U B Taking The ****

Some of my readers may be fellow Alumni of The University of Birmingham and have received the latest magazine, and noted the new logo.

Apparently the old logo, based on the University crest is being dropped as part of a move to improve the image of the Uni. It’s being replaced by the letters U B. In a rubbish font. Oh with a tree as well.

Fellow former Birmingham student Pete Johns mentioned this on his blog last weekend, and Tom Martin draws our attention to the Save the Crest website. On the site is the minutes of a staff-student meeting on this matter, which contains the following paragraph:

Professor Clarke: began the meeting by explaining the rationale behind the new brand. Two years ago the University of Birmingham reviewed its competitiveness in national and international marketplace and undertook a brand audit to discover how members of the University community and external stakeholders viewed “us”. The audit did not reveal anything new – The university was seen as a “bit boring” and “pedestrian”. The University is seen losing out to the likes of Nottingham, Warwick and Manchester in recruitment and the new brand is just one part of a much wider effort to reverse this downward trend (and the visual identity is, in turn, only part of the wider brand.)

What? Did I hear the word “Bingo” yelled several times there?

I sincerely hope the language used in that paragraph above is not indicative of the language used in the meeting, but how a predjudiced note taker summarized it because otherwise it is another example of how many people in management, and academics in particular just don’t get it. Just how out of touch with reality are some people?

There is nothing wrong with having a full and rich vocabulary, however there is a difference between making full use of the language, and peppering your speech with buzzwords. Over reliance on jargon and buzz words may bedazzle some people, but in reality someone who can express themselves clearly enough that you don’t notice their use of language is someone to be admired.


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