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North Florida Makes NCAA Tourney

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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:26 am   
Golden Panther
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The University of North Florida won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament (FIU’s old conference) and will be one of the Cinderella stories of the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, win or lose. Congrats to them. The school will get great national exposure in the coming week. Many people across the country will hear of the school for the first time when the field of 64 is announced and the brackets are finalized later today.

A couple of things the Jacksonville-based school has that FIU doesn’t:

1. People will instantly know it’s a public, state school;
2. No one will believe it’s a for-profit or online university;
3. People will have a general idea where it’s located in Florida.

That’s a huge instant advantage it has over FIU simply because it has a better name. Think about that.

But don’t get me wrong, North Florida’s name still stinks...It’s a “directional” name that no one will ever respect. In my rankings below, directional names are one tier away from being the worst category of names a university can have. They’re bad, but they’re not the worst. FIU’s name is in the worst category. What is so frustrating is that we could jump to the #2 category with a logical name change incorporating the city of Miami name instantly.

This is so much more important than 99.8% of you realize.

Why is this important? Because any name below category #2 will never be respected nationally.

***If you’ve read this before, please stop reading. I’m not writing this for you.***

There are five categories of school names, and I’ve ranked these categories in the order that are most desirable for a state university.

1. Traditional State Names
2. City Names
3. Non-Standard State Names
4. Directional Names
5. Other Names

1. Traditional State Names – These are names of public, state universities with the state they are located in included in the name and the possibly the word "State" also (e.g., Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, etc.). For public universities, this is class A real estate. These are the best names. These are the most respected and recognizable names. With these names, it doesn't matter what city you are located in. No one cares because you are considered a MAJOR state university. Only two schools in each state can grab these types of names, so they are all taken.

2. City Names – These are names of state schools with a city's name in them (e.g. Auburn, Memphis, San Diego State, Pittsburgh, Houston, Clemson, Fresno State, Louisville, Boise State, etc.). This is class B real estate. If you're a public university and aren't in category #1, this is where you want to be. This is where I want FIU to end up. With this category, at least people know where the schools are located.

3. Non-Standard State Names – These are names of state schools with the state they are located in and the word "Tech" or "A&M" (e.g., Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, etc.). This is class C real estate. Technical and agricultural schools are like third class citizens. Some have managed to build strong brands over many decades, but this is clearly a step below the top two categories.

4. Directional Names – These are names of state schools with some “directional” word included in them, like North, Northeast, Southwest, Eastern, Western, Southeastern, etc. Examples include North Texas, SW Missouri State, Eastern Michigan, Central Florida, and Northern Illinois. This is NOT where you want to be. These schools are constantly made fun of as being inferior schools and are the punching bags for the (usually) bigger, more known state schools. These directional schools get the scraps. But it's still not the worst place you can be as far as naming goes. It’s one step above category #5 for state schools.

5. Other Names – Any state school that don't fit into the other four categories above belongs here. And nearly every private university fits here also. These are basically meaningless names that only have meaning to the individual school. People unfamiliar with the school have no frame of reference by looking at the name alone. Examples of state universities in this category are (sadly) Florida International, Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Ball State, Temple, and Purdue. If you are a state school, this is the poorest type of name you can have. With these names, you have to build your brand literally over DECADES before the masses know and care who you are. For those that have not built a known national brand over many decades (like FIU), almost everyone assumes that the school is smaller and academically inferior to other state schools. Worse, if your chosen name is particularly bad (like FIU), you'll be lumped into a category with for-profit universities. In this “other name” category, you are almost irrelevant to the entire country.

Yes, many private schools have been able to build a strong brand in this #5 category (e.g. Duke, Stanford, Harvard, etc). But it took DECADES to accomplish. And these schools had to build a loyal, wealthy alumni base first. They did this by first establishing a strong academic reputation by catering to the wealthy. They needed to establish an academically elite school first and let the donations and endowment grow over decades. If you're starting from ground zero and trying to build a reputation in this category, good luck, see you next century.

The only logical choice for lowly FIU to move up the chain is to adopt a city name.

What makes this even more of a slam dunk choice for FIU is that the city we’re located in is a city that’s instantly recognizable and known nationally (and internationally for that fact). And it has a ton of cachet. Yet, sadly, the school failed to use this asset.

What makes a name change for FIU an absolute necessity is that 99% of the population of this country doesn’t know the difference between FIU and FAU. Most confuse the schools and think they are the same university. Even for the few that know they are two different schools, they can’t tell you the difference between the two. It’s as if they’re the same school anyway. Most of you guys don’t get this important point, so let me say it again:

99% of the population of this country doesn't know the difference between FIU and FAU--if they even know they are two different schools.

Changing FIU’s name is a no-brainer of the highest order. There are no more excuses. The cost of not changing the name far exceeds the costs of changing it. If you think other schools in Florida will fight the name change, then that only tells you it’s absolutely the right decision.

We need leaders with courage, vision, and fortitude to make this happen. After Mitch Maidique left FIU, I’m not convinced we have any of those qualities left at FIU. FIUWho?

FIU is the city of Miami's only state university.
FIU is Miami State University.

Official Name:
State University of Florida at Miami, or
Miami State University of Florida, or
Miami Florida State University

 PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:47 am   

Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:18 pm
Posts: 403
I am not going to read the whole post but the first three points is very accurate:

"1. People will instantly know it’s a public, state school;
2. No one will believe it’s a for-profit or online university;
3. People will have a general idea where it’s located in Florida."

If you are outside of South Florida and you say Florida International, you then have to follow up with "it's in Miami" as a way to prove it is not an online for-profit university.

The problem is, there is no other name to turn to. Miami State that you keep mentioning is no good. All the good names are taken, the school was established in 1965, we were stuck with what was left. We really got screwed with University of South Florida as that SHOULD be our name.

Edit: I like your details and examples. Miami State would be a good option now that I think of it. Anything would be better than Florida International. The problem is, you are banging your head against the wall. Most people on this forum either don't care or will not do anything about it. Why don't you make a true detail report and try to present it to Dr. Mark Rosenberg? You need to bring this us to people that can actually make a change. I don't think they will make a change as we are a commuter school and the higher ups are quite content with being a commuter school as long as enrollment is high.

 PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:31 am   
Golden Panther
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Location: Boynton Beach, Florida
North Florida isn't a Cinderella story until they win a game or two. If FGCU doesn't hey out of the first round a couple years ago they are an afterthought now.

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