The time for "University" has come

(08-06-2012)

Opinion by Dr. David Svaldi, President

It's official: August 7, 2012, marks the change of Adams State College to Adams State University. It's going to take practice, but I like the sound of that.

Over the nine decades since its founding, Adams State has evolved from a "Normal School" offering only teacher education through four name changes, as the range and quality of our academic offerings expanded.

Although the college - oops - the university - has been considering this change for a few years, the reality is still sinking in. Some people are unclear what this change to "university" means for Adams State and our students.

  • It does NOT mean excessive tuition increases.
  • It does NOT mean more government funding.
  • It does NOT mean a significantly larger on-campus student body.

What this change does mean is that Adams State's academic breadth and quality are now reflected in its name. The academic standards that "university" conveys will make our graduates more competitive in the job market. As a university, Adams State will be even more attractive to students, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, learning on campus or at a distance.

Webster's College Dictionary defines university as "an institution of learning of the highest level, comprising a college of liberal arts, a program of graduate studies . . . authorized to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees." While there are no "official" requirements or standards governing an institution's name, we clearly fit that definition, since more than one-quarter of our students are enrolled in one of nine graduate programs.

With our latest name change, we deliberately kept "Adams State" consistent. Likewise, we modified the university logo, rather than undergo a complete redesign. This demonstrates our enduring commitment to providing a high quality college education to rural Coloradans, particularly in the San Luis Valley and Southern Colorado. Adams State will continue its mission as a moderately selective institution where access and student success are paramount.

Just as when Adams State was founded in 1921, our San Luis Valley community shares in this success. I invite all our friends to join in The Great Stories Celebration of our move to "university." A number of special events are planned for Aug. 23 & 24, in addition to the annual Welcome Back Luau. Friday night concludes with a Gala Scholarship Dinner, a FREE concert by Los Lobos, and fireworks! For details, click here.

At Adams State University, the great story just keeps getting better.