Those suggesting a change in name from the University of Southern Maine to the University of Maine-Portland have perhaps not considered the negative impact and unintended consequences such a change would bring.

It would be inaccurate and confusing to give the university a Portland-only label when it has campuses in both Portland and Gorham. For those who wish to capitalize on the association of the university and Maine’s largest city, it is doubtful that many people currently need to be reminded that one of the university’s campuses is in Portland. We should also remember that while the Portland site has limited available space for expansion, the Gorham location enjoys a large amount of open space for future growth and development.

Anyone who has been part of a change in the name of a company or an organization knows what a huge undertaking it is. Have proponents of the idea attempted to come up with a dollar figure that a university name change would cost? Consider that many signs on both the exterior and interior of university buildings would have to be changed, plus directional signs. The list of things needing new identification is long, but it would include every athletic uniform, every piece of printed material and every mislabeled piece of equipment that would have to be discarded and replaced.

Changing name recognition in the eyes of the general public would also be a challenge, and I doubt that the thousands of proud alumni of the University of Southern Maine would welcome a need for new allegiance to a name laid to rest in the 1970s. Let’s face it – changing the University of Southern Maine’s name is an ill-conceived and poor idea.

Linda McLoon

Portland


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