University of Akron Name Change Considered in an International Context


In previous posts, I have focused on controversial decisions by President Scarborough during his first year at the University of Akron. Several posts have reported on his decisions to eliminate, then to redefine, and finally to restore the University of Akron Press—and, on the faculty and student activism that influenced those changed decisions.

But, beyond that issue, the elimination of 213 staff positions, the closure of the university’s E.J. Thomas Hall for the performing arts, the elimination of the intercollegiate baseball team, and the proposal to change the university’s name have all created an uproar not just on the campus itself but across the broader Akron community.

On the last of those issues, President Scarborough has proposed “re-branding” the university as Ohio Polytechnic University. Although he believes that the name change will herald an institutional shift toward more “entrepreneurial research,” critics of the name change have pointed out that, at…

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