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Mascot selection process moving forward to involve more constituencies

Sept. 7, 2007 - Chancellor Robert L. Potts of Arkansas State University-Jonesboro today announced that he is expanding the Mascot Selection Steering Committee membership in order better to ensure that all of the university's constituencies have greater input in the process.

The chancellor also announced that he has appointed Jim Pickens of Little Rock to chair the Mascot Selection Steering Committee.  Pickens is an ASU alumnus and an emeritus member of the ASU Board of Trustees. The steering committee met today at the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce office.

After consultation with Pickens, Potts has appointed five additional people to serve on the committee and to represent various constituencies.   They are Gary Pugh, incoming president of the ASU Alumni Association; Joe Turney, president of the Indian Club; Tommy Reese, incoming president of the Letterman's Club; Randy Martin, president of the ASU Staff Senate; and Bill Stanley, who will head a public group of interested individuals.

The additional individuals and the groups they represent will participate by soliciting potential mascot names from the groups they represent and evaluating all suggestions.

Potts said he has asked Pickens and the committee to develop a plan for how the process should proceed " . . . to ensure that we have the broad-based and open process desired by everyone who is interested in this new imagery."

A Web site for recording suggested mascot names has been open since late August, and ideas have been flowing in.  This site is located at and will stay open through Oct. 31. The committee recommends that anyone with a suggested mascot name to use this method to make their ideas known.

The committee agreed on a proposed process that would enable each of the committee members to work with his or her constituency to review the possibilities and select 8-12 favorites from the list by Nov. 10. This procedure will allow for up to 108 suggested mascot names to go forward for further consideration, with every possible name supported by at least one of the constituent groups.

"This method will ensure that all represented constituencies have a voice in the selection and screening process, rather than a relatively small committee making the choices," Pickens said.  He added, "One of the committee's primary goals is to involve as many people as possible throughout this entire process."

The other committee members previously named and the constituencies they represent are Morgan Pippin, students; Cari White, Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Dick Freer, faculty and Dr. Dean Lee, athletics.

Each group will be encouraged to develop its own procedure for narrowing the entire list of suggestions to that group's preferred names.

After the first round, the constituent group representatives will work together to further narrow the list to 10 finalists for the entire steering committee to consider.    

Additionally at Friday's meeting, Pickens announced he had appointed Charles Rasberry to head a sub-committee to develop an appropriate and dignified retirement ceremony for the use of Native American imagery.  The committee discussed the first draft of Rasberry's recommendations. He also asked Millie Ward to work with Dean Lee and other university officials to develop a comprehensive Request for Proposal procedure to hire a sports marketing firm.  This RFP will be designed to enable the hiring if a professional firm to assist with the licensing, logo design, branding, etc. of the new mascot.It is anticipated that a new mascot for ASU will be announced in early spring 2008.

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