CSUN’s Manzanita Hall was questionably used in a full-page advertisement in Time magazine for an online university’s graduate program.
The ad for Walden University appeared in the February 2006 issue of the magazine.
CSUN’s University Licensing – which administers permits for outside organizations that want to use the university’s resources for their own purposes – had full knowledge of Walden University’s intentions, said Karla La Rosa, manager of University Licensing.
Walden University uses the same image of Manzanita Hall on the Business/Management section of its website. (http://higher.waldenu.edu/cta/businessmanagement.cfm.)
A form to request more information about Walden is also on the page.
“(Walden) didn’t misrepresent themselves,” La Rosa said.
La Rosa said CSUN administrators, however, were not pleased to see the advertisement in Time magazine. CSUN administrators responded by creating an informal policy to never permit other universities to use CSUN to promote their objectives.
La Rosa said Walden University signed a contract and took the photo in January 2005 and supplied its own insurance. She said she did not think allowing Walden to use Manzanita Hall in its ad was a major problem.
Walden University paid CSUN $2,140, including police, liaison, and parking fees to shoot photographs, which is the fee the University Licensing charges for a 12-hour day, La Rosa said.
“They were a small school. I didn’t think much about it,” La Rosa said.
Walden is an online university founded in 1970.
Harry Hellenbrand, CSUN provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said a large part of the policy being implemented has to do with CSUN’s ownership of the campus logo and image.
“We have to be careful with how the product is associated,” Hellenbrand said. “It might not be represented in a good image. The more that occurs, the more it’s easy to lose control of our image.”
Ann Sanchez, Walden University spokesperson, said the reason the building was chosen was because of its design and architectural structure.
“(Manzanita Hall) was chosen because it was attractive, and (CSUN) granted it to us,” Sanchez said.
She said a few different locations around the country were photographed for the advertisement, adding the CSUN location worked the best.
Sanchez also said Walden University did nothing wrong since CSUN had full knowledge of what the image was going to be used for.
Dave Moon, chair of the Art Department, who used to teach graphic design and advertising, said he understands why the building was used by Walden University.
“Obviously, Walden wants to showcase that they are a progressive institution, having an architectural design to show readers that they are established,” Moon said.
“It has a dramatic sky, a shadow of the building, and young diverse faculty members making a compelling story to tell,” Moon added, describing the advertisement’s effect.
Moon also said he understands why the ad could be viewed as unethical, adding that he knows people sometimes twist the truth.
“There’s no disclaimer and it seems misleading, but hey, they’re an online university,” he said.
Hellenbrand said situations, similar to that of CSUN and Walden, are a judgment call for the university, adding the irony of Walden using CSUN’s goods to sell its image.
“On one hand, we could do it and that’s revenue for the university, but on the other hand, we have to make sure our logo is used properly,” he said.
La Rosa said she had been working at University Licensing, which operates under the University Corporation, for about a year when the photos were taken. La Rosa said, however, she now knows how she would handle a similar situation, adding that she will be more cautious in the future.
“I’m self-supported,” she said of her receiving commissions to sell licenses. “It covers my salary.”
When all expenses are paid after a shoot occurs on campus, the remaining money is given to the department within the facility used in the filming or photo shoot, La Rosa said.
OnTay Johnson can be reached at email@example.com.