March 24, 2006
Here's an idea to go with my last posting. Why is our school mascot a panther? Are there any panthers in Iowa? Have there ever been any panthers in Iowa? I bet we don't have a zoo in Iowa that has a panther. Let's be honest, a panther is a dumb mascot for an Iowa team.
I say we choose a mascot that connects with our community or our region. So I'll suggest two options and you let me know if you have a better idea. 1) the Windstormers. Anyone who has walked across campus on a windy day would agree that our campus has more than its share of strong breezes. 2) the Whitetails. Frankly, this one may not sound tough or powerful like a panther, but whitetail deer actually do live all around our campus. Moreover, Iowa has had more deer entered into the Boone and Crockett record book than any other state. Moreover we have a strong John Deere presence in our community. So my money is on the Whitetails. What do you think?
March 14, 2006
By Any Other Name
The University of Northern Iowa has an unacceptable name. Why do we have a compass direction in our title? The University of Iowa is further east than the other Regent schools, but it's not called the University of Eastern Iowa. We aren't even that far north. If we want equal status with the other schools then we shouldn't be treated like the illegitimate step-sister.
Here's my idea. Let's rename ourselves Iowa University. There's an Iowa State University and there's a University of Iowa. Let them keep their names. I guess Iowa State wants to make sure that you think of them as a university representing the whole state rather than just Iowa County Wisconsin or, God help us, Iowa City. And the University of Iowa is obviously convinced that having a preposition in their name is somehow critical. So fine, no problem; we'll go with Iowa University. Short, sweet, and to the point.
Don't freak out. Remember our University has already changed its name several times. It started in 1876 as the Normal School. In 1909 it changed its name to the Iowa State Teachers College. In 1961 it became the State College of Iowa. It was renamed the University of Northern Iowa in 1967. I think 40 years is long enough. It's time for an improvement. I'm tired of being the school that sounds like "you and I." Are you with me? Go IU!