President says name won’t change


Kristina Aiad-Toss

Seal of The University of Akron in front of Buchtel Hall.

By Grant Morgan, Managing Editor

In the print version of this article, UA Student Trustee Darnell Davis’ name is incorrectly written as Darnell Wilson. The Buchtelite acknowledges this mistake. 

“There are no plans to change the name of The University of Akron— now or in the future. Period.”

How do you feel now that administrators have said UA's name won't be changing?

  • Not enough. They still have to remove "Ohio's Polytechnic University" from our tagline. (44%, 87 Votes)
  • It makes me happy, but I'm still not sure if I trust them. (37%, 73 Votes)
  • It's only a distraction to take our minds off the real problems. (11%, 21 Votes)
  • Phew—relieved. Took them long enough. (5%, 9 Votes)
  • I don't really care. (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Darn! I wish it was being changed still. (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 179

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This statement came from a UA newsletter released yesterday, Sept. 15, signed by President Scott Scarborough and Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Pavloff. Students received the letter through ZipMail.

The announcement came after a series of articles by the Akron Beacon Journal raised controversy over whether the University’s name would officially be changed —a topic that in recent months has left UA constituents shrouded in uncertainty.

Presentation slides used over the summer by Scarborough were released to the Beacon Journal, which suggested renaming UA to “The Ohio Institute of Technology and the Arts,” or more colloquially, “The Ohio Tech University.” A slide also contained a football player in a jersey with “Ohio Tech” printed on the front.

The removal of “A” and “Akron” from sports and marching band uniforms prompted even more worry, and was seen as premonition of a name-change.

Numerous Facebook and Twitter groups created in opposition to the UA administration started to spread the news, including “Save the University of Akron from Scott Scarborough and the BOT”; “Graduates Over Greed”—creators of the notorious paper-bag parody videos; and “Olive Jar”—a reference to the $556 olive jar purchased during the renovation of Scarborough’s University residence.

UA Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Hill said the University has “no response to the various [social media] groups” referenced above.

“There is often lots of misinformation with a lack of context,” Hill said. He added that the timing of the sports and band uniform situation was merely coincidental, a product of research done by the UA athletic department that showed “Z” was a more unique symbol than “A” among college teams.

Scarborough and Pavloff’s newsletter addressed the topic by saying “open dialogue can lead to speculation, rumors and assumptions. That’s what happened as it relates to questions about a possible name change for The University of Akron.”

Regardless of who says what, their message was unequivocal.

Some student leaders on campus are glad that the administration released the letter.

“I support it because I didn’t want the name to change from the beginning,” said Undergraduate Student Government President Taylor Swift. “I only ask that [administrators] communicate it properly, as we’ve seen throughout the past couple months that that hasn’t really been the case.”

Swift added, however, that his concern is not so much about the name of UA, but about administrators staying true to their word.

UA student trustee Darnell Davis agrees with Swift on the necessity of proper communication. He thinks the administration has recently been “standoff-ish, and at a certain point we have to realize that transparency is essential at a university.”

“I think [Scarborough] is opening up to us and hoping to gain our trust back,” Davis said.