The Daily Egyptian had an article in yesterday’s paper about a rebranding effort getting under way at SIUC. Instead of focusing on the natural beauty of Southern Illinois, the university will begin marketing its academic programs.
I think this is good news for SIUC. It’s great that the surrounding area is beautiful and offers many opportunities for recreation. If a student were trying to choose between two schools with equal academic programs, the natural beauty and recreation opportunities would probably be a tie-breaker. But a university cannot build its reputation on nature alone. A university must have quality academic programs – and students have to know about them – if it is going to be successful.
Judging by the Daily Egyptian article, Chancellor Cheng is pushing this change. To quote the article:
Mike Ruiz, director of university communication, said most of the university’s marketing showcases southern Illinois regions, especially the environmental beauty surrounding campus. He said the university has been looking to shift its advertising focus since Cheng became chancellor in June.
And then later:
Cheng said academic reputation and the 219 programs available to students are the messages that need to be marketed to students.
“Our primary audience for our branding is the prospective students and their families,” she said. “Academics and programs are the key things that go into the decision of college, and we want to make sure our marketing is connected.”
The more I see of Chancellor Cheng, the more I like her. It’s still early in her tenure and I don’t want to get too carried away, but I cautiously optimistic that Cheng intends to start solving some of the problems at SIUC. I wish her the best of luck.
Head over to the Daily Egyptian site and read their article for the full story.
Comments are welcome.