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The SVHE Board of Directors has decided to initiate a discussion of a possible name change for the Society. Generally speaking, those who favor such a change feel that the word “values” (in The Society for Values in Higher Education) connotes a narrow and restrictive set of conventional values such as might imply an exclusively conservative and/or religious agenda. Because the Society welcomes members from a variety of political backgrounds, they feel the present name is misleading. While we have no scientific polling on the issue, we do have many years of anecdotal evidence that the name may not always convey accurately the mission and goals of the Society.
All parties to this discussion realize that this is not a decision to be made lightly. If the Society’s name is to be changed, it will require an extended conversation and broad support from the membership. As a first step in this conversation, we are soliciting your opinions: Do you believe that we should change the Society’s name? If so, what kind of word or phrase might provide an acceptable substitute for “values” in our name (The Society for [?] in Higher Education) or do you have suggestions for a more substantial change in the name?