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In an Aug. 22 letter sent to alumni, University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings floated the idea of changing the university's name. Cummings said he'd been thinking “a lot about whether a new name for our university might better extend our geographic reach and enhance our reputation and appeal among college-bound students here in Maine and beyond.” He reassured alumni the idea of changing USM's name — which has been in place since 1978, when it changed from being known as University of Maine at Portland-Gorham — “is only an exploration” at this point. The university plans to seek input from its 52,000-strong alumni network in addition to its students, faculty and employees. It also has hired Broadreach Public Relations and Market Decisions Research to conduct the survey and to do the market and brand research to determine whether a name change would be beneficial in attracting potential students to the university, which has campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn.
Should the University of Southern Maine change its name?
Comments

08/29/18 AT 12:53 PM
I can't think of a good reason to change the name, or a name that would be better from a consumer's point of view. So, I said no. But USM's taking the right approach by footing the bill for research to inform the decision. It is refreshing that it's not a C-level decision that has already been made. Maybe the answer is yes, and I just don't know it yet. I'll be interested to learn of the research results.

08/29/18 AT 12:54 PM
The current name represents the region, and not one city. In 1978, we rid ourselves of the "POGO" name.

08/30/18 AT 12:33 PM
It really is the university of 'southern Maine,' not just Portland. Name change would be too confusing going forward.

08/30/18 AT 07:36 AM
This alum thinks USM has bigger problems to worry about. Slashing programs and cutting majors weakens the appeal more than the name.

08/30/18 AT 07:36 AM
As someone who was laid off from USM I find it insulting that they would waste money on a foolish name change.

08/29/18 AT 04:03 PM
Might as well hitch a ride on the Portland name recognition train: UMaine Portland

08/29/18 AT 02:25 PM
USM has a great, memorable and logical name. Don't mess with a good thing and years of recognition and brand equity.

08/29/18 AT 01:38 PM
If it's working now, why try to fix it?

08/29/18 AT 01:16 PM
The University of Maine Portland better describes that this is one of the two universities in the Maine University System.

08/29/18 AT 12:54 PM
Barring University of the Northern Hemisphere, USM works nicely.
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