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Higher Ed Grad Program Offers Summer Mini-Course in Appropriate Department Naming

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by Joel Pettigrew
Freelance Writer

Announcement: New Class Offering:

In seeking to expand their professional development course offerings, Scarlet University’s Higher Ed and Student Affairs Graduate Program is offering a 5-week course this summer, labeled EDU 892: Acronyms Helping Higher Administrators.

The professor who developed the course, Dr. Erica Boyd, said that “as higher education practitioners, we must be able to create easy, catchy and sometimes cheesy acronyms for the names of our departments, programming and committees. It is essential to keeping operations running smoothly at our universities, and this course should help current administrators develop better acronym skills. I have been actively courting directors in our housing office, the University Housing and Residence Support Center, known as \’UHRSC.\’ It just doesn’t roll off the tongue correctly, and could seriously damage their reputation with students.”

CronkNews was able to obtain the syllabus for the course being offered this summer, both online and on the Scarlet campus. Features of the course include case studies in which students will serve as Chief Naming Officers charged with creating effective department and program names that have eye-catching acronyms. Students will also write papers on the history of acronyms in the collegiate setting. Readings for the course come from Terry Tomlin’s guide, University Naming Involving Quick Understandable Efforts (UNIQUE).

Greg Sharp, an assistant director at Scarlet’s Student Union, is excited by this new offering. “Our acronym is SUSU right now, and students just laugh at us and it really discourages them from getting involved. I’m taking this course to help the Union come up with a much better name and associated acronym so we can get students into the building because they like to say our name. I tried to name our instructional kitchen the Scarlet Union Creativity Kitchen last year, but our director said no pretty quickly. I guess I still need some practice.”