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March 2003

Release Date: March 28, 2003

Survey to Gauge Opinion Regarding Possible Name Change for ASU

Angelo State University has initiated a survey at the request of the Texas State University System (TSUS) Board of Regents to gather views from ASU alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends about the possibility of changing the university's name.

The survey seeks a broad representation of opinion from ASU's various constituencies to determine the advantages and disadvantages of such a name change. The survey comes at a time when legislation has been introduced in the Texas Legislature to change the name of Southwest Texas State University, one of Angelo State's TSUS sister schools, to Texas State University at San Marcos.

Because of the legislation and other TSUS issues, the board asked ASU President James Hindman to begin the survey of the various ASU constituencies.

The survey also implements one of the recommendations of ASU's marketing plan adopted in 2001. The plan recommended that the university study the issue, believing that a name change that incorporated the word "Texas" would enhance ASU's name recognition elsewhere in the state.

Dr. Hindman said, "We are going into this process with an open mind. Over the years, ASU has developed a proud reputation and the name 'Angelo State University' has come to represent academic excellence among those who know us. Unfortunately, we are not always that well known along and to the east of the Interstate 35 corridor where more than 80 percent of Texans now live."

"Hopefully," he said, "the process will produce a constructive dialogue about the university's future by providing a concise description of the issues and by generating broadly based responses to the survey."

Hindman noted, however, that the issue ultimately may not be one over which the university has total or final control. The TSUS board, for example, did not request the legislation that was filed to change the name of Southwest Texas State. Ultimately, the Texas Legislature has final authority on the names of all state universities.

The ASU survey will be distributed on campus to students, faculty and staff next week. A special insert will be produced in the next issue of the ASU Alumni Magazine to poll members of the Alumni Association. The poll also will be sent to a scientific sampling of alumni not belonging to the association. Additionally, the survey will be made available to local business professionals through the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce.

The survey will include information delineating factors that should be considered in reviewing a name change, including state and area demographics as well as the cost of such a conversion.

The survey asks whether or not ASU should consider a name change. The survey also polls respondents on whether or not they favor "Texas State University at San Angelo" as a name. Space is also provided for respondents to list other potential names for the university.

Additional questions seek data about the respondents' affiliation with the university. The survey requests responses by June 1. Survey results will be shared with ASU's various constituencies later in the summer.