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Salem needs Salem International University

Salem International University, formerly known as Salem-Teikyo University, announced a name change recently as a way to better reflect the school's mission and goals and to give the institution the flexibility to recruit international students to the small, rural campus, according to President Dr. Ronald E. Ohl.

We say this move is a good idea on the university's part, especially if it helps to keep the school's doors open.

Salem International University is the prime economic engine in the western part of Harrison County. Should the college be forced to close, it would have a devastating impact on Salem and surrounding communities.

To further grow its student body, Salem International University will work to increase the number of American students, while continuing to try to establish relationships with other schools abroad, including three in Korea.

Dr. Susan Bakaitis, vice president and provost at Salem International, said she is confident the college can double its enrollment over the next three years. Bakaitis and Ohl hope to see the university's enrollment climb to about 850 students. As a positive sign, applications to the university are up over three times its level last year at this time.

We, like Dr. Bakaitis, see the name change as part of the institution's plan for growth. Sometimes, something as simple as a name change can serve as a catalyst for improvement in a structure or organization.

We also think the plan to change the school's name was more than a symbolic gesture. Instead, we think it's a sign of the university's commitment to survive in today's competitive market.

Salem and Harrison County need Salem International University and vice versa.

Today's editorial is a reflection of the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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