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Old name will linger for MCG

New signs costly, but Internet issues provide other challenges

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On Tuesday, it will officially become Georgia Health Sciences University. But it could take two years and nearly $3 million before all of the signs, decals and so forth reflect that.

Changing all of the college's signage to reflect the name change will cost about $2.1 million, according to Deborah Barshafsky of MCG.   Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Changing all of the college's signage to reflect the name change will cost about $2.1 million, according to Deborah Barshafsky of MCG.

In what an official admits could be a confusing move, the name Medical College of Georgia will still be around, but just referring to the School of Medicine, though MCG will also still designate the clinical system and its buildings.

The most immediately visible change will be the university's Web sites and 9,000 e-mail addresses that will change over late Monday night or early Tuesday to georgiahealth.edu, said Walter Ray, the director of the name change IT project.

The school will still be able to run the mcg.edu site in parallel to redirect traffic and e-mails, but only until Sept. 30, he said. That's because the registrar for the .edu academic sites, Educause, only allows one .edu designation per school and a year of transition, Ray said. That could be a problem with research papers that list the mcg.edu contact and similar publications in circulation, he said.

"I think there is a big concern on campus about sort of falling off the face of the map when it comes to some of those publications," Ray said.

The school plans to petition Educause to keep the mcg.edu designation beyond Sept. 30, particularly because Medical College of Georgia will still be a valid name as part of the university, he said.

"That's one of the arguments we're going to make," he said. "But at this point in time, I have no indication or reason to believe that they would (allow it). I've been saying Sept. 30. It could change. If it changes, that would be a positive change."

The name change was approved in September, and the lead time has allowed departments to use up existing stocks of stationery and envelopes "instead of everybody running right out and buying brand-new stationery," said Deborah L. Barshafksy, the vice president for strategic support. "We're really trying to maximize that normal replacement process as much as possible to keep the costs down."

The majority of the $2.9 million cost will be changing all the internal and external signs, about $2.1 million in total, she said. Talk of replacing the signs actually began before the name change discussion as the health system and campus began moving toward integration even before the arrival of President Ricardo Azziz last year, Barshafsky said.

"We realize that we had some problems on campus with signage," particularly with uniformity and helping people navigate the campus and clinical system, she said.

The new signs will all feature the new logo, which was still being voted on Friday. It will still feature the six-columned representation of the Old Medical College building, but in an updated way, Barshafsky said.

The name change was necessary to show the university is more than the medical school once housed in that building, but the MCG name was retained to reflect that history, which might take a little getting used to, Barshafsky said.

"We do recognize that that might be confusing for some folks, but for us and for many of our external constituents and our internal folks, this is a very welcome thing to have happened because we finally have a name that accurately conveys the scope of what we are to the population we serve," Barshafsky said.

That is why, for probably the first year or so of the transition, the university name will be followed by something denoting it as the former Medical College of Georgia, she said.

"We don't want people to be looking for the Medical College of Georgia and think that we have fallen off the map or to not recognize what Georgia Health Sciences University is," Barshafsky said.

Changes to online

The Georgia Health Sciences University era begins Tuesday. The university's Web site will now be www.georgiahealth.edu, and all of the 9,000 e-mail addresses will switch from mcg.edu to georgiahealth.edu.

The university will be allowed to run the old mcg.edu site until at least Sept. 30 so traffic and e-mail will be redirected. However, officials are asking the public to update their bookmarks to the new site.

The university is celebrating the event at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the atrium of the Health Sciences Building, 987 St. Sebastian Way.

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omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 01/30/11 - 05:34 am
0
0
Names change but stupid is

Names change but stupid is forever. <3 I'm going to call it MCG. ...... and i still hate having to dial the area code to call the man down the block.

Questioning
7
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Questioning 01/30/11 - 10:38 am
0
0
While I appreciate and

While I appreciate and understand the need for the name change at MCG, I still find it a difficult pill to swallow. There is always much talk about money coming from different "pots", but yet they want us to work together as a whole. You have employees who are facing another year with no pay raise; however, our health insurance increased and the cost of living increases. MCGHI employees have not gone without pay raises or "market adjustments" in their pay. On top of no pay raise, you have the state wanting further budget cuts. It does not cost a MCG employee less money to live in this society. It just seems difficult to understand how we have 3 million dollars to spend on a name change, but nothing to help your employees. So...MCG gets a new pretty name, while employee morale falls even lower.

AutumnLeaves
8613
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/30/11 - 11:04 am
0
0
What a waste of money, time,

What a waste of money, time, paper, signs, and so on. The name is longer (more waste) and just doesn't have the same impact and uniqueness of the name MCG. Just my opinion.

jackrussell
219
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jackrussell 01/30/11 - 11:07 am
0
0
Absolutely ridiculous! What

Absolutely ridiculous! What a total and complete waste of money. The state's economy is in the toilet yet they are going to spend 3million dollars that could be better used elsewhere. And it will get passed on to the taxpayers. What happened to common sense?!

Riverman1
87585
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Riverman1 01/30/11 - 11:17 am
0
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I don't believe they should

I don't believe they should be allowed to change the name unless they agree to include "Laney-Walker" in their new name. Georgia Health Sciences University at Laney-Walker. GHSULW for short.

freespeach
4
Points
freespeach 01/30/11 - 02:23 pm
0
0
Another example of government
Unpublished

Another example of government waste. Ridiculous!

trimmy
29
Points
trimmy 01/30/11 - 03:48 pm
0
0
Somewhere in all of this
Unpublished

Somewhere in all of this change is personal gain or fame for the new boss. He may have needed to get something under his belt and show folks just how powerful he is. The people being served don't care what the name conveys. They just need to be served.

ClaraBell
8
Points
ClaraBell 01/30/11 - 11:14 pm
0
0
Well if there wasn't a big

Well if there wasn't a big concern on campus about MCG "falling off the face of the map when it comes to some of those publications," there certainly will be now. My goodness, you'd think that these details could have been anticipated before the "plan" was set in motion. A fine time for it to occur to Dr. Barshafsky that us "folks" might be confused by her unique brand of "strategery."

My daughter is an MCG alumna and she is quite concerned that she will be seen as having graduating from a defunct school. If it is true that the school formerly known as MCG had no name recognition after two centuries, you gotta wonder how long it will take for the U.S. of A to know what the heck GHSULW is.

animate
0
Points
animate 01/30/11 - 11:53 pm
0
0
What "need" for a name

What "need" for a name change, questioning? I'm sure (or hope) Mr. Azziz has more to do than spend 3 million to change the name. There isn't anything more pressing? You might want to look around, you might possibly find something of importance to do with the money. We all know that 3 million will double or possibly triple by the time all's said and done. Besides, it's going to be like "Lake Thurmond,( haha), they spent a fortune on that name change and everyone (except newscasters) still call it by its name, Clarks Hill.

ClaraBell
8
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ClaraBell 01/31/11 - 12:18 am
0
0
I do believe that QUESTIONING

I do believe that QUESTIONING is simply being polite while calling some very valid questions. At the end of the day, There is no reason to change the name of a 200 year-old institution, and either the new president has allowed his enormous ego to cast aside the proud history of MCG, or he has been foolish enough to take the advice of "all the president's men" (and women), who are making him look pretty darned incompetent.

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