News Release

Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Wisconsin Technical College System Board unanimously approved WWTC’s name change to Western Technical College at a meeting held in La Crosse today. This was the final step in the college’s official name change process.

“We are happy with the board’s decision,” said Lee Rasch, president of Western Technical College. “The name change is a small part of our five-year strategic plan. The familiar name of ‘Western” puts us on a first-name basis with the communities that we serve; something ‘WWTC’ did not do.”

The idea for the name change stemmed from a statewide branding initiative that the state technical college system did in 2003. As a result, the system has asked the 16 state technical colleges to include “a Wisconsin Technical College” with their names. Only three of the colleges currently use “Wisconsin” in their branded names.

“Internally, we have referred to ourselves as Western for several years,” said Rasch. “For instance, our student-run restaurant is called the Western Bistro, and we have an internal fundraising campaign called the Western Way. Had we chosen to go with a completely different name, there would have been more of an adjustment internally and externally, as well as more of a cost. It was also important that the name be representative of all seven of our campuses and the 11 counties that we serve.”

According to Rasch, the college plans to phase in the new name, replacing existing materials as stocks deplete and as signage is needed. All phased-in activities are included in existing budgets, and no more than $20,000 from the capital projects fund will be set aside for elements that can’t be phased in.

“We will be referring to ourselves as Western, but our letterhead and signs will not be changed immediately,” said Rasch. “We anticipate that it will take about a year to fully implement the change”

To learn more about Western programs and services, please call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at