Did You Know? 1964.


Author David McCartney spells out the problem…

During these early years of public higher education in Iowa (1847-1950’s), only the Iowa City institution included the word ‘university’ in its title. This exclusive status seemed to allow SUI administrators to take liberties with the school’s name, referring informally to it in catalogs and other publications as “Iowa State University…”

In 1898, meanwhile, the Ames campus was renamed Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts; in 1959 it was again changed to its present-day Iowa State University of Science and Technology. The Cedar Falls campus changed its name in 1909 to Iowa State Teachers College, and again in 1961 to the State College of Iowa before finally adopting the University of Northern Iowa in 1967.

Let’s see: By the early 1960s, Iowa’s three public institutions shared the words state and Iowa. What’s worse, two of them even shared the words state, university, and Iowa. Confusion ensues. What to do?

Not until 1964, did Howard Bowen, SUI president at the time, have an answer: Shorten the name of the State University of Iowa (SUI) in everyday usage to the University of Iowa (UI), while retaining its full, original name for legal and other purposes. On Oct. 22, 1964, the State of Iowa (not Iowa State!) Board of Regents approved a resolution authorizing just that … making it all official. SUI became UI.


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