Legislation to rename NEOUCOM considered

By Marc Kovac



State lawmakers are considering legislation to change the name of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, commonly known by the acronym NEOUCOM.

Bill sponsors Sen. Tom Sawyer, a Democrat from Akron, and Rep. Todd McKenney, a Republican from New Franklin, hope the General Assembly will act quickly enough to allow May graduates to have the new name, Northeast Ohio Medical University, on their diplomas.

“Changing the name now will provide the first class of pharmacy students the opportunity to graduate under a broader university name and not just the ‘College of Medicine,’” Sawyer told the Senate Finance Committee during sponsor testimony this week.

NEOUCOM, located in Rootstown, is a joint effort of the Kent State University, Youngstown State University, the University of Akron and Cleveland State University.

It was established in the early 1970s and “has grown from a medical college to a specialized institution and public university with an independent board of trustees, degree-granting authority and multiple colleges including the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Graduate Studies,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer added that NEOUCOM is now one of 14 public universities recognized by the state.

The school’s board of trustees voted last year to adopt the new name, but lawmaker action is required to complete the change.

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