University Ordered to Put Reno Back in UNR

University of Nevada, Reno
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It's not the University of Nevada, nor is it simply Nevada. It's the University of Nevada, Reno.

So says interim Chancellor Jim Rogers who sent a letter last week reminding UNR President John Lilley to use the institution's full name in all its documents, references and marketing materials.

Rogers's order was in response to repeated complaints by some university regents that UNR was continuously dropping Reno from its name.

"We're very proud of the University of Nevada, Reno," Lilley said. "We're not trying to sow confusion. We're just trying to honor long-term traditions. Clarity is in our best interest."

The shortened name is popular on university merchandise and marketing materials and is the official brand of the institution's most visible entity - the athletic department.

The alumni association also issues license plate frames that say University of Nevada.

Lilley said the shortened names are a moniker from the past, when his institution's official name was the University of Nevada. University regents added the Reno in 1969 when they renamed Nevada Southern University as University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Lilley said Rogers's request is something he has asked his faculty and staff to comply with before.

The current flare-up arose after Reno was accidentally left off a document at the regents' June meeting, Lilley said.

UNR's School of Medicine and the Cooperative Exchange are allowed to drop the Reno because they are statewide, Lilley said. Those are the only exceptions.

Yet 35 years after the name change, several of the university's entities have yet to make the switch.

The athletic department Web site, the alumni association, the student government and the bookstore all leave out Reno from their names, and a quick perusal of the school's merchandise shows that the city name is practically nonexistent.

The inconsistency has troubled some officials in the system, although for different reasons.

Regent Steve Sisolak said the institution was perhaps trying to present itself as somehow better or more important than it's southern counterpart by dropping the word.

"I think everything from the jerseys to the stationeries to the name on the school should be University of Nevada, Reno," Sisolak said. "They are equal."