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Functioning as a membership organization and a “network of networks,” the Talloires Network enjoys a positive reputation as a leader in the global university civic engagement movement. The Renaming Initiative was proposed by the secretariat in response to regular encouragement from stakeholders to adopt a name and emblem that more effectively communicates our shared mission and values. To inform the direction and scope of the Renaming Initiative, the Secretariat invited members and partners to share their experiences and recommendations by participating in a short online survey (available in English and Spanish).

The Secretariat managed the online survey for a period of three months (December 2018 – February 2019). A total of 44 members and partners representing 17 countries[1] on 6 continents participated in the online survey. Respondents included a balanced mix of perspectives in higher education and direct experience with the Network.[2]

Summary of Survey Results

A majority of respondents agreed that the current name (Talloires Network) has three distinctive strengths: it has equity and is associated with a positive reputation (59%), has value to stakeholders (61%), and has special meaning to member who have signed the Declaration (52%). Several respondents identified additional strengths: (1) the name avoids the term “civic,” which may be interpreted differently across cultures and (2) it provides an opportunity to tell an exciting story about the Network’s origins and purpose.

A majority of respondents agreed that the current name has five distinctive weaknesses: it has no inherent meaning (57%), does not convey the organization’s mission and values (82%), can be difficult to pronounce and has low memorability (79%), requires an explanation to build understanding (89%), and is confusing to colleagues at their university (64%). Several respondents identified additional weaknesses: (1) the name is Euro-centric and inward-looking and (2) it gets confused with other Talloires declarations.

None of the respondents objected to or expressed concern about creating a new name for the Talloires Network. When prompted to recommend a new name for the Talloires Network, respondents offered numerous suggestions. A strong pattern among the suggestions emerged: the new name should reflect a combination of the following words and concepts:

  • Global or International or Worldwide
  • Network or Alliance
  • Engaged Universities or University Engagement

Examples include:

  • Engaged Universities Worldwide
  • Global Network of Engaged Universities
  • International Network for Engaged Universities
  • Global Alliance for University Engagement
  • Talloires Network of Engaged Universities

Next Steps and Timeline

Phase One – Refinement of Concepts – April 2019 through September 2019

  • Organize a Renaming Initiative Committee comprised of survey respondents and SC members to assist with advancing the effort through to TNLC2020
  • Hire a consultant to lead phases two and three

Phase Two – Strategy and Testing – October 2019 through March 2020

  • Develop a communications strategy
  • Investigate trademarks, do linguistic research, check URLs and social media channels
  • Generate name and logo design alternatives for consideration by the Steering Committee

Phase Three – Finalize Touchpoints and Launch – April 2020 through September 2020

  • Finalize the new name and logo; ask the Steering Committee to endorse it
  • Translate new name and logo into all touchpoints (print materials, forms, signage, web site, billing statements)
  • Write and distribute a press release announcing the new name and logo
  • Raise awareness and celebrate the adoption of the new name and logo at TNLC2020

Three quarters of survey respondents expressed an interest in directly contributing to the TN Renaming Initiative – the secretariat will extend invitations for members and partners to serve on the sub-committee.

[1] Australia (3), Chile, Croatia, Eswatini, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico (4) , Pakistan, Rwanda, Spain, South Africa (7), Sudan, Uganda (3), United Kingdom (5), and United States (10).

[2] Perspectives on higher education included: university heads, administrators, instructors, staff, students, alumni, funding partners, and community partners. Nearly half of the survey respondents had two to five years of direct experience with Network and approximately one-third have been involved with the Network for six or more years. About one-fifth of respondents provided fresh perspectives as Network members/partners for less than one year.