Asa Bergenheim, rector of Karlstad University, said "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" – which was uttered by Patrick Swayze in the 1980s hit – reflected the idea that Karlstad students were not easily discouraged.
"It means that we straighten our backs and give our best -- because we are capable," Bergenheim told the Swedish daily Nya Wermsland Tidning.
The Local.se said the rector's enthusiasm wasn't shared by everyone. A Facebook thread blasted the white neon phrase with one poster calling it "the most stupid thing I have seen in ages."
But Bergenheim was not being backed into a corner, either. She indicated the work, which was paid for by a private donor, would stay.
"There are always critical voices when it the university is concerned. Words are obviously very controversial as art," she said.