I've been told to never judge a book by its cover but I've also been told that first impressions mean everything. Pictures have the cognitive value of a thousand words but can the same be said about titles?
The title of chief executive officer surely commands a higher level of respect on a business card than, say, chief executive janitor. Just like a weak first impression, a bad title can turn away prospective interest in seconds. This concept is not lost on the University of Toledo.
UT recently changed the title of its business school from the College of Business Administration to the College of Business & Innovation. Drawing approximately 3,300 students annually, the school is one of the university's most popular institutions. But since 1930 when the business school was founded, graduates received diplomas branded with College of Business Administration, and to suddenly change the name of its most popular collegiate institution certainly raises some eyebrows.
I was curious to find out what kind of impact this change has had on the university.
The reaction to the name change evoked a large variety of responses, ranging from ambivalent to frustrated.
The professors I spoke with generally liked the new title, but were frustrated because of some slowed operations within the college because of the change. One professor had issues with producing copies of his test, much to the jubilation of his students.
I discovered a number of undergrads who said they liked the change, noting that it seemed to be progressive for the university. Some perceptive members of the College of Business & Innovation believed the progressive attitude was spurred by the recent completion of UT's newest facility associated with the college of business, the 54,000-square-foot, $15.4 million Savage & Associates Complex.
Some of the features found at the new complex include 10 state-of-the-art classrooms with capacities ranging from 30 to 300 students, six to eight conference rooms, five action learning labs, five breakout rooms, and a 40-seat board room, all of which are fully networked with wireless capabilities and the latest in audio visual equipment technologies and distance learning capabilities.
To me there is certainly a correlation between the name change and the addition of the Savage complex to campus. It appears that the university is showing initiative to back up what the new title evokes.
It is obvious that UT wasn't just looking to change first impressions with this title change but rather revamp the entire college of business to mirror the current state of the business world in order to better prepare its undergrads for the future.
Thus it's progressively evolving with the times and essentially it's talking the talk and walking the walk.
There is little doubt that a change in title means a change in how something can be perceived and the University of Toledo continues to entice students with a good first impression.