Apr 9, 2014

Provost Under Pressure To “Re-think” Identity Initiative

Students, staff and alumni put pressure on Provost to reconsider changes to name and coat of arms.

Leanna Byrne | Editor

Provost, Patrick Prendergast, has suggested that he would “take a break” and reassess the rebranding exercise, known as the Identity Initiative, at the Scholars Dinner and college committee meetings this week.

The identity initiative has been subject to much scrutiny from students, staff and alumni as many have voiced their concerns over the proposed new logotype and name “Trinity College, the University of Dublin”.


Speaking at the Scholars Dinner on Monday evening, Prendergast responded to a number of hecklers by saying that he would re-think the rebranding exercise, which was met with a loud applause. According to sources, alumni scholars from 2004 and 1994 who had been invited back for the dinner shouted ‘Dublin’ after the Provost welcomed them back to “Trinity College”. One alumni scholar from 2004 even called “the entire initiative a farce” and said that his speech was very politicised.

“His entire speech was about the logo,” one scholar in attendance told The University Times. “It had always been about innovation and learning in previous years.”

Sources have also claimed that similar remarks have been made at various committees during the week by the Provost when speaking about the identity initiative.

Despite this, sources are not optimistic that there will be a roll-back on the rebranding as one scholar said “it felt like he was lightly back peddling but I suspect not at all”.

When asked to confirm the Provost’s intentions for the future of the initiative, Director of Communications and Marketing, Bernard Mallee, said: “the identity initiative is an ongoing and important College project. We are continuing to refine logotype as one element of the project, and we have found the constructive nature of the consultation process so far to be very helpful, with many useful suggestions for improvement. We will continue to consult and gather opinion ahead of a decision by Board.”

However, the college community are still openly against the project as a petition “to the Provost and Board of Trinity College Dublin” is being circulated amongst “faculty, students, alumni, staff and friends” of the university that calls on the Provost and Board to refrain from altering the College name and coat of arms. The petition was circulated on the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Facebook page yesterday morning and gathered over 1,300 signatures.

Commenting on the developments, TCDSU President, Tom Lenihan, said that “if they go ahead with this with no tangible changes to the logo that has been given preliminary approval at Board, then it is proof that they do not care about the internal stakeholders of the College”.

Update 9/4/2014 at 10:17am: Inclusion of second scholar quote. 

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