choice. I've gotten used to it but I remember having a bad reaction when they charged to Alliant (what was the name before? I don't remember) I also had a bad reaction to Capella as a new name.
  17. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member


    I got my undergrad from UMUC, and I actually put a dash on my resume so potential employers won't think I have a typo. I put "University of Maryland -- University College." I don't know if that does any good. I wish I could just put Maryland, but that seems pretty misleading.
  18. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Don't forget Argosy, which was another oft-criticized contribution by corporate name consultants...
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Alliant International University came about through the merger of US International University and the California Schools of Professional Psychology.

    Alliant has just swallowed up the Cal-bar accredited San Francisco School of Law as well. (SF Law was one of my old Cal-approved favorites, back in the day.)

    San Diego based US International U. was an interesting animal. It stressed international education, had campuses in several countries, and emphasized students studying in countries other than their own.

    One of the USIU campuses, the one in Kenya, spun off and became independent when USIU changed its focus and turned into Alliant. (Perhaps it had been funded by local sources or something.) It kept the USIU name that the mother school was giving up, and contines on to this day as one of Kenya's leading higher education institutions with an attractive campus in Nairobi. Significantly, it has retained its US regional accreditation from WASC, which no doubt is a selling-point in Kenya. (I believe that WASC recently conducted a periodic site visit to Africa and reaffirmed USIU's accreditation once again.)


    The California Schools of Professional Psychology were/are a group of more than half a dozen psych schools scattered all around the state, occupying office-park settings. They weren't/aren't very prestigious and several of them don't have a very good pass-rates on the psychboard exams, actually lower than the best of the Cal-approved psych schools. But they are RA and some of their programs are APA-accredited as well, which gives these degrees a lot more nationwide utility. Swallowing the CSPP turned the new Alliant International University into easily the largest single source of clinical psychologists in the state of California.

    That seems to be its new focus, along with the inevitable business degrees and other high-demand vocational subjects.

    It will be interesting to see what Alliant intends to do with SF Law, hitherto a credible but modest night-school (the oldest law night-school in the West, actually, about 100 years old) that was a hidden gem, one of the most affordable ways to become a California attorney. Alliant is already telling SF Law students the good news that SF Law's newly RA status makes them eligible for federal financial aid. I expect that the coming bad news will be that they are going to need it, and huge tuition increases will soon follow.

    So all in all, maybe the school's naming itself 'Alliant' is apt. That re-branding seems to have accompanied a dramatic change of focus at the top, a change toward a less academic and more entrepeneurial focus. Alliant's a business that's selling education, but it might just as easily be selling cell-phones.
  20. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I remember in Bears' Guide, there is a reference to the (then-regionally accredited, if I remember correctly) Flaming Rainbow University, which I believe was a Native American operated school.

    I remember back when Excelsior was University of the State of New York, and then, I think, Regents College, and they announced, with great fanfare, the Excelsior name. It sounded ridiculous then and still does today.

    And Capella... why on earth do you change from The Graduate School of America to Capella? It sounds like a school for vocal students.

    But... this is what happens when corporate america hires branding consultants to name schools.

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