File photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff Flanked by Kim Schreiner, Red Deer-North MLA; Barb Miller, Red Deer-South MLA; and Marlin Schmidt, Alberta Minister for Advanced Education, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks with reporters at Red Deer College after announcing the school is on the path to degree-granting status.

Red Deer College will ask you to determine its new name

Red Deer University or University of Red Deer – which one would it be?

Those are the kinds of questions Central Albertans will answer as the Red Deer College takes next steps to change its name.

Joel Ward, Red Deer College president, said the college will engage with the community to determine a new name.

Ward hopes that will happen within the next year.

RDC was given the green light to become a degree-granting institution March 1.

Ward said, traditionally educational institutes are named either after a region, say Mount Royal University, or after someone like MacEwan University.

“We will consider both of those,” he said.

But Ward isn’t leaning towards any names.

“I don’t have a preference. I don’t have a horse in the race,” he said.

Either way, the new name would be a crucial decision, because it’s not just about students in Red Deer or Central Alberta, but also those in India and China.

Ward said at some point international students would be attracted to what would then be a university.

“What kind of a name would resonate with residents beyond our region,” he said.

If we’re narrow in our thinking now, it will narrow our ability to expand, Ward said.

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