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The 5 things UVSC should do to really become a university

I just posted this article on The Pipeline, but I wanted to get some feedback from you Provo Pulsers:

While the big transition from UVSC to UVU is just a few months away, one wonders if the name change will really transform the school. Here are my top five things we think the school could (and should) do to really become a university:

1. Live up to Global Engagement promise: With such a high percentage of returned LDS missionaries, UVU has one of the most bilingual college populations in the country. UVU should capitalize on this advantage by making foreign languages part of the core curriculum. Every student graduating from UVU should be encouraged to be proficient in another language.

But how do you get students to enroll in these time intensive classes? At BYU students can use language credits to satisfy math requirements. Imagine how many students would take 12 credits of a language in order to avoid passing Math 1050.

2. Tell Trades to go green or go home: This is an idea that I have suggested before, so for full details click here. But basically we need to exercise some tough love when it comes to our trades program. With the MATC across the street already providing nearly redundant trades offerings, UVU should focus on programs that are worthy of the university name. Other schools have adapted to the burgeoning Green economy and are training their students to lead the way when it comes to responsible and sustainable construction and green automobile technology. Let the trades schools take care of traditional trades programming, UVU should be doing the work of a university and be pushing the limits of green research and development.

3. Do something amazing with the Wasatch Campus: UVU's Wasatch Campus in Heber City has been serving the surrounding community for a few years now. But most people would agree that enrollments have been disappointing. UVU should take advantage of the campus's unique location and turn the Wasatch Campus into a world renowned destination. Minutes from some of the world's best outdoor areas the Wasatch Campus could provide outstanding programming that students from all over the world would pay top dollar for. Hospitality management, recreation management, or even a top notch film school (with Sundance just down the road) would thrive in the location. It would take vision, and a lot of money, but it could very well put UVU on the map. Otherwise that special location will continue to languish.

4. When it comes to academics, focus on what you do best: There has been a lot of speculation as to what kind of graduate programs the newly minted University should offer. As many of you know, a graduate program in education begins this fall with advanced degrees in nursing and business to follow. These three areas will certainly address current market demands and will most likely be successful and valuable programs.

But UVU should also study some of the school's more unique undergraduate programs and look for ways to develop new highly specialized master's programs that focus on practicality and shy way from heavy research. We think the aviation department's unique position as one of the best online flight programs in the country could be a springboard for a unique graduate program that takes advantage of that web positioning. UVU also has one of the largest deaf populations outside of Gallaudet. This unique position could be a selling point when attracting students interested in furthering deaf studies at UVU. UVU also has an extremely high percentage of LDS students for a state school. Having that resource along with good academic freedom policies would provide an excellent environment for Mormon Cultural Studies. Why should Claremont University lead the Mormon academic movement?

5. Respect the past, Restore The Bunnell Pioneer Home I couldn't help sneaking this one in, as it is a pet project of mine. To learn more about efforts to reclaim and restore one of the campus's hidden treasures click here. No university is complete without a little culture, and we think transforming this 115-year-old farmhouse into a working student cafe will help UVU establish an identity and foster creative work and discussion.

Alright Cougar Fans, feel free to make as many sarcastic remarks as you see fit. But I would also like to know what you really think.

wait, there's another

wait, there's another university in utah valley? huh..

sadly, i think UVU still has the stigma of being the ugly little brother of BYU, especially among BYU students. a lot of us probably just look at this as a name change. with some of these improvements, i think that stereotype could begin to fade. having two strong universities in the valley can only help. unfortunately i am not intimately familiar with much going on over there, so i can't give many specifics. good luck to all wolverines in making the transition as successful as possible.

While not a Utahan, I am a

While not a Utahan, I am a BYU alum in one of the physical sciences and have long thought the trade school and university experiences should be combined. It would give students the luxury of pursuing a liberal arts education (if that's their fancy) w/ option of picking up a trade at the same time if they desire to earn a living wage from the get-go w/o profession graduate education, in effect, a true renaissance program. So, while I think your proposal of UVU expanding into the avant guard aspects of trades education and research makes a lot of sense, I think their classical trades education should be maintained too.