This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Seeking evidence of research paper confusion supportive of VUW name change'.

Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor 
Madeleine Setchell, Director Communications, Marketing and Engagement 
Rawinia Higgins, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement 
23 April 2018 
International Reputation Building 
The University is currently looking at a programme of work to improve our international 
reputation.  One idea being discussed is the simplification of the University’s name. The 
Vice-Chancellor is currently engaged in conversations with internal and external groups to 
explore this idea. 
If a decision is made to simplify the University’s name there will be a significant amount of 
work required to make the changes required. While no decisions have been made yet, 
discussions are underway about how this project might be undertaken. This memo outlines 
the timeline and also the communications and engagement approach for the project. 
Time frame 
These timings are based on, and work back from, the date that the official use of a simplified 
name could begin.  We are suggesting that any simplified name is used from 
We believe this is the first practicable date given the work that needs to be done in 
preparation for the change. This work includes brand development and guidelines, changes 
to the most important web pages, consideration of sub-brand changes and graduation and 
student recruitment cycles. 
It should be noted that further discussion will be needed with other key groups in the 
University through the project management process to test this timeline. 

Communications & 

Develop an agency brief 
Decide on scope. 
and choose a partner 
Agency to review and 
Consolidate existing  Approach and 
design for brand work, 
web templates and 
messaging developed 
including University seal, 
audit all functionality.  and agreed 
sub-brands, architecture, 
federation branding and 
Web staff 
Key stakeholder 
house style layouts 
recruitment begins 
engagement led by 
the Vice-Chancellor 
Staff engagement 
through staff forums. 
Alumni engagement 
Trademarks applied for 
Prepare web editors  Name simplification 
and give them 
discussed by Council    
guidelines on 
  University brand guidelines 
Clone website and 
Public announcement 
work begins 
begin to apply new 
of name simplification 
University brand guidelines 
branding and 
to staff, alumni, 
content changes. 
stakeholders and 
Rebrand recruitment 
Rebrand email newsletter  
Communications & 

Video rebranding, 
Website tested and 
memorabilia rebranding, 
live end of 
Victoria collateral (alumni, 
events, graduation, 
Web work on live 
recruitment) rebranding, 
site ongoing 
new social media branding 
 advertising campaign 
trademarks granted? 
Rebranding of graduation 
Web work ongoing 
programme, degree 
on live site 
certificates, transcripts 
New brand campaign 
Web work ongoing 
launched, subject to funding  on live site 
Web work ongoing 
on live site 


Communications and Engagement  
This section proposes a communications and engagement approach to simplifying the 
University’s name.  This approach will guide efforts to ensure a variety of internal and 
external audiences receive the right information, at the right time, in order to encourage buy-
in and understand the opportunities and challenges. 
This section outlines an approach to communications and engagement for the first phase of 
activity (until discussion and any decisions are made by the University Council, which is 
expected to happen at the end of 
 If a decision is made it is envisaged that a 
public announcement will be made in 
 Once a decision has been made by the 
University Council, a targeted action plan will be developed to communicate the decision and 
begin the programme of work needed to prepare for implementation in 
The University will take a proactive approach to communication and engagement internally 
and externally, and within New Zealand and internationally. The messaging will be adapted 
as the discussions progress and develop. 
Initially, the focus will be on: 
Discussions with stakeholders (including government, partners, staff, students and alumni) 
to examine and explain the rationale for change 
Feedback by email, or direct to members of the Senior Leadership Team. 
Once a preferred option or preferred options is/are developed the focus will be on: 
Communicating clearly and widely the options and their potential benefits 
Responding quickly to media/public questions and criticisms 
Enlisting ambassadors to help people understand what the University is doing and why 
We will also follow the below principles of engagement 
  People who have the ability to influence the outcome of the decision, or have proven 
their advocacy and support of the University will be communicated with on a one-to-
one basis 
  Providing context that is relevant to the audience is essential 
 all interested parties will be able to 
provide views 
  Members of the University community will be provided with relevant and timely 
information and their feedback will be responded to 


Council: Provide opportunity for input and keep updated via regular Council meetings. 
Approvers of the common seal. 
Former Chancellors/VCs: Engage early on and ensure they are provided with context and 
ability to feedback.  
SLT and other senior staff: Need to have access to key messages and Q&A. To be 
responsible for feeding back areas of concern to V-C and identifying opportunities for V-C to 
further engage key groups. 
High influence stakeholders: Identify those who are influential and have a stake in the 
decision and engage with them to ensure context is understood. This group includes 
Advisory Board members, SLT managed relationships, funders, and partner institutions. 
Staff: Engage with staff in a way that enables them to help identify ways to ensure Victoria’s 
reputation is recognised on the international stage.   
Alumni: Engage as key members of the University community, and ensure they are 
provided with context and ability to feedback. Identify influential alumni for more targeted 
Donors and prospective donors: Are treated as valued members of the University 
community, are provided context and given opportunity to feedback on ideas to ensure 
Victoria’s reputation is recognised on the international stage.  Identify major donors, key 
funder organisations/trusts for more targeted engagement. 
Students: Engage with key student leaders to gain their feedback.  
Media: Respond to queries as and when required with pre-prepared statements. V-C to be 
Key Messages- Draft 
The overarching messages, which will be refined and added to depending on the audience, 
  International research and the interactions of our staff and students show that the 
very high quality of research and teaching at our University is not as well recognised 
offshore as it should be.  
  A lack of international recognition of our strengths and capabilities is holding the 
University back in terms of achieving the international reputation that aligns with our 
  Our international standing being out of kilter with our teaching and research quality 
also affects alumni, staff and students, who are denied the career benefits conferred 
by studying and working at an esteemed institution. 
  It is also problematic in that we are less well positioned to collaborate with top-ranked 
institutions or compete for international research grants. 


  In addition, it compromises our ability to recruit and retrain international staff and 
  We are exploring the factors that are contributing to our international standing being 
-  One is the need to build deeper partnerships with other prestigious universities 
around the world and, through these, conduct interdisciplinary, high impact, 
research programmes. 
-  Another is to refine our publishing and dissemination strategies to maximise the 
reach and visibility of our research. 
-  A third is to examine the clarity of our brand – we know that confusion arises 
around the world because there are a number of other similarly named 
institutions. This means that the achievements of our staff and students can be 
attributed to other institutions and countries, dimming our international standing. 
  One possible solution to the confusion over our brand is to simplify the University’s 
name. This has been proposed a number of times in the past, including in 1955 when 
a vote was taken to name the University, the University of Wellington. It was mooted 
again in the early 1970s and in 1992 when a member of Council suggested the word 
Victoria be dropped. 
  There is an existing example of another university adopting this approach to deal with 
the same challenges Victoria is facing—the former Victoria University of Manchester 
became the University of Manchester in 2004.  
  The name the University of Wellington would align us even more closely with our city 
and our region, something that is central to achieving our goal of being one of the 
world’s great global-civic universities. Global-civic universities are first and foremost 
about their city and are prepared to tie their fortunes to their city. There is untapped 
potential in our relationship with Wellington, and with having our brand aligned more 
closely with Wellington, could help build our international reputation. 
Media Holding Statement 
If media queries are received about a possible change to the University’s brand, the 
following statement will be provided: 
International research has shown that the very high quality of our research and teaching isn’t 
being as well recognised offshore as it should be. We also know that confusion arises with 
our name because there are a number of other universities around the world that are 
similarly named. This means the achievements of our staff and students – and for –that 
matter our City – can be attributed to other institutions and countries – diming our 
international standing. Given the importance of the clarity of our name, we are considering 
whether changes are needed. 

(Approved by Vice-Chancellor) 
We will also develop a set of questions and answers. Work has begun on a list of questions 
which is outlined in Appendix One. 


The University will use a range of existing channels to communicate and engagement with 
its audiences including face-to-face meetings, staff forums and other internal 
communications channels, e-newsletters, feedback forms and university publications. 
A key channel for communicating and engaging with all our audiences is the website.  Work 
to date shows that the website will be one of our biggest and most resource-hungry 
challenges should a decision to simplify the University’s name be made. Essentially we will 
have to clone our websites and make the changes on versions of our websites that are 
 these ‘hidden’ websites would be launched and the existing site 
taken down.   
There are approximately 160 core university websites.  Over the coming weeks we need to 
make further recommendations on a reduced list of our core websites to be updated before   
 those that will be updated the coming years and those which may never be 
updated.  However, we believe there are some critical pages that must be done including our 
recruitment content and key Homesite and Faculty content. Our initial resourcing and budget 
estimates are based on this work.  
We also note that there will be other technical costs that are related to the website but part of 
the ITS budget—for example setting up the clone website, updating our search engine and 
other external development costs based on existing services.  This work would need to be 
scoped as part of the ITS stream of work. 
Targeted engagement plan 
We recommend informing high influence stakeholders and major donors of the brand 
evaluation process at the same time as staff are informed, and shortly before alumni are 
informed. This is primarily due to the fact that we would like this group to receive the 
message before they receive the alumni e-news (which many will receive). The list 
comprises a number of people who have just been involved in the Colmar Brunton research. 
As noted in the proposed engagement timeline we recommend the Vice-Chancellor contacts 
these individuals via phone or email between 1 and 3 May. 
The below list is provided for the Vice-Chancellor’s consideration. 






Engagement timeline 
This table sets out proposed timings for communicating the process engaging people in the 
discussion about the name simplification, up until a decision is made about future initiatives 
at the University Council meeting 
Task / Event 
Other Considerations 
Complete via 
Inform Minister 
Awaiting meeting  
Make University 
Council, SLT, Deans 
and Directors aware of 
Discuss at HoS/CSU 
Directors meeting and 
at visits to 
Inform VUWSA 
Inform Mayor and WCC  VC 
Inform TEC 
Inform other VCs via 
Universities NZ 
Mid-April  Inform Education New 
Mid-April  Inform former 
Chancellors and VCs 
17-Apr  Verbal update at 
Academic Board 
17-Apr  Verbal update at 
Foundation Board 
Last week of  Inform individuals listed  VC 
18-29 April VC travel to 
April - Early May  under targeted 
Last week of  Inform US and UK 
April - Early May  friends 
Last week of  Inform Regional 
E&A/VC to join 
April - Early May  Ambassadors 
phone conference 
30-Apr  University Council 
2-4 May  Staff forums 
VC (assisted by 
7 May  VicNews (VC Column) 
7-May  Alumni e-news (intro 
Feedback to 
from VC) 
[email address] 


8-May  SLT and Deans and 
SLT members 
Directors meeting 
9-May  VC visit to School of 
Regularly scheduled 
school visit 
15, 16, or 17 May  Inform
14-18 May Graduation 
23-May  VC visit to HPPI 
Regularly scheduled 
school visit 
23-May  CSU / HoS Forum 
31-May  VC visit to Health 
Regularly scheduled 
Services CSU 
CSU visit 
Ongoing  Alumni focus groups 
throughout May 
Ongoing  Inform other 
throughout May  organisations with 
Victoria in name (eg. 
VicBooks, Victoria Law 
Students Society etc) 
1-Jun  VC visit to SoG 
Regularly scheduled 
school visit 
7-8 June  Universities NZ Away 
Days for VCs 
12-Jun  VC quarterly meeting 
13-Jun  Benefactors Circle 
VC / Development 
15-Jun  VC regular meeting with  VC 
Experience Wellington 
15-Jun  VC meeting with 
MacDiarmid Board 
18-24 June VC at 
EDUData Summit (incl 
meeting with QS) 
25-Jun  University Council 
28-Jun  NZ-China Board 
29-Jun  VC visit to School of 
Regularly scheduled 
school visit 
Late June  University Stakeholder 
VC (assisted by 
5-Jul  Speech to secondary 
school principals 
6-Jul  VC visit to School of 
Regularly scheduled 
Economics and Finance
school visit 

10-Jul  SLT meeting (review 
SLT members 
Council paper?) 
10-Jul  VC visit to Wai-te-ata 
Regularly scheduled 
CSU visit 
11-Jul  VC visit to School of 
Regularly scheduled 
school visit 
19-Jul  VC visit to Student 
Regularly scheduled 
CSU visit 
20-Jul  University Council 
papers due 
27-Jul  University Council 
August - 

Victorious (postponed 
from currently 
scheduled July date) 
Inform key stakeholders  SLT members 
in course of regular 
11-May  Catch-up with 
30-May  Catch-up with
14 June (TBC)  Meeting with 
Department of Internal 

Appendix One Questions (and Answers) - DRAFT 
What are you doing? 
We are exploring a range of initiatives that will help improve Victoria University’s 
international reputation and ensure our world-class research and teaching is properly 
Why are you doing it? 
There is quite a lot of research that shows that the very high quality of research and teaching 
at our University is not as well recognised offshore as it should be. This is problematic for the 
University in a number of ways—it affects our international rankings, it means our alumni, 
staff and students are denied the career benefits conferred by studying and working at an 
esteemed institutions and it makes it harder for us to collaborate and partner with top-ranked 
institutions and to compete for international research grants.  
How long have you been planning this? 
This problem has become increasingly apparent over the last year or so as a result of 
research and conversations with visitors to the University, with colleagues at overseas 
institutions and with ranking agencies.  
When will this happen? 
We are still in the research and discussion phase but if it is decided that we should make a 
change, we will aim to do that as soon as is practical. 
How long will it take?  
It will take at least six months for the University to be ready for any name simplification to 
take effect. This is because of the significant work required to engage with alumni, 
stakeholders, staff and students, to change our website and to consider other ramifications 
of a name simplification.  
Is this a done deal or is it up for discussion? 
The small group of people who have been involved in research and discussion on this matter 
are convinced that a name simplification would deliver benefits in terms of our international 
reputation. The evidence in support of simplifying our name is powerful and hard to ignore. 
As a global civic university though, we work very closely with our communities and listen to 
their ideas and contributions. 
Who will make the final decisions?  
The University Council will make any final decisions about a name simplification.  
How much will it cost? 
There will of course be costs involved in simplifying our name. We don’t know the exact 
amount yet, but I can assure you these costs will be spread over a period of time and we will 
be working hard to keep them as low as possible.  
How can you justify spending money on a rebrand when many parts of the University are 
desperate for more money? 

This is not a simple rebrand, but part of a wider critical work programme that is essential to 
ensure our University continues to go from strength to strength. We cannot afford not to 
make some changes if we are serious about achieving our strategic goals and delivering the 
very best to our communities and stakeholders. 

Will each area have to pay for their own new materials (i.e stationary/business 

These details have not been worked out. However, we are conscious of the tight financial 
climate and that areas have limited funds that are not already accounted for.  
How extensive is the change you will be making to the brand?  
We are looking at simplifying our name but we are not proposing a major rebrand. Our Know 
Your Mind domestic recruitment campaign will continue and we will continue to use ‘Capital 
Thinking. Globally Minded’. 
How will this affect students who have graduated from Victoria University?  
There is no impact on the qualifications granted under the name Victoria University of 
Wellington. They are still valid and legal.  
What will this mean for current students - what name will be on their degree certificates? 
We are still working out the details but if the University Council was to approve a name 
simplification, from 2019 graduation certificates would be issued with the simplified name of 
the University. 
What are you doing to inform people? 
Currently, we are talking to alumni, students, staff and key stakeholders and partners to 
share our thinking and get their thoughts. 
If we decide to proceed with a name simplification, a comprehensive communications plan 
will be developed to ensure everyone who needs to know about the change is told and to 
widely publicise our new name in New Zealand and internationally. 
How can people have their say? 
People can have their say by emailing members of the Senior Leadership Team or the Vice-
Why do rankings matter anyway? 
Where our university sits in the international tables not only affects our ability to attract top 
students from other countries, but is also taken into account by foreign governments 
deciding where to send students on publicly-funded scholarships. Rankings also affect our 
ability to recruit world class staff and to form research partnerships and collaborations with 
leading universities around the world. In addition, philanthropists prefer to donate to highly 
ranked universities.  
You say you don’t trust rankings so why are you doing this? 
Rankings are not without their critics who justifiably question aspects of their methodologies. 
However, like it or not, rankings have a significant effect on our international reputation and 
therefore on our future. 
What happens if the University goes backwards in the rankings? 
All of our research and discussions indicate that a name simplification will improve the 
University’s profile and hence its rankings. 
How long do you think it will take to see the effects of this decision? 
Name simplification is just one aspect of a wider programme of work designed to enhance 
our international reputation. We expect to start seeing the impact of this work programme 
within the next 12 months.  

Do you expect staff, alumni or students to be angry about this? 
We understand that many people feel a sense of attachment to the name Victoria. However, 
we are also finding that once people know the reasons for the proposed change, they 
understand its importance. The name Victoria embodies a lot of history and heritage for our 
University and we will be looking for ways of honouring and protecting that.  
What do you think the reaction will be from organisations around Wellington or New 

We expect a very positive reception from organisations around Wellington and New Zealand. 
The name simplification aligns us more closely with New Zealand’s capital city and also 
positions the University well to attract more partnerships, students and staff, all of which will 
be good for Wellington and New Zealand. 
Have other universities made this sort of decision in the past? What have you learned from 
their rebrands? 

Yes other universities have successfully done similar things in the past. For example, the 
former Victoria University of Manchester became the University of Manchester in 2004 for 
some of the same reasons we are now considering this move here. 
Will this affect domestic student recruitment? 
We don’t expect any negative impact on domestic student recruitment from the change. 
Have you considered spending the money on marketing your current brand, rather than on 

No matter how effectively we market the current brand, there continues to be confusion 
about who we are because there are a number of other universities with a similar name. 
Simplifying the name is the best way of promoting the quality of our brand internationally.