University Center replaces SDPURC as nickname


Staff And Wire Reports

The campus in Sioux Falls that offers programs from four state universities has had a bit of an identity crisis. And now it bears a new nickname, University Center.

The original name, USDSU, was a combination of the universities’ acronyms that offered courses at the institution, which were University of South Dakota, Dakota State University and SDSU. Then Northern State University joined in, and that name no longer fit. As of October, the Sioux Falls campus, which serves mainly non-traditional students, was named South Dakota Public Universities and Research Center.

Now, after researching a new nickname, logo and image, it will be known as University Center.

“The official name remains. It is more of an identifier of place,” said Robert T. “Tad” Perry, executive director of the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Assistant Executive Dean Ann McKay Thompson said the added university required a name change. But administrators also wanted to showcase it as a research center and prevent any negative connotation from people shortening the name to PURC or worse, SDPU.

“They didn’t know that is what it would become,” she said. “University Center seems to solve that problem.”

Perry said University Center is the short, street version, like SDSU, and South Dakota Public Universities and Research Center will remain as the official name. He said the nickname was a result of selecting key words from the title.

The center paid the Lawrence & Schiller advertising firm in Sioux Falls $13,000 to survey faculty and students, design the name and logo and redesign all business products.

“It’s about gaining creative ways to make higher ed happen, and that’s where the university center concept fits in,” Thompson said.

Kieara Robinson, who attends a class one day a week at the Sioux Falls campus, said the new name is confusing.

“I think that the continuous name change is silly,” said Robinson, a senior pharmacy major. “I think USDSU explained what it is better than the University Center. I think it is a waste of time and money – student money that’s not being put towards students’ needs.”

University Center math instructor John Hollingsworth, who donned a new University Center shirt, was ambivalent about the new nickname.

“Most of the students here are going to think of it as USDSU, and they probably will until they get done,” he said.