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Real change for the University of California system

The University of California has dumped the new logo after receiving a petition signed by 55,000 people who said that the logo was too “corporate” and resembled everything from a bidet to a banana sticker! Jefferson Coombs, who is the director of the UC Berkeley alumni association noted that alumni were pretty much united in their dislike of the new logo.

Anytime that you can get UC Berkeley alumni to agree about ANYTHING, you should listen to them! ;-)

SFGate.com says:

“It is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community,” Daniel Dooley, senior vice president for external affairs, said in a statement. “This controversy has created a major distraction.”

The logo, a block “C” nestled in a U-shaped silhouette, sparked widespread mockery when news reports brought it to light last week. Some said it resembled a bidet, a kickboard or a logo for an Internet start-up. “Looks like it’s still loading,” wrote a Berkeley woman on the online petition.

SFGate.com has these other reactions by folks concerned with the controversy:

“It is important that we listen to and respect what has been a significant negative response by students, alumni and other members of our community,” Daniel Dooley, senior vice president for external affairs, said in a statement. “This controversy has created a major distraction.”

“It’s good that UC is listening to us,” said Connor Landgraf, student body president at UC Berkeley. “Hopefully they’ll start listening to students on other issues, as well, such as tuition increases.”

Dream on. :-)

Although it is always good to hear the voices of youthful idealism, they are discussing REAL MONEY here! ;-)

The UC Office of the President’s marketing department was responsible for the new logo and created it six months ago to promote the entire organization “…which includes 10 campuses, five medical centers and dozens of laboratories and research centers, to a wide spectrum of Californians at a time when the Legislature was preparing another round of funding cuts,” according to UC spokeman Steve Montiel. The UC system also needed a logo that would be clear on (tiny) smartphone screens and iPads, the preferred communication vehicles of prospective students.

The NEW logo was never intended to replace the old logo (but YOU know how these things go! ;-) ).

What about the OLD logo?

That logo was designed by Tiffany & Co. and modeled after the crests of the great universities of Europe, in order to elevate the UC image. “It shows an open book illuminated by a shining star, underscored with the words “Let There Be Light.”

The seal was introduced in 1895, when the university was less than 30 years old. It’s also been modified a few times, most notably when officials changed the original Latin from “Fiat Lux” to the English equivalent.

So, is the University of California system looking for REAL CHANGE? I mean… instead of the COSMETIC change of a new logo…? My modest proposal might be to “retire” the entire current Board of Regents (with or without jail sentences, as appropriate! ;-) ) and start a thorough housecleaning from the “top down.” Perhaps the housecleaning should have the oversight of the California Attorney General’s office.

With the current rapid rate of tuition increases that threaten to price a college education out of reach of working class students (there is no longer a “middle class,” there is only the top 1% and “the rest of us”), overhauls of both the UC system and the California State University system seem long overdue.

-Bill at

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