US Educational Institutions Use .COMs, Consider gTLDs

US educational institutions have begun discussing among themselves the limits of the .EDU domain, reserved for American educational facilities, even branching out to .COM domains and considering the possibility of applying for their own generic Top Level Domains.An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education considers whether using .COMs and even gTLDs would benefit, or even “dilute the power of .EDU.””Weber State University is among those that have already started branching out, with ‘getintoweber.com’ as an online destination. It is ‘a vanity URL we pursued to dovetail with our ‘Get Into Weber’ marketing campaign that started in 2007,’ John L. Kowaleski, director of media relations told The Chronicle. “We wanted something catchy and easy to remember, since the intended audience for “getintoweber.com” was prospective students.”The university could not use getintoweber.edu as each educational institution has been limited to one domain since 2001.”The U.S. Commerce Department, which gave us the contract to administer the domain, views ‘.EDU’ as something that identifies an institution, not multiple names that mean the same institution,” said Gregory A. Jackson, a vice president of Educause, the higher-education-technology group that administers the .EDU domain.However the one domain name per educational institution rule is currently being discussed with the Commerce Department, who give Educause the right to issue .EDU domains.On the new gTLDs, there are issues here too as it would be quite expensive for an educational institution. “And the college has to adhere to strict rules about who gets the domain and who doesn’t, which could cause other problems. ‘What if you say that alumni can have ‘.dartmouth’ in order to strengthen connection to the school?’ Jackson said. “And then an alumnus involved in some shady dealings uses that address? You can’t ban them. ICANN won’t let you pick who you like and who you don’t.”To read the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education in full, see:
chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/trading-in-edu-for-com/33033