How did King arrive at the decision to change its name?
The name change is an outcome of King’s strategic plan, unveiled in 1998, to create a broader mix of academic programs based on a university model. Becoming King University will more aptly describe the master’s-level, comprehensive benchmark that our institution has reached over the past decade.
In recent years, King has experienced unprecedented growth in both enrollment and programming. We now have six academic schools of learning and have been placed in the Best Regional University category in U.S. News & World Report.
King’s administration and key leadership among various stakeholder groups had discussed a possible name change for some time and brought forward the idea formally to the board of trustees last year. The board voted unanimously to approve the recommendation, believing it is highly beneficial to the school and to current and future enrollment. Once the name change was approved by the board, through input from key leadership throughout the campus, King began developing detailed plans for implementing the change and notifying appropriate parties.
Under King University, we will retain the legacy of King College through the name of King College of Arts and Sciences so that our schools are named as follows:
- King College of Arts and Sciences
- King School of Nursing
- King School of Business
- King School of Education
- Peeke School of Christian Mission
What specific circumstances led to the name-change decision?
Several factors paved the way. The first relates to our growing student body. King University has had record-breaking enrollment for the past 13 years. In fact, our student population has doubled since 2005. Our fall enrollment in 2013 stood at approximately 2,400 students.
King’s presence in the Southeast has also expanded due to 13 satellite campuses that now serve students from Richlands, Va., to Knoxville, Tenn. We’ve also broadened our undergraduate offerings and added master’s degrees in the areas of business, nursing and education. Being renamed a “university” also more accurately aligns King with current assessments performed by entities interested in higher education. Due to its broadened curriculum, King has been placed by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges in the category of Best Regional University for the past several years. In addition, our new name better positions us to add doctoral programs. The name change will also help us to grow and continue meeting local workforce and regional needs and a growing online audience.
When will King College’s name be changed to King University?
We will officially begin doing business as King University on June 1, 2013. After the Board of Trustees vote in October, we began working to file all the appropriate paperwork and notifications to collegiate accrediting agencies. However, you will begin to see “University” used in various publications and promotional items this spring.
How will changing the name benefit King students and graduates?
The name change more aptly reflects the range of academic programs available to King graduates and to current students. Also, many business people are not familiar with collegiate rankings and may be more receptive to job candidates – our alumni – whose resumes state “King University.” In addition, recognizing that we exist in a global economy, being a university clarifies King’s higher education status among international students. The word “college” often refers to pre-university programs and not higher education in some international environments.
When will the first “King University” diplomas be awarded?
Students graduating in August 2013 will be the first to receive King University diplomas.
How will changing the name benefit the university?
Changing the name will more accurately represent our institution to individuals seeking learning opportunities or teaching positions – no matter where they reside. In many foreign cultures, the word college commonly refers to pre-university academic programs, so clarifying our status strengthens our ability to attract a broader, more diverse pool of candidates for recruiting both new faculty and students.
Being a “university” also better aligns us with higher education ranking systems that are becoming increasingly important as search tools. It also enhances our fundraising possibilities, foundation opportunities and grant awards that would further grow our campus and academic programs.
Does changing the name diminish the value of diplomas and educational attainments of previous King University alumni?
Not at all. King University already has an established reputation built on 146 years of academic excellence. We are highly regarded by other academic institutions and consistently named among the best in the country by collegiate ranking systems. The name change more effectively reflects King’s broadened curriculum and wider footprint – and better positions our institution for future growth.
Will the name change affect the amount of my school tuition?
No. Tuition costs will not be determined or affected by the name change.
Will the name change in any way alter King’s status as a nonprofit, private institution of higher learning?
King will remain a Presbyterian institution of higher learning with the same mission, vision and values. For the past 146 years, King has had a clear mission that was refined during our institution’s strategic planning process of 1998: to build meaningful lives for achievement and cultural transformation in Christ. This charge will not change; nor will the school’s vision statement.
Will the name change affect the “small-college feel” at King?
Changing our name to university will have no effect on our low student-to-teacher ratio and community atmosphere of the Bristol campus. Many students attend through our Graduate & Professional Studies and Online Programs and the many satellite campuses across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The name change will better represent the inclusion of these students in the student body.
What about traditions, such as the use of “KC” and “college days” in King’s alma mater song?
The alma mater has been a long-held tradition of King, and, as a piece representative of King alumni, we will give members an opportunity to make modifications to the wording if they choose to do so.
If I graduated prior to June 1, 2013, is there a way to obtain an updated diploma denoting “King University” instead of “King College”?
Yes. Any King graduate wishing to obtain an updated diploma can receive one by mail by submitting a formal request through our registrar’s office.
Through Sept. 1, 2013, any King graduate wishing to obtain an updated King Universtiy diploma can do so at no charge.
How should students graduating prior to June 1, 2013, refer to King on their resumes?
If you’re a King College graduate, you are automatically a graduate of King University. On your resume, simply indicate that you graduated from King University, followed by a parenthetical note, such as: Education: M.B.A., King University (formerly King College), 2004
If I graduated prior to the name change, how should I respond when people inquire about my graduating school?
Answering simply that you are a graduate of King University is accurate. Or you could reply, “I’m a graduate of King University, which was known as King College for its first 145 years.”
What institution name will appear on my transcripts when they are requested?
All transcripts requested after June 1, 2013, will indicate that you are a graduate of King University.