The thought of a name change at Metropolitan State College, to include the word “university,” is somewhat difficult to get a handle on. You cannot call a cow a duck if it sounds like a cow and looks like a cow. It remains a cow no matter how much it may want to be a duck.
Metro State has served, and continues to serve, diverse populations to the enrichment of its academic programs. This inclusive attitude brings richness to scholastic debate in the classroom. Its open-enrollment policies have opened the doors for a wide swath of students who would not otherwise have the academic rigor or motivation required to succeed at the university level.
Metro State has been an excellent teaching college, while the University of Colorado Denver remains an institution of rigorous expectations in research backed up by a demanding call to its faculty to continually raise the bar with increasing research exploration and discovery.
Clearly, each institution has a unique role in attracting and serving constituents. They choose one institution over the other, giving consideration to the varying degrees of academic rigor required for admission and to the pedigrees of faculty members who are judged by different tiers of scholastic rigor during the hiring process.
Inevitably, if Metro State achieves university status, it seems logical to assume the faculty will do their homework and seek to conduct a national survey for the purposes of ascertaining what competitive pay is at comparable-size, university-level institutions. Will the administration at this “new” institution be ready to accept the reality of a blossoming budget when they make this call? Is the state of Colorado, already reeling from financial turmoil, ready to accept the multi-million-dollar cost increase that will accompany this newly upgraded faculty?
Let each institution concentrate on what it does best for its respective student population and champion its own individual, historical strengths.
Associate professor, College of Arts and Media