Following the recent trend of changing academic department monikers, UCSB administrators are seeking to revamp the College of Creative Studies and Francisco Torres Residence Hall by giving each a new name.
Until June 1, CCS is holding an open contest to change its name, the winner of which will receive a free lunch at the Faculty Club. Meanwhile, Housing and Residential Services Executive Director Willie Brown said the university is considering giving FT a more fitting title – and perhaps a better reputation.
Within the last year, the Geological Sciences, Film Studies and Chicano Studies Depts. have also changed titles.
CCS Dean Bruce Tiffney said he wants the college’s new name to more accurately reflect CCS’s eight fields of study. He said people often incorrectly associate the word “creative” with the arts and forget about CCS’s science programs.
“We all know that very frequently students come in here and are surprised that we have science,” Tiffney said. “A month ago, a colleague in geology on the East Coast asked what I was doing being the dean of an arts school.”
Tiffney said he hopes a more accurate name will increase the college’s enrollment numbers. After becoming dean in July 2005, he said he quickly learned about the dissatisfaction surrounding the college’s name since its inception 38 years ago
CCS administrators will likely consult alumni about any name change, Tiffney said. It could take anywhere from a year to two years before an official name change occurs, he said.
Fourth-year CCS literature major David Kartsonis said he has mixed feelings about renaming the college because it could change the composition of the program’s student body.
“The people that care enough to look into it are the students who belong here in the first place,” Kartsonis said.
As for FT, Brown said he would like the residence hall to mirror its fellow halls, all of which bear the names of local areas or mountain ranges.
Additionally, Brown said he would like to rename FT to distance it from its perceived negative history, during which its previous owners sometimes maximized profit at the expense of the students’ quality of life and neglected community standards.
Brown said the UCSB Academic Senate and Housing Administrative Committee have yet to come to a decision regarding the potential name change.
“It’s about changing quality of life, and I think our staff has gone a long way toward making that happen,” Brown said. “I hope that if no change is made in six months, we stop discussing it.”
However, FT resident and first-year biopsychology major Colin Dunn said he did not think a name change would alter people’s perceptions of FT.
“I don’t see any real way that a name can have a reputation versus a place,” Dunn said.
Regardless of whether it will change the reputation, however, the Film Studies, Chicano Studies and Geological Sciences Depts. have all had their names changed recently.
The Film Studies Dept. will become the Film and Media Studies Dept. on July 1 to more accurately reflect the breadth of its curriculum, said department chair Anna Everett.
“We don’t just offer film studies anymore and haven’t for some years,” Everett said. “The advent of new digital technology is transforming media industries themselves. Convergence has changed the way people think about the discrete media categories, which are not as clearly demarcated as before.”
Last month, the Chicano Studies Dept. officially changed its name to the Chicana and Chicano Studies Dept. Department chair Chela Sandoval said the change occurred because of the growing concern over the linguistic meaning of the words “Chicano” and “Chicana.”
“The name change occurred in order to take intellectual, political and moral account of the linguistically gendered meanings that get articulated when one uses the word ‘Chicano’,” Sandoval said. “It was a decision we were forced to confront because of a worldwide movement to include women in all our namings of this political group.”
Geological Sciences Dept. manager Leslie Edgerton said the department changed its name to the Earth Science Dept. in April 2005 to incorporate fields of study such as marine geophysics, global climate change and oceanography.
“The name Earth Science better represents what we do,” Edgerton said. “It is also more consistent with the wider issues facing science in the 21st century – looking ahead with a more modern view.”