Board endorses MCG name change



The Medical College of Georgia will still refer to its School of Medicine, but the rest of the university will be changing names.

The boards of MCG Health Inc. and MCG Health System met Wednesday by conference call to endorse the name change.

MCG Health System's meeting was not publicly announced, as required by the Georgia Open Meetings Law, which means whatever action it took can be challenged in court during the next 90 days. Public notice was given for the MCG Health Inc. meeting.

MCG President Ricardo Azziz, who has been pushing for the name change as recognition that MCG is more than just a School of Medicine, said the misconception is widespread.

As part of his recruiting efforts, Azziz said, he spoke Tuesday to the dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who told him, "I thought you only had a School of Medicine."

A survey in 2008 found that 80 percent of MCG alumni thought that MCG referred to the School of Medicine, he said.

"We have significant name recognition (for the medical school)," Azziz said. "I think all of us recognize it."

Though the medical school and the clinical system will retain the MCG name, the university will take on a new name, "most likely along the lines of Georgia Health Sciences University," Azziz said. The rest of the schools also will become colleges, he said.

"We will have a College of Dental Medicine, a College of Nursing, a College of Allied Health Sciences and a College of Graduate Studies," Azziz said.

The plan is to run a tag line underneath the new name for some period of time during the transition.

"For example, we will use the tag line 'Georgia Health Sciences University,' and underneath that it will say, 'Home of the Medical College of Georgia,' " Azziz said. The plan is to change all of the signs to reflect the new name within the next two years, he said. The resolution passed both boards unanimously.

The cost will be about $2.8 million and will spread over a couple of years, Azziz said after the meeting. It is money that was already budgeted and planned for several years to improve the signs on campus and will now be used to incorporate the new names, he said.

More to come

The new name, which is already up on MCG's Web site, is just one of the changes envisioned by MCG President Ricardo Azziz in his push to set the course for the next three years. In fact, there is an Enterprise-Wide Strategic Planning initiative that is seeking input on the university's future direction. You can e-mail in your thoughts to: The initiative's Web site is