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Profs say UWyoming 'cowboy' slogan is offensive. UWyoming says get over it. (VIDEO)


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Jon Street

Mar. 12 2019

The Wall Street Journal last week published an editorial, titled, "It Pays to Be A Wyoming Cowboy." The story behind that headline goes back to July 2018 when, as Campus Reform reported at the time, the University of Wyoming stood its ground against about two dozen professors who took issue with the school's newly-unveiled slogan, "the world needs more cowboys."

The slogan, critics said was sexist and xenophobic, among other things. 

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“I am not the only person for whom the word ‘cowboy’ invokes a white, macho, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, U.S.-born person,” associate professor of kinesiology and health Christine Porter said at the time. “The history of cowboys, of course, is much more diverse than that racially, and presumably also for sexual orientation. But the image—what the word ‘cowboy’ means off the top of almost everybody’s head in the U.S.—is the white, heterosexual male.”

(Snip)

And, according to the Wall Street Journal, the university's bet on cowboys has so far paid off.

Between July and December 2018, royalties were up $38,000 over the same period in 2017 as the school licensed 143 different products with the tagline to third-party vendors. A funeral home even requested permission to create a “the world needs more cowboys” coffin. Talk about getting the final word.



The campaign has been a hit off campus, too. A campaign ad video had half a million views online—nearly the equivalent of Wyoming’s state population. After seeing the digital ads, some 18,000 viewers clicked on the link and gave their information to recruiters. Enrollment numbers won’t be in until later this year, but “it’s pretty clear there’s been an increase in interest,” spokesman Chad Baldwin says.

(Snip)

 

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