After a year that saw major academic restructuring, controversial cutting of its aviation program and rocky financial times for its sports teams, St. Cloud State University President Earl Potter comes out swinging, saying at the 2011 faculty and staff convocation:
Make no mistake. This is not the same university. We are reshaped and refocused. So much has changed, in fact, that we have a new story to tell. … Unfortunately, our reputation…our brand…..is not as good as we truly are. We must do a better job of telling our story. We have not been ready to do that. We were unfocused and not sure of our way. With all of the work that we have done in the last four years and the work that is now underway, we are ready now to transform our story to match the reality of a St. Cloud State education. … Many refer to us as a “Quiet giant” – that we’re hiding our light under a basket, so to speak. Even more concerning, they found that negative perceptions from many outsiders who control the “blogosphere” are not grounded in reality. In their language, we have a “brand gap” — a gap between perception and reality.