'MnSCU' no more? State college system could drop name in rebranding bid


"Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System."

Easy to see why they shortened it to "MnSCU," but now even that may be going as the college system tries to rebrand itself.

MnSCU commissioned Minneapolis PR firm PadillaCRT to help it "communicate the collective value" of the 31 colleges and universities it oversees throughout the state, according to a report the company delivered Tuesday.

The report makes clear that neither "MnSCU" nor its much lengthier full name are getting the job done, describing the names as a "mouthful," "awkward," difficult to say and "complicated to look at."

Most troubling, the report suggests, is that the current branding is merely a "generic description" that "communicates very little" and doesn't do anything to clarify exactly what the system is and which colleges it includes.

Their recommendation? Simply, "Minnesota State."

The overall organization, Padilla suggests, could be referred to as the "Minnesota State System," but they admit that "alliance, network and partnership" might be nice, too.

The names of the individual colleges and universities, they say, could be underscored by the new, simplified branding.

But there's apparently more to rebranding than just picking a spiffy new name. Padilla also lays out a "reputation campaign" that would help prospective students understand what sets MnSCU apart from the competition, which is partly its reputation for affordability.

The report affirms that MnSCU's message must make clear the system's "passion for providing accessible, quality education" to its students.

The Star Tribune reminds that MnSCU is a separate institution from the University of Minnesota (aka U of M), the simplicity of whose name may bear some similarity to Padilla's recommended title change.

The paper says MnSCU's Board of Trustees will now mull over the recommendations.

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