Below are the questions we have received regarding the proposed name change from Lakeland College to Lakeland University. We have combined some questions. If you have any additional questions, please email them to .
Do hiring managers at companies in the region perceive a difference between the terms "college" and "university" when they review candidates?
The employers in the region with whom we work most frequently are familiar with the name Lakeland, and a change from "college" to "university" is not likely to have a significant impact on their generally positive perception of our graduates. We do believe that for employers who are farther away and less familiar with Lakeland, this could have a positive impact.
If Lakeland becomes a university, will you offer more graduate degree programs than you currently offer? Would you add any Ph.D. programs?
One of the reasons Lakeland is considering the name change is to showcase the graduate programs we already offer. While we are always exploring ideas for new academic programs, there is no requirement that we add new graduate programs. At this time, however, it is highly unlikely that we would add any Ph.D. level programs.
If you change to a university, doesn't that mean the professors will be required to publish research?
Lakeland's professors are currently required to engage in professional development, which may include publishing research, presenting at conferences, exhibiting work, performing publicly or attending workshops, seminars or other events. These expectations will not change if the institution's name changes.
Does changing to university require that a certain percentage of the professors have a doctorate degree?
A name change does not create any different obligations in this respect. Best practice requires faculty to hold a degree one level higher than the level they are teaching, and almost all of Lakeland's full-time faculty meet this guideline. More than 82 percent of Lakeland's full-time faculty at the main campus hold credentials that are considered terminal degrees in their fields.
Would the board of trustees or executive structure change?
No, our administrative leadership structure would continue as it currently exists. However, our faculty are examining whether this change would warrant a new internal structure for our academic divisions.
Will Lakeland be changing its logos, colors, seal and/or mascot?
Graphic elements would be updated to incorporate a change to Lakeland University. We would unveil those when they are completed. Our mascot would not change – we would continue to be known as the Muskies.
Would Lakeland change its NCAA Division III status?
No, there are no planned changes in our NCAA status as a Division III institution, or in the athletic conference we participate in currently, the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
If Lakeland College becomes Lakeland University, may/should I use the university designation on my resume and other documents?
The decision would be up to the resume owner; however, you would be free to use Lakeland University, or to indicate "Lakeland University (formerly known as Lakeland College)."
If the name changes, can graduates request a new diploma with the new name?
If there is enough interest from alumni to order new diplomas, we will explore a way to make this happen.
You have listed the positives - what are the downsides to the change?
Obviously there are some costs associated with a change like this. Lakeland would work to avoid incurring extraordinary costs and we would not immediately change all signage or other items on which the current name exists. We would develop a timeline to change items like stationery, signage, athletic team apparel, etc., so costs can be controlled within normal budgeting cycles. For example, new athletic uniforms are purchased every so often depending on wear and tear—we would use the existing uniforms until the next appropriate purchasing cycle.
Will alumni and students have an opportunity to "vote" on the change?
The main reason we sent the recent email was to seek input. The ultimate decision will be made by Lakeland's Board of Trustees.