Yesterday Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill to change his state’s colleges, a little bit. According to an article in the Boston Globe:

Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill today that rebrands the state’s nine public colleges as universities. Supporters of the bill say the change will enable schools to earn more grants, draw more applicants, and make students more attractive to employers.

As a result of the bill Bridgewater State College, Fitchburg State College, Framingham State College, Salem State College, Westfield State College, and Worcester State College—all of which were founded as normal schools and offered only pedagogy programs until the 1960s—are now universities and have changed their names accordingly.

Aside from the names, it appears that nothing whatsoever has changed at these schools, which remain structurally identical to the institutions they were before the governor’s signature.

“This is an historic day for our colleges,” said Frederick Clark of the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts State Colleges. “As comprehensive institutions offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines, the state colleges all meet nationally recognized criteria of being universities. Now the state has recognized us for what we are.”

In fact, there is no nationally recognized definition of the term university in the United States. Hell, why not start calling all the public high schools “colleges”? [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer