23 August 2015

Creation myths for universities

It’s weird to watch my new institution create stories about itself. It has to convince everyone that it is going to be a big deal, not just more of the same.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) launches in just a little over a week, and it’s already trying to create its own creation myths. This headline in The Monitor local newspaper on the creation of UTRGV declares the forthcoming university to be:

(T)he first university created in 21st century

I think this myth is originating from incoming president Guy Bailey. I recall him making that statement in a town hall, and I used something close to it here.

Except that, at best, UTRGV is the fourth university created in the twenty-first century, according to this list. In this century, before UTRGV, we have:

  1. Soka University of America – Private university founded 2001, accredited in 2005
  2. University of California-Merced – Public university founded in 2005, accredited in 2011.
  3. Ave Maria University – Catholic university founded in 2007, accredited in 2010.

And that’s only the American universities. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were more universities founded since 2001 in that small place known as the “rest of the world.”

As a new university, it would do us good to show we value good scholarship by getting simple, verifiable facts right.

Related posts

In search of an identity for UTRGV, or: why Bucky must go 
External links

The road to UTRGV, the first university created in 21st century
The Youngest and Oldest Universities in the U.S.

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