The University sure likes its "W" logo. It's popping up everywhere. One of its more recent star turns is on the new Grainger Hall addition at the corner of Park Street and University Avenue. It's all about branding. The University used to value "that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found." Today the administration seems more concerned with the value of their brand.
"Sifting and winnowing" can be laborious and time consuming. Why not get on the fast track to truth, or at least truthiness, with a good PowerPoint template that "leverages the powerful University of Wisconsin brand"? That seems to be what University Communications ("Creativity from Within") seems to be suggesting in promoting their new PowerPoint template designed to be used by faculty, staff and students.
PowerPoint is a common office tool that often suffers from poor execution—canned slides, boring templates, and weak design choices. If a standard format doesn't meet your needs, we can provide an alternative. University Communications is pleased to offer University of Wisconsin PowerPoint templates for your use.Microsoft's psychically deadening audience management tool has done enough damage in the business world. Using PowerPoint to make classroom presentations more "relevant and memorable" while leveraging the UW brand makes my eyes glaze over. Hasn't anybody at University Communications read Edward R. Tufte? They might start with his article in Wired, "PowerPoint is Evil," which is subtitled "Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely."
Download these professionally designed templates and customize them with your content for a compelling presentation that also leverages the powerful University of Wisconsin brand. We’ve designed three distinct templates specifically for use by UW–Madison faculty, staff and students. Each template integrates the university’s colors, logo and iconic imagery. By emphasizing the Wisconsin brand, your presentation will be relevant and memorable for both internal and external audiences.
In any event, the University has its sights set on bigger game than mere PowerPoint templates. A few months ago the NYT ran an article, "The Graffiti of the Philanthropic Class," about how institutions of all sorts -- museums, schools, medical centers -- are in a mad scramble to sell off their names to the highest bidder. Apparently the Wisconsin School of Business tried to sell its name for $50 million, but they didn't get any takers. That's when, according to the Times, they had a better idea -- greenmailing their alumni into paying them not to sell their name.
As The Associated Press reported last month, the dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business couldn’t find anyone to pony up a cool $50 million to get his or her name on the school. So the dean switched strategies and discovered that several givers were willing to chip in to ensure that, for 20 years at least, the school would not be personally branded, but would instead simply remain the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business (a long enough handle, surely). The non-naming fund eventually reached $85 million.There's lots more information about the
“It is an unprecedented act of selfless philanthropy,” Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for the American Council on Education, told The A.P. “I hope it is the start of a trend.”
That puts a whole new spin on that big "W" on Grainger Hall, which is part of the Wisconsin School of Business. It's not just a brand. It's a constant reminder to alumni that in 20 years they'll have to pony up again, or the "W" just might morph into a well-heeled corporation's logo instead. Meanwhile, think of all the other schools on campus that can put their names up for sale. If the business school is worth $85 million, think what you could get for the Physics Department. Heck, even the English Department might be worth a few bucks. They're sitting on a goldmine.
A couple weeks ago, the Daily Cardinal ran a story headlined UW sues Sesame Street for using the letter ‘W’. It was an April Fool's Day joke, but when you think about it, they had a point. Brand equity is important. The University owns a valuable resource. Why should they give it away? Today Sesame Street, tomorrow the world!