Never miss a post. Subscribe today.


Math 101: The Helena College on Roberts Street Near Helena High-University of Montana Name Change

The Independent Record is reporting that UM-Helena believes it will cost as much as
 $202,950 to change the name of the institution from to the unwieldy (and unloved) Helena College University of Montana.

Included in the cost projections are:

  • $4,700 (not a typo) to develop a new logo.
  • $8,000 for web development.
  • $5,400 for hallway benches.

Let’s ignore for a moment the awkwardness of the new name, which does little to distinguish the school and more to make it seem like it’s two separate institutions. Let’s ignore the fact that the school already changed its name, leaders then arguing that the new name was vital to the school’s identity and future success.

Let’s just do the math.

According to the soon to be defunct UM-Helena web site, a full time student taking 15 credits pays $1530.60 a semester to attend the school. For the expense of rebranding the school, 132 students could receive a full semester of paid tuition at UM-Whatever the Hell It’s Called.

If the purpose of these institutions is to serve the interests of Montana students and not to enrich brand consultants and burnish the ego of administrators, wouldn’t that be a better way to spend the money? An excellent way to promote the institution?

And finally, the new logo’s on me. Put the $4700 towards educating someone.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


Click here to post a comment

Please enter an e-mail address

  • I remember that years ago, long after my graduation, my alma mater replaced “college” with “university,” a gratuitous change that forever prevented my responding to an appeal from the institution’s alumni association (the euphemism for fundraising operation) by sending the college-come-university any of my change. The rationale for my college’s becoming a university? Athletics, I was told. It was thought that the prestige of being a university would make recruiting athletes easier. Apparently the added prestige of “university” replacing “college” on a diploma, was a secondary consideration, and that only because university graduates might write larger checks to their schools.

    I think Montana’s regents are employing the same kind of eyeball rolling logic. But coming from the crowd that produced the mess at the university in Missoula, the mess now under investigation from two federal agencies, it’s no surprise.

    Forget renaming the colleges. Let’s rename the regents “The Fools and Wastrels of the Montana University System.” That would cost less while providing greater clarity.

  • They labored mightily and this it? What was wrong with University of Montana Helena? I love the Regents. Ray Peck sponsored a constitutional amendment some years back to abolish the Board of Regents. Ray was a very smart guy.

Support Our Work!


Who Are You Supporting in the Democratic Primary for the Senate

Subscribe Via E-mail

Follow us on Twitter

Send this to a friend