GRRRRR for GRU

Congratulations to Dr. Ricardo Azziz today. He's managed to merge two fine universities and alienate (and infuriate) many Augustans at the same time by helping usher in the vomitous name of the new school.

 

Georgia Regents University.

 

Take a second to breathe it in. Now, feel free to gag - and/or shout out every bad word that cannot be printed in this blog. We have the second largest city in Georgia and this is the best Dr. Azziz and the Georgia Board of Regents can do? GRU? The villain from "Despicable Me?" You've got to be kidding me. This name will fly like a lead balloon.

 

 

I always laugh when I read these stories about zombies, but I now know they really exist. They exist in the form of political appointees who serve on the Board of Regents. Unfortunately, Vice Chairman William NeSmith Jr., couldn't fend them all off by himself at the meeting. Wait a minute. I apologize for the insult. We all know zombies, unlike our "friends" at the Board of Regents  would've been more open-minded about the name of the consolidated university between Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.

 

 

I guess we should congratulate the Board of Regents on the birth of their son today, because many of us will now call this new university "Georgia Board of Regents University." How narcissistic can you get?  We should all call this new university "Junior."

 

 

Did we really need another university in the University System of Georgia with the name "Georgia?" (There's 16 as we speak.) And this new name -- GRU -- will do wonders for athletic recruiting. Good luck, Dip Metress, Kevin McPherson, Melissa Mullins and every other coach selling the "Georgia Regent Jaguars." (Doesn't that just roll off the tongue?) Speaking of, I can't wait to see school opponents use the taunting terms "Georgia Rejects University" and "Georgia Regional University." All of the "GRU" rivals -- Armstrong, Clayton State, Georgia College & State, Lander, USC Aiken, Paine -- are chomping at the bit to use those insults, and who can blame them? Bet the Georgia Board of Regents didn't think of that; zombies would have.

 

 

Several of my friends told me the fix has been in for months. Who's to say they're wrong? These friends also trust Dr. Azziz as far as they can throw him.

 

 

If his job was to slap Augusta in the face by lobbying for GRU, then well done, sir. You and your mindless consultants accomplished just that, upsetting thousands of Augustans. And well done killing what shred of morale the Augusta State staff and faculty had left. (And for the record, I know several folks who work at GHSU who also despise GRU). If you're trying to win friends and influence people, you didn't do it today. Good luck rebuilding their trust.

 

 

Like I said before, Dr. Azziz is a smart man, with a ton of personality. And he may make many great decisions in the future, but this is one where we don't see eye to eye.

 

 

Many leaders have charm, charisma. We have many politicians in Washington, D.C., who possess those traits. Great personality does not translate into great decisions, though, thus our politicians continue to do nothing while our economy swishes around in the bottom of the toilet. But I digress. Let's refocus on this naming fiasco.

 

 

Maybe Augusta wasn't the "cool" name to pick for Dr. Azziz (Phone: 706-721-2301; email: president@georgiahealth.edu). I guess a city name was too low brow for someone seeking worldwide attention. Has he ever heard of the following universities: Auburn, Clemson, Syracuse, Houston, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Boise State, Miami, etc? They're doing just fine without a state name.

 

 

Here's Dr. Azziz's quote after the name selection today: "I am grateful to the Regents for selecting a name that reflects the true breadth and depth of the new comprehensive university, which includes an aligned and integrated health system. The word ‘regent’ is defined as having great power, and as an institution focused on the future, this name positions us as a leading university for quality teaching and education, with an array of academic programs to include both liberal arts and sciences, and one of only four comprehensive research institutions in the state.”

 

 

See, this name rules! Really. But with "great power," Spider-Man reminds us, comes responsibility. That's a responsibility to choose a university name that suits the entire community. Why reject the word 'Augusta'? Why, for goodness sakes, choose 'regent'?  One friend on Facebook already has created an e-card that reads: "I don't drink a lot, but when I do I come up with a better name than Georgia Regents University." 

 

 

The argument for GRU: The force-fed name will grow on us. Plenty of bad things grow in, on or around us: cancer, kudzu, weeds. We will never like any of them, either.

 

 

I hate hearing about the multitude of frivolous lawsuits in today's society, but this is the one time I sincerely hope Regent University of Virginia sues. (Who thought we'd all be pinning all our hopes on crazy, old Pat Robertson?) If a lawsuit comes, the state of Georgia will spend plenty of taxpayer money defending itself. And what's "cooler," more American, than wasting taxpayer funds anyway? Of course, there's no need for a lawsuit with three simple words: "University of Augusta."

 

 

University of Augusta may not mean much others, but for we Augustans and the many others who graduated from Augusta College or Augusta State University it means a lot. Thanks to Dr. Azziz, the Georgia Board of Regents and others who could care less about Augusta for showing blatant disregard to our community today with this tomfoolish name -- Georgia Regents University. That's really uncool.

 

 

Don't expect GRU to grow on our fair city. And don't expect many people -- today, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year -- to be happy over the decision to choose this name. One day in the future, the distant future, we may forgive. But we will never forget.


 

 

 

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omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 08/07/12 - 05:24 pm
6
0
we can always try picketing

we can always try picketing his house on milledge road.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 08/07/12 - 07:52 pm
4
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This is another great blog by

This is another great blog by Chris, but I beg to differ on one point.

I have a hard time believing Azziz is that intelligent. GRU isn't some off the cuff remark, a comment made in passing or a split second decision.

This is Azziz's "intelligent" decision after months of meetings, discussions, national testing and community feedback.

If this is the leadership and intelligence Azziz shows in picking a name, what brilliance can we expect from substantive issues like budgeting, faculty appointments, academic programs and the like?

RoadKing
99
Points
RoadKing 08/07/12 - 08:46 pm
2
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As always Chris.... Excellent

As always Chris.... Excellent !!!

Chris Gay
77
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Chris Gay 08/07/12 - 10:02 pm
4
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FYI: Dr. Ricardo Azziz and

FYI: Dr. Ricardo Azziz and ASU’s Interim President, Dr. Shirley Kenny, will hold an open forum at noon, Thursday, Aug. 16 at ASU’s Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.

smiles68
6
Points
smiles68 08/07/12 - 10:38 pm
4
0
Excellent Blog! I despise the

Excellent Blog! I despise the GRU name and can imagine the admissions/enrollment will DROP dramatically. Not to mention recruits for the sports teams. Azziz has got to realize now that every AUGUSTAN is ready to see him go. I'll help him pack.

GRUminion
18
Points
GRUminion 08/08/12 - 10:46 am
4
0
Who would want to go there

Who would want to go there now? Hope Pat Robertson sues.

roscoe74
43
Points
roscoe74 08/08/12 - 11:51 am
1
2
Hmm... anyone else notice

Hmm... anyone else notice that this morning there were all sorts of links on the chronicle homepage regarding GRU and before lunch, it has been changed to just one hyperlink that you have to search for and oh, wait... what's that? Ah, yes, the hyperlinked article provides both positive and negative comments in a 50/50 ratio which is NOT representative of the overall population's opinion and, hold the phone! Is that an article about GHSU's $10 million dollar building posted higher up on the webpage? Why, yes, yes it is. So can I deduce as a reader that Azziz or his patsies put a gag order on the chronicle's coverage demanding equal media coverage of positive events happening at the university? Seriously. Do they think Augustans are that stupid as to not notice? Look, I wasn't born and raised here. I'm a Yankee by birth transplanted by a marriage (that is no longer) but after being a tax payer for the lat 16 years and sending so many of my high school students to ASU, I kinda got used to this place. Garnered some pride and support after the winning basketball and golf seasons. Have watched my daughter's dance recitals in Maxwell theater. Heck, I've even considered a master's program at ASU and a PhD program at MCG. This GRU nonsense makes me sick. But I think Chronicle's webpage averting coverage so radically this morning makes me more ill. Is there no decent leader left in this god forsaken state?

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/08/12 - 12:36 pm
2
0
What time is the forum on
Unpublished

What time is the forum on Thursday? I think he needs to be greeted with at least a 10 minute chorus of "boos" to open the forum.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/08/12 - 12:38 pm
4
0
......followed by at least 10
Unpublished

......followed by at least 10 minutes of "ASU! ASU! ASU! ASU!" and finally at least 10 minutes of "MCG! MCG! MCG! MCG!" and then after about 30 minutes or so everyone should just leave the forum.

Chris Gay
77
Points
Chris Gay 08/08/12 - 12:47 pm
5
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@roscoe74 The redesign of the

@roscoe74 The redesign of the Chronicle's front page has nothing to do with Dr. Azziz. It is usually redesigned throughout the day depending on what news breaks. If you'll check now, the Chronicle's front page is focused again on the GRU coverage.

GRUminion
18
Points
GRUminion 08/08/12 - 01:28 pm
4
0
The anger about the

The anger about the unfortunate name selection is an expression of the way the whole consolidation has been handled. The public forums and consultation with the alumni, students, and faculty seem to have been a facade for the sake of appearing collegial. The powers that be are doing what the want and think they know better than everyone else. Why should people place confidence in leadership that can't even come up with a pleasing or even marketable name? They screwed that up so what else are they going to get wrong?

roscoe74
43
Points
roscoe74 08/08/12 - 03:10 pm
0
0
thanks Chris. i did see that

thanks Chris. i did see that shortly after I posted my comment.

AutumnLeaves
5925
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/08/12 - 03:32 pm
3
0
I agree with Chris Gay. I am

I agree with Chris Gay. I am infuriated by the way this was handled and the slap in the face to people like myself that graduated from Augusta College. One of my parents also did. My brother earned two degrees there, attending while it was Augusta College and later ASU and another degree elsewhere. One of my children also began his college studies at ASU. Members of my extended family have graduated from there also. We are ALL upset about this choice. We think it is a colossal waste of money and a slap in the face to students that are going there and have gone there to change the name again. The name Augusta State University (ASU) is just fine and should have encompassed both Augusta College and The Medical College, including some other name for the new research areas and the Dental College if necessary. It would have saved a fortune, better spent on things that are considerably more important than servicing Dr. Azziz' need for self-aggrandizing and thumbing his nose at our "loud voices" as he put it in a recent interview.

roscoe74
43
Points
roscoe74 08/08/12 - 10:32 pm
1
0
thanks Chris for the email

thanks Chris for the email address for Dr. Azziz. I did indeed write to him and got this response from the executive administrative assistant. (copy/paste)

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this critically important issue. Dr. Azziz is currently out of the office and not able to respond personally to your email. He asked that I respond on his behalf.

We value your allegiance to ASU, MCG (a name we will proudly retain) and the community at large. We have no higher priority than making Augustans proud by creating the country’s next great university. Please know that every voice was heard as the naming process unfolded. Now that the Board of Regents has made their decision, the real work lies in coming together as a community to make this university the best that it can be. That is a legacy we will all be proud of, and one that will reap rewards for generations to come.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Laura Sherrouse

Executive Administrative Assistant to the President

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