There is still a chance to offer suggestions for the new name of the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, right up to a meeting Wednesday where three finalists will be chosen, the co-chairwoman of the naming committee said today.
That includes an online petition from ASU and GHSU students with three new name choices, but the committee is also monitoring comments on a consolidation blog, The Augusta Chronicle Facebook page and the comments under online stories, said Susan Barcus, co-chairwoman of the name selection committee and chief development officer for GHSU.
The student group wants to add these choices to six potential names announced last week:
• Georgia Arts and Medicine University (Georgia A&M);
• Georgia University of Arts and Sciences;
• Georgia Southeastern University.
“We would like to see the word ‘Georgia’ as part of the institutional name,” the petition reads. “We feel that it reflects an essential aspect of our new school, namely our status as a public university in the state of Georgia.”
Since apparently being posted on Wednesday, the petition claims more than 1,000 signatures, although quite a few are anonymous and some are duplicates. The petition has the naming committee’s blessing after the two student representatives to the committee reported that students were unhappy with the six suggestions and wanted alternatives, Barcus said.
“We are pleased with the student petition,” she said. “Actually that comes from our request to them” for feedback. On Wednesday, she said, she will present the whole petition to the Consolidation Working Group, which will choose three finalists that will then be forwarded to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. The regents are expected to decide on the new name in August.
The six potential names released last week unleashed a flood of online comments on The Chronicle Web site and on a consolidation blog announcing the names, and the overwhelming majority wanted something else.
“We are so pleased with all of the noise that is coming from this, really thoughtful comments that are being posted on the blog,” Barcus said. “There is some negative stuff, but all of it is being very, very helpful. So we are going to keep the survey open.”
The committee will not only consider those suggestions but is looking at the newspaper’s Facebook page, where readers are voting and commenting, as well as the comments posted under stories about naming. All of that, as well as data from national testing, goes into consideration, she said.
“We’re hearing it from all sides and really excited because we think we are going to come up with good suggestions,” Barcus said. “And I think the Consolidation Working Group is going to have a lot to look at, and I think they are going to make a great” final decision.