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Another name change at RCTC?

By Matthew Stolle

mstolle@postbulletin.com

Rochester Community and Technical College officials are considering a name change -- again.

This time, they are considering changing it from the current mouthful to something more syllabically simple: Rochester College.

"It's just so long," Don Supalla, president of Rochester Community and Technical College, said recently. It doesn't fit conveniently on forms. It doesn't trip off the tongue. And it is plain unwieldy on signs.

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"The bottom line is that, in my opinion, we have come together and formed this common culture, and so we're a lot closer together," Supalla said.

Rochester Community and Technical College has been in existence since 1996, when Rochester Community College and Minnesota Riverland Technical College merged. If officials do make the change, RCTC would be the 10th name to be tossed into the dustbin since 1915.

A decision could still be a year or more away, but Supalla said officials have been in talks about a change for about a year.

Supalla said it's a trend that consolidated public colleges across the state are moving toward. He said the possibility of a name change does not have anything to do with the ongoing discussions surrounding the University of Minnesota-Rochester and its proposed expansion except in one respect -- if UMR relocates from its current site at University Center Rochester to a downtown location and signage has to be redone, it makes sense to discuss the school's name.

"We know it's on our radar screen," he said.

Other names RCTC and its constituent components have had over the years include: University Department (1915), Rochester Junior College (1917), Rochester State Junior College (1964), Rochester Area Vocational Institute (1969), Rochester Community College (1973), Rochester Area Vocational Technical Institute (1972), Rochester Technical Institute (1987), Rochester Technical College (1989) and Minnesota Riverland Technical College (1991).

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