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Goodbye “C.W.”

Dorianna Valerio

The Board of Trustees has voted and approved a rebranding initiative that will unify all the Long Island University campuses. The rebranding initiative will include a new website and also a new name for our 56-year-old campus. Early next spring, L.I.U. – C.W. Post will go by L.I.U.- Post.

On October 24th, a presentation about the rebranding initiative was held in Hillwood Commons during the common hour. The presenter was John Ferrell, a consultant affiliated with the marketing and communication company, Young and Rubicam.

Ferrell covered topics like complex advertisement placing, with the opportunity to reach 2 million people daily, including ads placed in areas like Times Square and in New York City Subways. Another topic covered was the updated University website.

English Professor Dr. Edmund Miller attended the presentation and was concerned with the accessibility of academic programs on the website: “Department and academic program pages have been cut back to minimum curriculum facts, although they used to contain a wealth of material about the quality of the faculty and the activities of departments and graduates. At the moment, the academic information is not even current, and the online bulletin is also out of date,” he said.

According to the presentation, which the Pioneer was invited to attend by a University faculty member, the website will also present a unified online school system.

Assistant Vice President for Public Relation for Long Island University Kim Volpe-Casalino said in an email, “The initiative will not have any impact on tuition prices, and there will not be a new website. New logos will be introduced, and additional student and alumni success stories will be posted on top-level pages.” She added, “these changes will not affect the site’s existing functionality.”

One of the major topics covered was the new logo.  According to Volpe-Casalino, due to clearance issues, the new logo is not available to the students at this time. However, the new logo was shown at presentation.  On June 27, 2011, University President Steinberg released a memo, which discussed the rebranding initiative.  According to the memo, which is available on the website, the University trustees “have given the officers a mandate to develop a singular, unifying brand for Long Island University. Increased competition and a shrinking pool of high school students require us to clarify who we are and why our value proposition is clear and compelling.” Also, the memo states that one purpose of the rebranding initiative is to increase admissions.

After the presentation, Ferrell took questions from the members in the audience. One member was concerned that C.W. Post will lose its uniqueness under the unifying brand.  Professor Miller didn’t see this as a major issue; however, he said, “The nine L.I.U. sites of the new ad campaign are so different; I think this is less of a problem than that potential students may get lost in trying to find Post.”

Dean Noel Zahler, the Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, doesn’t think that the rebranding initiative will take anything away from the individual campuses.  He said, “It simply makes it easier for people interested in us all to identify our brand and seek the information they need. I think that the rebranding will help the University recruit and strengthen our presence in a complex marketplace.”

Senior journalism major Zoila Rodriguez thinks the unifying brand is a good idea.        “Students tend to criticize and compare other campuses.  This change will offer a sense of equality and unison,” she said.

Part of the rebranding initiative means C.W. Post will drop the “C.W.” and become L.I.U.-Post in favor of unifying the campuses. “I don’t think it’s necessary. The name was given to this institution to honor C.W. Post, and Post sounds very informal and not like a private institution of education,” Rodriguez said.  The University was named after Charles William Post, the American breakfast cereal inventor. His daughter, heiress to the Post fortune, Marjorie Merriweather Post, sold the estate to Long Island University for $200,000.

Senior music education major Joel Lewis doesn’t see the point in the name change, although he has no real issues with it. “As long as it doesn’t change anything academically, then, by all means, call the school what you want,” he said, adding, “Outside of school, if I say I go to “Post” at least more than half the people I say this to know what I’m talking about.  All I had to say was “Post,” and people know.”

However, freshman pre-pharmacy major Alex Sigel said, “It’s funny how they try to justify the change by giving the school system a “sense of unity,” but the fact of the matter is that the Brooklyn campus is far away, and there’s really nothing tying the two together besides administration.”

During the question portion of the presentation, Ferrell was asked how much the rebranding will cost.  Ferrell averted the question. “The answer was that the advertising budget would remain the same but would be distributed differently,” Miller said.

The Pioneer requested further information regarding the rebranding initiative from the administration. Volpe-Casalino provided a few paragraphs from Dr. Steinberg’s upcoming University Update email.  According to Dr. Steinberg, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize the rebranding and recruitment initiative in order to increase enrollment and retain existing students. He wrote, “The goal is to increase our enrollment by establishing a unified L.I.U. identity that distinguishes our University in an over-saturated marketplace while capturing elegantly and succinctly our student-centric mission of Access and Excellence.”

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