Executive Board of the Leicester School of Design

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Minutes of the Special Board Meeting to consider name change (16 September 2007)

(Executive Conference Room, Spiro Agnew Memorial Library)

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Members Present: Leopold Judd (chair), Juleph Altinson, Phillard Arbruster, C. Tony Catalonotonino, Judith Clemence, Alin Forebright (emeritus – non-voting), John Jones Johnson, Lester Wempnicke, Horace Zeel

Absent: Ford Numble, Zevon Nguyen (student member – non-voting)

Meeting called to order by Chair Judd, at 11:07 am. Last month’s meeting minutes approved, with amendments.

Judith Clemence motions to table all other pending business, and to cede the floor to Phillard Arbruster in order to discuss name change. Seconded by Lester Wempnicke. Motion passes unanimously (though with audible grumbling from Juleph Altinson, who was scheduled to discuss changing the School’s official font from Harrington to Monotype Corsiva).

Arbruster presents brief summary of the rationale for considering a name change for the school. Cites increased news coverage of the idea of “intelligent design,” which calls into stark relief the adjective-less Leicester School of Design, and seems to imply that school is “not so smart.” Suggests that board consider set of “spicy” adjectives that may improve school’s profile and appeal.

Wempnicke interjects here to urge caution to the board in considering any alteration of name in response to larger social changes, reminding members of ill-conceived and ultimately calamitous name change of 1973-74. Suggestion receives much agreeable murmuring from board members.

C. Tony Catalonotinino asks for clarification of this historical allusion and of murmuring.

Altinson nominates Alin Forebright (emeritus) to relate story (seconded by Judith Clemence), and explains distinction between positive murmuring and negative grumbling, with examples of each. Catalonitononi murmurs positively.

Forebright begins story with founding of school in 1929… **[expurgated for length and relevance – approv. Chair Judd] School receives upsurge in applicants in late 1960s and early 1970s, but faculty begin complaining about student performance, including an increase of locutions like “far out,” blank stares, and extended episodes of twitching. Administration also notes an increasing predilection for garish tie-dye prints and Timothy Leary lunchboxes. Board concludes that school acronym may be to blame, and votes (5-4) to alter name to Leicester Design School for 73-74. Incoming class for that year is vastly different – arrive in a disquieting number of pressed, short-sleeved white shirts, name badges, and bicycles. Faculty complaints reach critical level when several final projects in Apparel Design I involve underwear designs that faculty are forbidden to see. Faculty are particularly put out by feeling of exclusion from pretty lame joke about hole-y underwear. School name changed back for subsequent year.

Arbruster reminds board of stated agenda, and points to data which suggest the importance of the name change, such as a precipitous decline in enrollment over the past three years, along with an increasing number of anecdotes from recruiters at high school fairs, like the following:

– Student notes that he’s not “interested in a design school for dummies,” and instead plans to apply to an “intelligent” design school.

– When note that [recruiter] represents Leicester School of Design, female student replies that she has always considered herself a “high achiever” and doesn’t want to “settle,” then proceeded to talk to a recruiter from the newly and awkwardly christened Paley’s School for Really Smart Designers (Particularly of Watches).

Horace Zeel suggests that the school just go with “Intelligent,” which creates an extended period of negative grumbling (Altinson looks over at Cataloninono, who nods in understanding), with allusions to the LDS disaster above.

Chair Judd calls board to order, and Arbruster suggests that the group generate a list of possible adjectives that could increase the positive perception of the school, and urges them to try each one out in the string “Leicester School of _______ Design”. Voiced suggestions include:


Arbruster attempts to focus group, by noting that each adjective will tend to attract a subtly different applicant, and the board should be mindful of who the school wished to attract.

Resumed list:
Randy (again)
Impressionable and Naive

Chair Judd cuts list off here, charges group to make a list of top three, ranked by preference, for discussion at next meeting in one week.

Catalononotonino looks over minute taker’s shoulder and voices objection to continual and perpetual misspelling of his name, which is actually spelled “C-A-T-A-N-O.” Minute taker has apparently been set up by other board members, preying on Italian stereotypes and the “apparent” humor of making a minute taker continually transcribe a difficult name.

Meeting adjourned 6:22pm.
Minutes submitted by John Jones Johnson, Secretary.