September 17, 2021

It’s official – USU Eastern

It’s official – the name is USU Eastern. On March 4, the legislature decided to pass the petition to make official the name that was already commonly used. That makes for the second name change the college has had in three years. Since 2010, with the merger, the college was known as Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah, but being such a mouthful, most people just shortened it to USU Eastern, or continued calling it CEU. Now that it’s official, the name won’t be changing again anytime soon, however, the dilemma of name caused by the merger has created some small confusion on campus and in the community.
“The college is in an identity crisis,” says Greg Dart, director of enrollment services. Dart explains that from a marketing standpoint, brand is everything. Being affiliated with USU is good for the school’s brand. However, it is weakened when the school itself seems to be in confusion about its name. For a prospective student who is investigating the school, it is important that they be presented with a unified image of a school that knows who it is and where it is headed.
But Dart having only arrived in 2012 – after the initial merger and name change – has a different perspective than some who have been here longer.
Program Coordinator of the Sun Center, Terry Johnson says, “I grew up, attended, graduated from, and hired on with CEU, so occasionally I will accidently refer to our institution as CEU.” However, Johnson recognizes the importance of the merger, and fully supports it, “I will say that I try not to wear my CEU apparel to work because of our interaction with prospective students and their parents.”
In regard to the “identity crisis,” Chancellor Joe Peterson says that there is more to identity than a name.
“Next fall, the College will have its seventy-fifth birthday.  During its history, the college has been named “Carbon College,” then “College of Eastern Utah,” then “Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah,” and now “Utah State University Eastern.”  Despite all of these name changes, the College has maintained unchanging core values that are the foundation of its identity.  The college prepares the people who create and sustain our region.  This is, and has always been, the college’s central purpose, and despite changing names, the college’s core values have remained constant.”
It may be a few years until all are thinking of the institution as USU Eastern, and there will probably always be those who think of it as CEU, but the fact remains the same – those who attend the university are better off because of it. The college will always remain dedicated to that purpose. The name is important because that is what everyone will know the college by, and with that name, a reputation will always be associated, however, USU Eastern has a rich history and will carry that reputation into its bright future.

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