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College wants to change its name to something sayable in just one breath

Signs everywhere say this is USU Eastern - but it's official name is more polysyllabic and rarely used.

Officially the name became Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah when the two institutions merged in 2010. But what rolls off the tongue is Utah State University Eastern or USU Eastern for short. A name change request to formalize these more natural references to the college is now before the Utah State Legislature.

USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson said all whom he has talked to agree that the proposed name change allows the college to merely formalize the shortened version already in use - noting that all colleges and universities typically use abbreviated versions of their names, such as the "Y" and the "U." Pragmatically speaking, if it's so long that nobody uses it, then why have it?

With legislation moving forward on the renaming of Dixie State College, Peterson said he was encouraged to piggyback on the Dixie bill in requesting that the Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah name be shortened. It is being introduced as linked legislation with the Dixie State University name change. A vote is expected soon.

Peterson said the USU Eastern marketing committee had already proposed that the longer, more cumbersome, name eventually be shortened. It was part of the committee's plan to propose this over the next 12-24 months. The timing of the Dixie State legislation, however, allows the college to speed up the process.

Peterson said he has sought and received widespread input, both verbally and in writing, on the proposed change, and it has all been positive. Support to shorten the name has come from members of the Utah State Board of Regents, the Utah State University Trustees and the USU Eastern Advisory Board that includes more than a dozen community representatives from Emery, San Juan and Carbon counties.

The Utah State Board of Regents approved the proposed legislation to change the name in a telephone conference call Feb. 4 following similar approval Feb. 1 by the USU Board of Trustees.

USU Eastern Advisory Board members have expressed strong support for the name change legislation observing that community members in the surrounding Price and Blanding areas are both proud and appreciative of the merger of CEU with USU.

"The consensus is that Utah State University Eastern and the shortened USU Eastern have become common in everyday references to the college," Peterson said. "So far all feedback is that we should move forward now and take advantage of the legislation that is already underway."

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