Why the name “Maryland University of Integrative Health?”
In the fall of 2012, we enlisted a national marketing and research firm to conduct a series of surveys, focus groups, and interviews with current students, prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, and thought leaders in healthcare and higher education. The goal was to test the viability, relevance, and appeal of several words and concepts as they relate to our institution. This research considered our past, present, and, especially, our future direction.
Overwhelmingly, the words “integrative health” were the preferred descriptors. The Executive Management Committee (officers and academic and clinical leadership) and the Board of Trustees felt those words would serve as a powerful anchoring name for our institution and that adding “Maryland” connected us to a progressive state that is a national leader in health and wellness.
What are the criteria to become a university?
A university title is given to institutions of higher education that:
- Offer multiple levels of degrees within their academic programs
- Have a core faculty that oversee and deliver academically rigorous courses
- Have established principles for shared governance
- Comply with concepts of academic freedom
- Routinely assess courses and programs for academic quality
- Have structured systems for hiring and reviewing faculty
Over the past several years, we have worked diligently to meet all of these criteria.
What does becoming a university mean for the institution?
It brings clarity and credibility. The public was unclear about the word “Institute” and its meaning. The public is quite clear about the word “university.” Universities are “institutions of higher education that grant academic degrees.” They provide the highest form of formally recognized learning in the world and are the source of new knowledge creation. This approval of our new name and designation as a university acknowledges the excellence of our academic programs and places us in the top tier of knowledge generating organizations in the world. This will benefit our students and faculty, as well as our graduates.
How will we honor the Tai Sophia name in the future?
There is a strong intention to retain and honor this name and the generations that came before as we move forward. It could become the name of a department in the school or used in other ways. The MUIH community will be involved in this conversation in the coming months.
Will the new university status affect the institution's foundational principles, mission, vision, and values?
No. An inclusive committee was formed in the fall of 2012, at the request of the institution’s president, Frank Vitale, with the goal of clearly defining and articulating the principles that are at the core of all work at this institution. This includes the foundational work in some of our signature programs, such as Redefining Health, the School of Philosophy and Healing in Action (SOPHIA), and Becoming a Healing Presence, as well as the concepts of relationship-centered and whole person healing.
The recommendations from this committee will be presented to the Executive Management Committee and to the Board of Trustees. Following the adoption of these principles, and in light of our new university status, the mission, vision, and values will be revisited and possibly refined. The last step will be to create institutional student learning outcomes to ensure that the principles are infused throughout the curriculum of all academic programs and the organizational culture.
Will the new university status affect the size of the campus and its programs?
Gradual and systematic enrollment growth is already a part of our strategic plan, and we intend to expand our programs related to integrative health, including the addition of online programs. Our building has sufficient space to meet our current programming needs and we will consider renting or building if more space is eventually needed. With the transition to university status, we strengthen our commitment to maintaining a true learning community and offering highly personalized attention to each and every student. We call it our “exceptional student experience.”
What will happen with the institution’s visual identity, including the colors and logo?
We will keep purple as our school color. Our new name necessitates the development of a new graphic identity system for use on publications, the website, advertising, letterhead, business cards, and other forms of communication. Once this process is complete, there will be a style guide available to ensure that we present an accurate and unified image internally and externally.
Will the website address change?
Yes. We will move to www.muih.edu as soon as the new website launches in the late spring of 2013. For a period of time after the new website launches, any searches for www.tai.edu or Tai Sophia and other variations of our name will be directed to www.muih.edu.
Will student, faculty, and staff emails change?
Yes. This process has begun and will become active in the late spring of 2013 to coincide with the launch of the new website. All emails sent to the www.tai.edu email will be forwarded to the new email addresses (email@example.com) for a period of time. More details will be coming soon.
What changes have been made to diplomas?
Graduates from May 1, 2013, and beyond will receive a diploma with the new name. All former graduates of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute and Tai Sophia Institute will be offered the option to obtain diplomas with the new university name for a fee of $50 beginning August 1, 2013. More information will be sent to all alumni soon.
Which name should alumni use on resumes?
The name on the diploma and resume should be consistent.
What is the timeline for the changes?
Effective March 1, 2013, our legal title will be Maryland University of Integrative Health. The following schedule has been established to allow sufficient time for changes and updates to take place within the institution:
||Public relations campaign begins
|2/13 - 2/16
||President and provost host a series of celebrations for students, faculty, staff, and alumni
||Transition begins with changes to email signatures and phone voicemails
||Legal effective date of university status
||New visual identity unveiled
||Begin ordering new business cards and other stationery
||Permanent changes to email signatures and phone voicemails
||Stickers go on all print materials announcing new name
||Internal transition officially complete
||Ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal new signage (details to come)
||Commencement of first graduating class of MUIH