Compromise offered for college name

Friday, November 1, 2002

It's not yet official, but the chances appear very good for the return of "McCook College" as the name for the oldest junior college campus in Nebraska.

According to the interim president of the Mid-Plains college area, Carlton Williams, it appears a substantial majority of the board of governors favors "McCOOK COLLEGE, a Division of Mid-Plains Community College," as the name for the educational facilities in McCook, and "NORTH PLATTE COLLEGE, a Division of Mid-Plains Community College," for the educational facilities in North Platte.

The compromise was worked out last Friday, Oct. 25, during a meeting attended by Betty Wadewitz of North Platte, chair of the Mid-Plains Community College Area board of governors; Harold Bennett of McCook, the board's vice-chair; and Williams, the interim president.

Following that session, the compromise proposal was sent to the 11 members of the college board. "The president has not heard from all board members in response to the recommendation," Dr. Williams said in a memo mailed Thursday, Oct. 31. "At this point, however, it appears that a substantial majority are supportive of this proposal and will vote for this action item on Nov. 13," the interim president declared.

The compromise plan also recommends that the attendance centers in other area communities be designated as extended campus sites. These locations would be known as "Mid-Plains Community College--Broken Bow Extended Campus;" "Mid-Plains Community College--Ogallala Extended Campus;" and "Mid-Plains Community College--Valentine Extended Campus."

In their compromise plan, Wadewitz, Bennett and Williams also make several other points, including the following:

- "Area" will be used in the title only when legally required. Otherwise, it will disappear from college signs, letterhead and marketing.

- People of the McCook area will be asked to join in a program of area-wide unity.

- Educational sites in McCook and North Platte will no longer be called campuses. They will be referred to as divisions.

- "McCook College" and "North Platte College" avoid the awkwardness and redundancy of the longer titles previously in use. Mid-Plains becomes the overall name with which the entire area can identify.

- An ad hoc committee will be appointed to work with a marketing consultant to develop a revitalized marketing plan. The group's mission will be to develop formats and recommendations for a logo, web page, signs, letterhead and college publications. "A new look" and "new expressions of identity" will be goal of these endeavors, according to Williams' memo.

Action on the name change is scheduled Nov. 13 at the next meeting of the Mid-Plains Board of Governors. That session will be conducted in McCook, and board member Dale Poore of McCook is urging a large turnout of McCookites to make certain the board follows through on the name change.

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