A name by any other name: Responding to the increasing role of marketing in higher education

Glenn Rosenthal, University of Pennsylvania


To better market themselves in an increasingly fractured and competitive marketplace, many institutions of higher education are changing their names and status from “college” to “university.” The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) is one such institution, having changed its name from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences (PCPS). The purpose of this qualitative inquiry was to present a case study of the issues this small, private institution faced when making this fundamental change in structure and philosophy. In conjunction with an investigation of primary documents, the data for this research were collected through interviews with 45 USP administrators and faculty, three board members and several branding consultants. An analysis of the name and status change at USP revealed both academic and financial motivations on the part of the planners. As seen from this project, once an institution does decide to rebrand itself, continuous attention to marketing and growth is necessary. The dissertation analyzes the process of renaming a postsecondary institution, as well as the social and cultural forces that spur these types of ideological changes.

Subject Area

Marketing|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Rosenthal, Glenn, "A name by any other name: Responding to the increasing role of marketing in higher education" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3092046.