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Georgia Health Sciences University students, faculty concerned about name change with Augusta State merger

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It is one of the biggest questions hanging over the merger of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities: What will the new name be?

For those at GHSU, it has a familiar feel, having just changed from Medical College of Georgia less than a year ago.

The thoughts of many could be summed up by GHSU senior respiratory therapy student Amber Sherrill.

“That’s my concern is they just spent a bunch of money making a name change,” she said. “Are they going to invest more money making another name change?”

That was the burning question for Lauren Daniels, 24, a first-year student in Medical College of Georgia at GHSU.

“Are they going to change the name again?” she asked.

For Brett Heimlich, a third-year student in the seven-year M.D./Ph.D. program at GHSU, it raises a question about the future.

“When we applied to this school, it was MCG,” he said. “Now it is GHSU. And by the time we graduate, it will actually be a third name yet to be determined. I think there are legitimate questions about what that means to the value of our degree.”

When GHSU was created, MCG was retained as the name of the school of medicine, and it is important that happen again, Heimlich said.

“I think that will be preserved throughout whatever process we’re headed into,” he said.

That process includes four town hall meetings Thursday, two at each campus, with GHSU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz and ASU President William A. Bloodworth Jr. Danielle Pelmore, 20, a sophomore studying communications at ASU, said she will likely go to one of the meetings but is not sure how much effect it will have.

“Why does it matter if they hear our opinion if the vote has already happened?” she asked.

Some see even more long-term implications than just the name change in the move. Supporters have touted the combined school as a potential comprehensive school that could rival the state’s other large research universities. But Dr. Robert R. Nesbit Jr., a professor emeritus of surgery at MCG, scoffs at that.

“Take a look at what’s in Athens and tell me if you really believe that we are going to have here what they have there,” he said. “The University of Georgia is still the flagship school, just as Georgia Tech is.”

In fact, many GHSU faculty have long predicted that a satellite medical school GHSU established at the University of Georgia in Athens will become independent a few years after this merger, which spells trouble for the Augusta school, Nesbit said.

“There’s a lot of history in other states of what happens when a second school is born,” he said. “The new school is always going to take from the old. We can’t give you seats on the 50-yard-line” as UGA can at football games.

And combining with a liberal arts university means part of GHSU’s label might no longer be appropriate, and it would reverse something Azziz was trying to do by creating the GHSU name, Nesbit said.

“I don’t see how you can put medicine in the title or health in the title” of the merged school, he said. “(Azziz’s) point was that we were not nationally recognized as a health sciences university. I don’t see how we do that if we are part of Augusta State.”

Staff Writer Steve Crawford contributed to this article.

TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Both Georgia Health Sciences University President Dr. Ricardo Azziz and Augusta State University President William A. Bloodworth Jr. will discuss the consolidation in four town hall meetings Thursday, two on each campus. GHSU will hold meetings at 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium, and ASU will have meetings at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.

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createyourfuture
68
Points
createyourfuture 01/10/12 - 09:25 pm
0
0
I like Georgia A & M (ASU &

I like Georgia A & M
(ASU & MCG)
or Arts & Medicine
Either way, I want a football team out of this...

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 01/11/12 - 12:38 am
0
0
“Why does it matter if they

“Why does it matter if they hear our opinion if the vote has already happened?” she asked.

EXACTLY.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 01/11/12 - 08:12 am
0
0
Arts &
Unpublished

Arts & Medicine?....nahh...kinda diminishes both....................

Little Lamb
46969
Points
Little Lamb 01/11/12 - 08:43 am
0
0
I still say the best name to

I still say the best name to garner the most recognition is

University of Georgia at Augusta

And the abbreviation would be

UGA—Augusta

It fits with UA—Birmingham, UT—Chattanooga, USC—Aiken, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and many more.

By being part of the UGA flagship, it assures that the medical school will not be competing with the one in Athens.

agustinian
718
Points
agustinian 01/11/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
My vote is

My vote is for:

SUGHA

Pronounce like southerners pronounce sugar as in: Shuugah

Riverman1
86969
Points
Riverman1 01/11/12 - 09:16 am
0
0
The most logical way to

The most logical way to handle this is to keep ASU and for the medical part to simply add ASU above the GHSU name. Thus at the medical school it will read:

Augusta State University's
Georgia Health Sciences University

That wouldn't even require any name changing signs for many years.

Riverman1
86969
Points
Riverman1 01/11/12 - 09:20 am
0
0
LL, I don't get the UGA at

LL, I don't get the UGA at Augusta name. In Georgia the state schools, all part of the Univesity System of Georgia a long time ago decided to have names that were indepent. Of course the "state" part means they are public colleges. Armstrong, Kennesaw, Valdosta, etc. Incidentally, I didn't agree with adding "state" to the name when they did. What was wrong with Augusta University? It had "private school like" ring to it. Know what I mean?

paperwren
24
Points
paperwren 01/11/12 - 10:12 am
0
0
I'm just wondering who's

I'm just wondering who's tuition and fees they will adopt. I earned my Masters degree at ASU and my husband earned his at MCG/GHSU. I can tell you that MCG/GHSU is MUCH more expensive. We paid three times more for his degree. They really get you with the "fees" at GHSU (which are the same at UGA). For example, they charge you a $450 institutional fee PER semester, regardless of how many courses you are taking. ASU's same fee is about $230. This really adds up when you pay it every semester. I'm not sure if the lower fees are due to ASU being a smaller school, but I have a feeling that students are going to have to pay a lot more to earn the same degrees after this merger. Augusta Chronicle, I'd love to see a story on what this means for local student's pockets. We wouldn't have been able to pay for my Masters at ASU out of pocket if I had to pay GHSU/MCG's rates.

Here's a comparison...

http://www.georgiahealth.edu/finance/controller/cashiers/GraduateStudies...

http://www.aug.edu/infocentral/Tuition/Spring12Grad.htm

ClaraBell
8
Points
ClaraBell 01/11/12 - 10:16 am
0
0
Yesterday was a sad day. MCG

Yesterday was a sad day. MCG will soon be the medical school of what is akin to a community college that gives degrees. I agree with Little Lamb, the best outcome would have been consolidation of GHSU, ASU, and UGA with a bona fide UGA Augusta campus. Another lost opportunity.

Let's all hope that Atlanta names a new interim president soon to preside over the marriage and that Doctor Azziz will not be in charge.

my.voice
4924
Points
my.voice 01/11/12 - 11:37 am
0
0
I have a question. Did not

I have a question. Did not MCG spend in excess of 4 million in changing the name? How much "savings" are expected as a result of the merger? I mean, the cost of the name change already expended has to be included. And I still cannot figure out how Azziz can possibly manage a Liberal Arts University.

Riverman1
86969
Points
Riverman1 01/11/12 - 12:20 pm
0
0
So now some believe GHSU

So now some believe GHSU medical doctors will be the equivalent of those getting undergrad degrees from ASU? This is getting to be outrageously hilarious. There are undergraduate and medical school divisions of universities.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/11/12 - 01:28 pm
0
0
Augusta University

Augusta University

914darknlovely
8
Points
914darknlovely 01/11/12 - 06:26 pm
0
0
UGA-Augusta, NO. Neither

UGA-Augusta, NO. Neither school has a current association with UGA, so it really doesn't make sense. I vote for something economical since we just spent a lot of money changing the name of MCG to GHSU.

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