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Look for growth from consolidation of ASU and GHSU, leaders say

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 2:28 PM
Last updated Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:04 PM
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As Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities consolidate, the greatest opportunity is on the undergraduate side, GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said Wednesday.

“The real growth potential of this consolidation is at this university,” he told a packed ballroom at ASU.

But that also raises concerns about class size, which are in the 20s for biology, and the intimate feel of those classes, said Dr. Rich Griner, chair of biology at ASU.

“We really form relationships with our students,” he said. After Azziz said he couldn’t foresee getting to classes of 100 or more, “I was quite pleased with that,” Griner said.

Some are thinking about adding doctors of a different kind.

Miranda Hawks, a doctoral student in the College of Nursing at GHSU, said she would like to see the new university offer a doctorate in public health.

“It is pretty vital,” she said. GHSU launched the Institute of Public and Preventive Health on Tuesday, which puts more emphasis on innovation and research but will also provide educational opportunities, Azziz told her.

Drew Landrum, an alumnus of ASU and an employee of GHSU, would like to see advanced degrees in communications added.

“The talent and faculty they have there (at ASU) is worthy of a higher education program,” he said.

While many of the questions were about the potential loss of jobs or programs, Azziz and outgoing ASU President William A. Bloodworth Jr. said there were no big plans to cut either. Programs are changed all the time depending on demand and need and that will continue, Bloodworth said.

The as-yet unnamed new university “is going to replace both ASU and GHSU,” Bloodworth said. So far, “it looks as though we’re up” in student interest and applications for next semester, he said, “but the jury is out until the first day of class.”

ASU is already recruiting new students in the Atlanta area, and both Azziz and Bloodworth said the new university will have to step up that effort.

“We need to do this in South Carolina,” Azziz said. “We need to do it nationally.”

Though the University System of Georgia Board of Regents will determine tuition rates, the intent is to keep current students at the same rate for the next few years, Azziz said.

“We’re going to try to keep people safe,” he said.

Dr. Mike Brands of GHSU, who collaborates with some ASU faculty, said there has been a turnaround in their mood.

“The faculty have gone from being a little apprehensive to being excited,” he said.

A lot remains to be done on what to call the different campuses, including a new riverfront area at the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame site, Azziz said. But, in the end, it will be greater than the sum of its parts, he said.

“Our biggest goal is to grow,” Azziz said.

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countyman
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countyman 05/16/12 - 02:18 pm
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Alot of students who

Alot of the students who previously lived in metro Atlanta came from Gwinnett county.. We need to step it up in terms of recruiting from the additional counties around Atlanta(Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb, Henry, Fayette, and Forsyth)...

The university should look to become the immediate choice after UGA and GT.. That means beating out Georgia State, Kennesaw State, and Georgia Southern.....

If you had a football team it would help speed up the future growth...

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/16/12 - 02:15 pm
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Grow exponentially and then

Grow exponentially and then grow more. This town has missed some years in growth and can benefit.

countyman
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countyman 05/16/12 - 02:24 pm
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After focusing on metro

After focusing on metro Atlana & SC please move onto the states of Florida, Alabama, TN, MS, KY, and NC...

If you were to lock up the state first(third school after UGA & GT), and then increase your regional status the national recognition would soon follow closely behind..

moorekb98
4
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moorekb98 05/16/12 - 02:51 pm
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Growth...

“Our biggest goal is to grow,” Azziz said

Growth is the residual effect of a strong institution, not the goal.

Dr. Craig Spinks.Georgians for Educational Excellence
106
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0
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Will My Hometown reach for

Will My Hometown reach for the "golden ring" offered by governor-backed and GHSU-driven plans for developing a first-rate research university here or will it opt for Billy and Cal's self-serving "field of dreams" on the river as a "more plausible" alternative?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/16/12 - 03:18 pm
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Dr Spinks, that is the

Dr Spinks, that is the million dollar question, literally.

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 03:30 pm
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The Riverfront Campus

The Riverfront Campus is going to be an integral part of the new school. The national recruiting is already on with those interested in all the graduate education programs the medical school offers starting to look at getting their undergrad at ASU. This has been the pattern where other med schools have combined with local colleges. The academic credentials of the applicants for ASU will continue to improve.

countyman
21626
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countyman 05/16/12 - 03:38 pm
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Why can't you have GHSU

Why can't you have GHSU driven plans, mixed-use developments, and the multi-use facility?? If you really want the 17 acres to truly benefit Augusta then the population needs to work, live, and play at the site downtown...

I don't know too many young people who wouldn't mind living within walking distance of college football/baseball games, Greenjackets games, restaurants, and other businesses..

Has the Medical District attracted alot of upscale retail, condos, townhomes, etc in the immediate area?? Even with the large daytime population and disposable income the answer is no. Why?? The population of Medical District doesn't play/live/work in the immediate area... The Medical District area is just now attracting the first Walmart market in Georgia..

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 03:36 pm
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Huh? DeKalb, Fulton Counties?

Countyman said to recruit in DeKalb and Fulton Counties? Are those bastions of superior high school students? I must have missed that article.

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 03:41 pm
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How many college campuses

How many college campuses have apartments, retail and offices for the public not related to the college? None is the answer. How many colleges play football in a stadium that's also a baseball stadium. None is the answer.

This is going to be a typical academic, research site with some student housing with just enough small retail to benefit those living and working there.

countyman
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countyman 05/16/12 - 09:31 pm
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JohnBrownAug... Well Fulton

JohnBrownAug... In the other article you hyped up the Columbia County school system, but none of the schools made the US News top schools in Georgia.. Multiple schools from both Dekalb and Fulton made the list.. Fulton is the main county in metro Atlanta so there's underperforming, decent, and good schools.. Dekalb is one of the immediate suburbs, and has the same dynamic to a lesser extent.. The city limits of Decatur, Druid Hills, Chamblee, & Dunwoody in Dekalb and especially North Fulton(Johns Creek, Milton, Alpharetta, Roswell) have very good schools... I'm pretty sure the majority(percentage) of top schools in metro Atlanta are located in North Fulton..

The problem is when you settle for 'typical' instead of greatness... Why settle for the ordinary when you have 17 acres of prime real estate??

Why can't you have apartments, retail, offices, etc related to the public and university?? Several universities have businesses located near the dorms for example on campus..

A football and baseball stadium are two completely diffrent structures.. The multi-use facility from the start would be beat to handle both types of sporting events..

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 04:35 pm
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The Problem is Fulton, DeKalb and Richmond County

The problem is the total student populations of Fulton, DeKalb and Richmond Counties score very low on tests. You can get one or two schools in any county that do well, but when you point to a county with total low scores and say our college should recruit there it doesn't quite work. If you want to point out a specific school in one of those counties, great, that would work. If we are talking counties with good school systems as rated by the performances of all their students keep looking past Fulton, DeKalb and Richmond.

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 04:39 pm
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A stadium designed for

A stadium designed for baseball and football doesn't work no matter if you call it a multi-use facility. Really, there are none being used by any college around these parts. I doubt there are any in the nation although some really tiny Div 3 school where the cars park alongside the out of bounds line and turn their lights on to provide illumination if the game runs late may have some.

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/16/12 - 08:43 pm
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"Several universities have

"Several universities have businesses located near the dorms for example on campus.."

I'm not sure of those places. I'd be interested in learning about them. Keep in mind what we are talking about here. The total number of students living on both campuses now is not that great. Maybe this new area if it includes housing will improve that factor.

Maybe a few very large universities have public food stores and all on campus, but generally those stores are off campus. Our schools with three separated campuses, now four, are surrounded by plentiful private land available for private development. University land is not needed for private undertakings.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 05/17/12 - 08:26 pm
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More taxes for RC citizens
Unpublished

I agree people want these nice things to do downtown but they don't want to get shafted by the city with a tax to pay for it. Don't give me all that crap about how it will not cost taxpayers anything. I have been paying taxes in Augusta for 30 years and I know how the game is played!! Show me the MONEY!!!

countyman
21626
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countyman 05/16/12 - 09:33 pm
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Multiple schools from Dekalb

Multiple schools from Dekalb and Fulton made the top high schools in Georgia.. I know those counties are much larger than Columbia, but zero high schools in the county made the list... A total of two schools from Richmond County made the list...

If you look at the 8th grade reading portion of the CRCT... Davidson, AR Johnson, Freedom Park, and CT Walker(4 schools) scored 100% compared to Greenbrier in Columbia County( 1 school)...

Will definitely see how 'good' the Columbia County school system is over the next decade as more economically challenged students moved into the county..

''Clemson University is building high-end apartments as part of a $123.5 million student village that will accommodate students studying at a nearby technical college planning to transfer to Clemson. The university’s Barnes & Noble bookstore will move to the village, Vander Mey said, doubling its current size. Other unnamed retail and restaurants will open around it.''

JohnBrownAug
1962
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JohnBrownAug 05/17/12 - 04:06 am
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Don't Mean to Disparge Schools

I'm not trying to disparage any school system, but simply found it strange counties that are weak with score results such as the SAT would be singled out as somewhere ASU should recruit. Realize the magnet schools in Richmond County produce a tiny percentage of the total graduates, but that's another story.

Clemson has thousands of students living on a huge campus. As I noted above, it's perfectly reasonable to build small facilities like book stores and fast food places to accommodate these people. There are simply not enough students living in Augusta to do that although I can see a small convenince store or something for the students and employees at the river property.

The undergraduate university is going to help Augusta grow, but it's not going to result from them giving up their land for other uses. Hopefully, they'll need every square foot for growth. There's plenty of cheap land around all the campuses. Let's all get on board as the university grows into a major one and our city gets the beneficial fallout.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/17/12 - 06:48 am
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Huh?

Countyman asked:

Why can't you have GHSU driven plans, mixed-use developments, and the multi-use facility?

What in the world are you talking about? Please use plain English terms so people know what you mean.

Fools_and_sages
360
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Fools_and_sages 05/17/12 - 07:32 am
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major retailers, etc.
Unpublished

Campus housing is for students, not for the public. Big campuses often have chain fastfood places on campus-- Subway, Sbarro's pizza, McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Panda Chinese, etc. They usually don't have elegant dining establishments unless they are a culinary school. As far as a Barnes and Noble bookstore goes, B&N has the textbook contract at many large colleges and universities. However, campus B&N bookstores are not like the B&N you see at the mall. Instead, it is the campus bookstore-- no tables, no coffeehouse, no food, no seating areas, few cds, few dvds, etc. A campus B&N bookstore is the campus bookstore where students buy textbooks, the occasional novel, cd, dvd, or magazine (from a very limited selection) and tshirts, sweatshirts, caps, etc that represent the school. The campus B&N usually looks more like an upscale warehouse than your typical B&N retail shop. How do I know all of this? I went to undergrad and grad school at major universities that have been running student-oriented campuses nestled in local neighborhoods for decades. After spending 12 years of my life earning a BA, MA, and doctorate, I can safely say that campus facilities and amenities are designed for students, not for the general public. The one exception might a sports complex because the locals will buy season tickets and attend non-sporting events at the venue if the school decides to allow the arena to host major concerts, etc. Regardless of what the campus buildings might be reserved for, there is every reason to believe that increasing the number of people who access or live in downtown (even part of the year as students do) could spur economic development via privately owned small businesses and even some corporate storefronts, both of which would go a long way towards revitalizing downtown. Students will need a movie theater, shops, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, etc. that they can walk to because public transportation in Augusta is virtually non-existent. We might actually get an independent movie theater that would do more than show whatever the big blockbuster is at the moment on five screens at a time. Additionally, students are not going to want to live in an area surrounded by crime-ridden and unsafe neighborhoods either, which presents opportunities for real estate developers to buy some of the dilapidated houses and buildings in both downtown and areas adjacent to downtown to turn them into quality apartments for both students and the public. As the "New U" grows and demand increases for services in the areas that are between and adjacent to the current GHSU and ASU campuses, the demographics of those areas COULD change greatly if local entrepreneurs and big corporations recognize and seize the opportunities to make that change happen. One of the issues with Augusta is that many people sit back and complain about how things never change while they wait for something big to happen that will make all the changes for them. Then, when the opportunity for change presents itself, people complain because they really don't want change or it's not the kind of change they want. You can't have change without being willing to accept it and you can't expect one business, school , or whatever to make all the necessary changes. The GHSU/ASU consolidation won't change Augusta into a sparkling jewel by itself, single-handedly. All it can do is expand and improve its own operations as they relate to student needs and the kinds of public services a university and medical complex can provide. Turning downtown Augusta into a shopping/entertainment mecca isn't the responsibility of the "New U." The "New U" will provide opportunities for the local and national business communities to that. Let's hope enterprising people leap at those opportunities.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 05/17/12 - 10:40 am
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Athens, Rock Hill,

Athens, Rock Hill, Statesboro, Asheville, Durham, SCAD. Where does the city end and the campus begin there? Which came first, city or school? What made the other prosper? The chicken or the egg? What is the point of this debate? The merge is on. Make it a good thing for youself, for your city, for your neighbor. Think big and big things can happen. I'd rather watch the wave build and try to ride it over sitting on the pier and watching others. Yes you may bail b/c that's a part of the process.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 05/17/12 - 03:26 pm
1
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Comparing the Magnet schools
Unpublished

Comparing the Magnet schools in RC to Columbia County schools is stupid. If you took the best of the best from Columbia County and put them in a single high school they would be just as good if not better than RC's magnet schools. That's like saying your hand picked football team is better than all the other county's football teams. I admire your enthusiasm but you post your drivel so much that nobody buys it.

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