Do you know what MnSCU is?
If your answer is "no," then that's exactly the reason why the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system decided to change its nickname.
From now on, the state college group will be known as "Minnesota State," it announced Tuesday.
Board chair Michael Vekich gave a damning summary of the "MnSCU" name, saying:
"Research has shown that the vast majority of Minnesotans – including prospective students, parents, and community leaders – don’t know what ‘MnSCU’ means or how our state colleges and universities are different from other higher education institutions."
BringMeTheNews ran an (unscientific, just-for-fun) Twitter poll Wednesday morning asking followers how many people knew what MnSCU stood for – and about three-quarters of them actually do know what it means. (That still means about 1 in 4 don't know, though.)
The new name will start being introduced in July by being updated on letterheads, mailers and websites, while campuses will implement the change over the next two years.
The college system – the fifth largest higher education system in the United States – will retain MnSCU for its legal name (which is how it's referred to in state statute).
Minnesota State comprises 37 colleges and universities with nearly 400,000 students.
Check out these terrible acronyms
People might not know what MnSCU means – but the acronym could be worse. Here are some not-well-thought-out titles.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT)
Transit planners in Florida might have wanted to check Urban Dictionary before settling on this name.
Comité Régional de ski Alpes-Provence (CRAP)
This regional skiing administration in France actually refers to itself on its Facebook "About" page as "Le CRAP."
The National Union of Teachers (NUT)
One of the largest teaching unions in the U.K. is pronounced by spelling out the letters, because the alternative doesn't reflect well on the mental status teachers.
The Department on Aging (DOA)
South of the border in Iowa, the state changed the name of its Department of Elder Affairs to the Department on Aging in 2009, with The Week remarking it won't have elderly Iowans sleeping very easily.
Any Congressional bill where the name of a bill is clumsily named so it becomes a related acronym
Take your pick from this Mother Jones list of the worst Congressional acronyms, such as the Special Taxation On Pornographic Services and Marketing Using Telephones Act (STOP SMUT) or the Simplifying The Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act (STALKERS).