The University of California task force recommended Cal Berkeley. What is your recommendation and why?
Upon further reflection I really hate “Cal Berkeley” and I honestly think the name “Berkeley” is about to hit the chopping block. I personally hate the constant renaming of things for past sins, but given that I prefer Cal anyway, this is not a hill I will die on. Besides, “Cal Berkeley” makes us sound like a state school.
The people who originally mismanaged the University of California name and allowed this to turn into such a mess should be drawn and quartered.
Become a relevant athletic program and you can call yourselves whatever you want.
Fact: the majority of Cal's players in both of its primary money-earning sports (football and men’s basketball) are black. Fact: George Berkeley (the namesake of our Berkeley), in addition to being an esteemed philosopher, was a white supremacist. He was a plantation owner. He bought and enslaved black people, whom he used to build his own wealth on his New England plantation. After much research and introspection, I believe the proposal by California Hall is both ignorant and absolutely insulting. For one, unless the committee that is recommending "Cal Berkeley" as our new athletic branding has asked every current black player and prospective black athlete that has been recruited to play for Cal the following question, this naming recommendation is not only a gross insult but also extremely poor judgment - Question for current and prospective black student-athletes who are either 1.) at this time performing for Cal or 2.) considering entering Cal as a transfer or HS recruit: "Would you like the name 'Berkeley', our city's name but also a name that originates from a famous philosopher who happened to buy and enslave black people, to be added to all things pertaining to your sport (such as in the standings on ESPN's website, on your team jersey, on the fifty yard line, included in the half-court logo, etc.)?” If California Hall (or whoever makes the final decision on this matter) has not done so, this would be a crucial prerequisite (and you would do well to publish your results) before imposing this slave owner's name on all things Cal athletics. What I or other non-black alums feel about this issue is immaterial. Ask the people that it may most profoundly affect.
Happy something is being done, as nobody knows Cal and UC Berkeley are synonymous, but it's a mistake to change the academic institution.
For athletics, Cal Berkeley works. Just add "Berkeley" below the "Cal" on helmets etc.
The University, for academics, stays the same.
The connection is Berkeley, people will connect the two easily.
Based on the 26 years I spent in academia, IMO it is generally a bad idea to let non-university, business-marketing people do any sort of marketing or branding for a university. They just don't understand the difference between marketing/branding in the commercial space versus universities (the latter of which rely more on reputation building around excellence than traditional media buys). Traditional marketing is OK for non-traditional student spaces (such as online degrees and certificates), but does not work as well for attracting traditional students and dollars. A bit is OK for athletics, but don't let them make the choices. They should be listening to alumni and faculty, not some overpaid consultants. Also always blew my mind how they would screw faculty on pay and then overpay some business marketing blowhards, under the excuse that it comes from different pools of money.
The ONLY people I have ever heard complain about Cal being Cal are faculty at other UCs (especially UCLA). But why should we do anything to placate UCLA? If anything, now is the time to take the University of California back. Mix in a little Berkeley association here and there (for athletics) and use UC Berkeley for academics...but NO "Cal Berkeley".
“The University of California” is the best, but I would also say it’s okay that there are different ways to refer to this dear and diverse institution. People are acting like it’s a serious problem that they have to educate others around the world on the various names. It’s a unique Cal thing. I, for one, am fine with the experience of announcing that I attended the University of California, Berkeley and that we affectionately refer to our alma mater as Cal. Sports teams should not be beholden to one or the other, IMHO. It turns out we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Multiplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I have never used the term “Cal Berkeley.” It’s the worst of the various proposed rebranding names. It does not roll off the tongue, fist of all, as it just sounds like a nickname coupled with another word; there is a reason most of us alums have not typically used this in our conversations throughout our lives. Further, using this in all athletic circles diminishes the name of the University by making it akin to UNC Charlotte, Wisconsin Green Bay, UC Irvine (nothing against the Anteaters), etc., i.e. just a secondary campus among many.
Two contradictions about Cal Berkeley:
1) They want to honor the entire UC system and not claim “The University of California” title but then recommend “Cal Berkeley” which makes us sound like a state school.
2) They make the point that other schools don’t have a different brand for athletics. Ok great point, let’s see how other flagship universities brand themselves as: Michigan, Washington, Virginia, Florida, Arizona, etc etc.
Just keep Cal and allow reference to UC Berkeley and the general public will catch on. And thanks for the shoutout.
The University of California. It’s the best one, and it’s not close.
Is this still up for discussion with the big wigs?
The University of California. That is all. The original just like The Ohio State. Cal for short works fine. Cal Berkeley makes it sound too close to a Cal State campus—bad idea.
"Cal Berkeley" does not roll off the tongue well at all as a sports brand. It's actually snooty sounding. It also leaves the school open to mis-identification as a Cal State Fill-in-the-Blank school (most of which, by the way, are actually terrific schools, but for UC Berkeley's athletic branding - NO!). A rebranding of athletics using "California" seems the best approach here. The universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina, for example, all do something similar, although none of them have a peer system campus outside of Ann Arbor, Madison, Charlottesville, or Chapel Hill like we do in LA to compete with. They're all known athletically simply by their state's name. On football helmets, the script "Cal" is gorgeous and fitting - both in terms of identification and actual space for the letters. Works great for other helmeted sports also. For all sports, a script "California" across the chest is perfectly wonderful. You could even have "Berkeley" in smaller type beneath the script "California" if you insist on tying the academic and athletic aspects of the university a bit closer together, and to more distinguish them from other UC schools. But you would still refer to the sports teams simply as "California". And "Cal" will always remain a great nickname for "California"!
As others have noted, UC Berkeley (or just Berkeley) is near universally regarded as one of the 6 premier academics- and research-focused universities in the English-speaking world (along with Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, and Cambridge). Nobody anywhere, when considering the university from an academic perspective, refers to it as anything other than UC Berkeley or Berkeley. When my wife's family in London heard that our son was accepted to and is attending Berkeley this year (math, physics, and music major), they all went absolutely bonkers with pride - such is the esteem the school is held in on the other side of the Pond and elsewhere. It was exactly equal to our nephew getting accepted to Cambridge this year. For them, college athletics in its entirety is maddingly confusing - it's almost non-existent outside of the US. They would not have distinguished "Cal" from Adam from an academic perspective. No sense whatsoever in confusing the 99% of the world's population that does not follow Cal sports at all by putting out some new tag that mixes the Cal and UC Berkeley brands - it might even detract from the UC Berkeley (or Berkeley) academic brand. In all honesty, if a plurality or even majority of the US population does not currently identify Cal and UC Berkeley as the same school, so what? Not everyone in the States follows college athletics and/or college academics anyway, so why force the issue? Who cares if most of the country, for example, does not identify Old Miss with the University of Mississippi at Oxford?
Anyway, for the sports folks, get them hooked on "California" athletics - the script "Cal" on football and other helmets should cement "Cal" with "California" in their minds. Slipping in a small-type "Berkeley" beneath "California" on those jerseys will help tie athletic and academic ends together if that were deemed necessary/important. For the rest of the world that knows us as UC Berkeley or Berkeley, leave well enough alone and don't confuse the issue with yet another brand. This is an elite academic institution that does not need to make excuses for its brand or name.
Sorry this was so wordy. I'm like that sometimes:(
Everyone's thinking too small.
Berkeley is not big enough.
Not even the state of California.
Let's claim the entire country.
We're now the University of The United States of America, California, Berkeley.
I like UC Berkeley= California = Cal. Cal Berkeley is the worst option. Everyone in the academic world knows UC Berkeley. Internationally the University of California is synonymous with UC Berkeley, so in my opinion it would cheapen the name by calling it Cal Berkeley. As I once saw on a tshirt, THE University of California is in Berkeley. The reason people don't necessarily associate Cal and California with UC Berkeley is because the mediocre quality of the football and basketball product. Leave well enough alone. I foresee, 5 years from now, having a to rebrand as Classic Cal or Classic UC Berkeley.
The only people who think Cal should change to some other name did not go to Cal, plain & simple. Their opinions are not worth one scintilla of consideration. Enough of stupid articles like this one.
I wish we could post graphics here... I say they should have saved half of what they probably paid the consultants and put a 10-story tall banner in Times Square, ala U of O's Joey Harrington which reads (in the appropriate scripts & fonts)
University of California
University of California, Berkeley
#1 Public University in America
(In exhaustively researching this before posting, I discovered Oregon did it again just last month with a poster of Bo Nix. Never heard about it. Maybe not such a great promotional effort afterall...)
The historical branding malfeasance is already baked in and inescapable, so Cal/California falls flat anywhere outside The Bay, and Berkeley/UC Berkeley only pays homage to academics. Cal Berkeley is the salty pill we need to make a national brand possible.
Should've been California Berkeley. There are simply too many people who think Berkeley is part of the cal state system. And Cal has no meaning outside of the US or even California.