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Student frustration with choices for new university name led to petition

Monday, June 25, 2012 6:05 PM
Last updated Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:31 PM
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When he saw the first short list of proposed names for the consolidated university, Harrison Grace joked that he went through the Kübler-Ross grief cycle. But instead of finally landing on acceptance, he decided to do something about it.

Medical student Harrison Grace stands next to a sign announcing the name change from MCG to GHSU.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Medical student Harrison Grace stands next to a sign announcing the name change from MCG to GHSU.

Vote Count:

Total of 615 votes at 1:30 a.m.

Arsenal University: 4 votes
Augusta University: 31 votes
Bartram University: 6 votes
George Walton University: 31 votes
Georgia Arts & Medicine University (Georgia A&M): 292 votes
Georgia Arts & Sciences University (or a variation): 57 votes
Georgia Southeastern University: 7 votes
University of Augusta: 115 votes
University of Georgia - Augusta: 69 votes
William Few University: 3 votes

Note: Voting ends at noon on Wednesday.

Grace, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Georgia Health Sciences University, was one of the students who helped organize an online petition to add three more names to the potential short list of names for the university that will come out of the consolidation of Augusta State University and GHSU. A group of mostly GHSU students and one ASU student got together last Tuesday to whittle down about 20-30 suggestions into three new names to add to six put forth by a name-selection group. None of that group’s names had the word “Georgia” in it, but all three of the names put forth by the students did.

“The vast majority of us are Georgians and Georgia is a more recognizable name and location than just the city of Augusta,” said Brett Page, a student in the GHSU College of Dental Medicine and vice president of the Student Government Association.

One of the three, Georgia Arts & Medicine University, seemed to especially strike a chord with GHSU students, Grace said.

“Especially the GHSU crowd really want to see some part of our history maintained, given that MCG has had nearly a 200-year-old history,” he said. While medical students will still get degrees from Medical College of Georgia, the other health professions “are really concerned about receiving a degree that reflects their training,” Grace said.

While he knows most “A&M” universities stand for Agricultural and Mechanical or Agricultural and Military, Grace said it could be a way to “rebrand” as Georgia A&M.

“Agriculture and Mechanical were the driving industries of the last century,” he said. “But the current American economy seems to be more driven by the health sciences and creative arts, so I think there is an interesting potential for a rebranding of that name and the creation of a new type of university in that regard.”

Their online petition garnered more than 1,600 signatures as of Monday evening, far more than Grace had initially hoped. The naming committee has noticed and is taking their feedback into account, Page said.

“I think they heard us loud and clear,” he said. “We just want our opinions heard and not brushed aside.”

As the former president of the Student Government Association at ASU, Barinaadaa Kara said students are just trying to maintain their connection to their schools and express their opinions, but in the end the new name has to be married to the new institution.

“It has to be a name that is marketable, that can be sold to everyone, that is easier for people to locate, to understand, to link back to what the school is,” he said. “It has to serve its purpose. It has to link back to the mission of the school and the vision of the school and what the school is trying to create for this state, this community and internationally.”

Vote for your favorite

The Augusta Chronicle has a poll of the top 10 suggestions for the new name of the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities. Vote on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TheAugustaChronicle. Voting ends at noon on Wednesday.

Comments (37) Add comment
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Staler172
282
Points
Staler172 06/25/12 - 06:45 pm
7
4
A&M

A clear explanation for the use of A&M. Maybe, the three main trolls of these sights (you know who you are), will finally give up their non-sense reason on why it won't work...
This is a way better name than anything else offered. I'm not the only one that believes this, according to the poll on the Chronicle, A&M leads with 45% of the vote. The three Augusta names total 35% of the vote, COMBINED...

...point to ponder
714
Points
...point to ponder 06/25/12 - 06:49 pm
9
0
Medical College of Georgia

The name never should have been changed in the first place...no need!

Keep it simple....like "Medical College of Georgia with the Summerville campus".....

Or similar to another suggestion with a twist...........“Medical College of Georgia with Augusta State University campus"

****why the Board of Regents even opened this Pandora's box....total waste of time trying to change something thats not even broken! ***why they even merged to the 2 schools.....waste of time and effort.
***why there is a medical school in Athens when we have all the room in Augusta to educate all the doctors needed....($millions spent elsewhere yearly)

*****none of these are examples of good stewardship of taxpayer dollars..........

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 06/25/12 - 07:21 pm
6
2
The Board of Regents and

The Board of Regents and Azziz know exactly what the new name will be. They are just pandering to the masses to humor us. Why does anyone think Azziz is not sticking his nose into the renaming process, as he has all other areas of this "takeover" of ASU. Why hasn't the Athens campus of GHSU even been mentioned in any of this? Do you think they want the Arsenal University Medical School campus in Athens? Do you even think they want the University of Augusta Medical School campus in the home of the University of Georgia? I think we are all going to be surprised with the name when it is finally released. And yes, it will have Georgia in the name, but I think we can all forget about Augusta being in the name. Think about it! I see red and black in Augusta's future!

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 06/25/12 - 07:33 pm
5
2
“It has to be a name that is

“It has to be a name that is marketable, that can be sold to everyone, that is easier for people to locate, to understand, to link back to what the school is,” he said. “It has to serve its purpose. It has to link back to the mission of the school and the vision of the school and what the school is trying to create for this state, this community and internationally.”

Repeat after me: University of Georgia-Summerville Campus. University of Georgia Medical School. Why do you think the BOR asked Michael Adams, the pres of UGA to retire? Why did the BOR bring in an interim president for ASU if the poisition is eliminated. What does this woman know about ASU to facilitate a merger with GHSU. Why did she accept such a position if in six months she will be looking for a job again? She does not have a background of merging schools, she is not some exceptional leader, so she must have been promised something we do not know about? Looking into my crystal ball, I see Azziz headed to Athens to rule from on high, while someone else is put in a leadership position to oversee things in Augusta. Who could that be? The new ASU interim president? This gets more suspenseful by the minute!!!

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 06/25/12 - 07:33 pm
7
0
easy peasy name game solution

step 1) get jaguar
step 2) put out 12 steaks with 1 submitted name on each
step 3) let jaguar decide steak and name

Fiat_Lux
14853
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/25/12 - 07:57 pm
8
1
This troll

believes that having A&M in the name not only is not going to happen, it shouldn't happen. It's an awful appellation that would make us look even dumber than the rest of the country already thinks we are.

If you think that the majority opinion swings your way, you might want to remember that the vast majority of people with an opinion don't discuss what they think through their computer. The "majority" opinion cited above is totally skewed toward people under the age of 35, representing the less important demographic in terms of, well, money.

This is, after all, about attracting more hot shot people who will demand very hot shot salaries. Your passionate opinion really isn't going to compare all that impressively to fat, open wallets or to the opinions of people who have been around long enough to understand what works and what is ridiculous.

Sorry if that offends. Sometimes reality bites.

Staler172
282
Points
Staler172 06/25/12 - 09:04 pm
3
5
haha @fiat

I think you're missing the point of alumni. I believe they are the most upset demographic of this name change...(refer to the names on the 1,600 person petition, the comments from the "communication" e-mails that the committee has sent to staff and alumni). Many, many, many alumni said they WILL NOT send any more money over if the school fumbles the name change.
Also, remember EVERY student becomes an alumni and they support the school for years to come.
The GHSU alumni are on the upper scale of pay and most 30-35 year old's are deep into great paying career's. So, it would be wise not to mention money because we know which school dominates this aspect of everything. Now, we all know we can't stop the back door commissioner type deals, but at least I know, I can stop my check to MCG.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 06/25/12 - 09:40 pm
3
1
That's all we need,

That's all we need, Hephzibah- Blythe A&M College. This will attract bubba's from all ovewr the country and we will revive tractor pulls and Tobacco spitting contests.

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/25/12 - 10:19 pm
2
0
Someone seems to have lost

Someone seems to have lost the ability to dicsuss with civility.

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/25/12 - 10:42 pm
4
0
"A group of mostly ghsu and

"A group of mostly ghsu and 1 asu student" ----- hmmmm. Deck was sort of stacked.

countyman
19166
Points
countyman 06/25/12 - 10:57 pm
3
0
How many people actually have

How many people actually have a facebook account??

Georgia A&M is winning with 280, because it's the 'safe' choice for some GHSU students....

University of Augusta is second with 112 votes

U of GA-Augusta with 68... This is a dumb choice, because it would never happen...

Georgia Arts & Sciences had 55...

Augusta University had 30 votes

Let's see a poll on the Chronicle or WRDW website, because more people in the community will vote...

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/25/12 - 10:49 pm
2
0
Just be good at what you

Just be good at what you produce and name recognition will take care of itself.

jeff scott
151
Points
jeff scott 06/25/12 - 11:06 pm
0
4
At Least....

At least they are not paying a naming firm for some dopey name. And at least it wont be as dopey as linx (that worked out well, huh) or green jackets (enough of 24/7 golf already!). It does make sense though to have "Georgia" in the name. Keep in mind that the rest of country (outside of the south) thinks of Maine, not Georgia when they hear "Augusta." Unless of course they live for golf.

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/25/12 - 11:31 pm
2
1
KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/25/12 - 11:37 pm
3
1
I bet there are more golfers

I bet there are more golfers in the US than there are history buffs. And I know there are more golfers in the world who know about Augusta, Ga than have ever heard of Augusta, ME.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 06/26/12 - 12:19 am
5
0
stupid
Unpublished

I graduated from ASU. My wife graduated from MCG. We are both disheartened and saddened by the name change games.

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/26/12 - 12:20 am
2
0
And unless there are no

And unless there are no foreign medical students........

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/26/12 - 12:22 am
2
0
I can well imagine. What do

I can well imagine. What do you suggest?

KSL
122131
Points
KSL 06/26/12 - 01:16 am
2
0
It is not just student

It is not just student frustration. It is alumni frustration. It is taxpayer frustration, and yes my spouse and I have paid GA taxes 31 years and we don't even live there anymore. Not in over 40 years.

You guessed it...Frank Stallone
83
Points
You guessed it...Frank Stallone 06/26/12 - 06:18 am
2
2
"The "majority" opinion cited

"The "majority" opinion cited above is totally skewed toward people under the age of 35, representing the less important demographic in terms of, well, money."

Take it easy oldtimer. Georgia A&M is just fine. Plus, is this "important demographic" the same demographic that has kept Augusta politically paralyzed for forever with it's old money? No thanks, I'll pass.

Riverman1
79682
Points
Riverman1 06/26/12 - 06:47 am
4
1
The problem with A&M

The problem with A&M is no one puts their grad schools in the name of an undergrad institution. Keep it Augusta U, U of Augusta or Augusta State (which I'm starting to believe is more likely). Keep GHSU the same. Just as ASU has Hull Business College, GHSU will keep it's name. Augusta U can go above the GHSU.

For an analogy, University Hospital has the Georgia Heart Institute. Keeping the names or similar ones in the fashion I described won't anger too many.

comet2u
28
Points
comet2u 06/26/12 - 07:35 am
3
0
You cannot have a university

You cannot have a university within a university. It has to be a college. Its extremely poor leadership that brought us to this position and lack of respect for the history of MCG. Three name changes in 2 years time has made this whole exercise a national laughing stock among medical schools. Great job.

Little Lamb
43987
Points
Little Lamb 06/26/12 - 07:37 am
2
1
Actually,

the name of the medical college will remain Medical College of Georgia, but it will now fall under the umbrella of the new merged university.

I remember being a college student, and I remember thinking I knew more than college administrators about what was happening there. The students who organized this petition are sticking their tongues out at Dr. Azziz, who insists that the name of the university have no more than three words in it and that the names "medicine" or "medical" must not be in the name.

It's kind of like the Garden of Eden. God said they could eat fruit from the thousands and thousands of plants all except for one tree. Then what did they do? They went straight for that tree. In the case of the university, Dr. Azziz said they must not have medicine in the name, so the students went straight for medicine. I guess it's human nature to abhor rules.

Riverman1
79682
Points
Riverman1 06/26/12 - 08:06 am
3
1
Comet2u, then you have two

Comet2u, then you have two choices. Leave off the word university and simply have Georgia Health Sciences College or go back to MCG which is also starting to make more sense. ASU and MCG. Who woulda thunk it?

Fiat_Lux
14853
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/26/12 - 12:19 pm
3
1
@ Staler 9:04, et al

I believe you mostly missed the point of my earlier comment. Boomers, of which I proudly am one, and the immediate post-boomers, do not primarily communicate their opinions with the world at large via the internet. Some do, but among my friends and relatives, I am in the minority by a long shot.

As for the 30-35 bunch actively involved in high-paying careers, you seem to forget they also are actively involved, alumni though they be, in paying off massive student loans as well as homes and tuition for enlarging families. They may contribute, but they aren't the ones who give the great big bucks to their alma maters unless they are among the independently wealthy. (And, btw, it will be a couple of decades before you have position to tell me what is wise.)

@Frank Stallone, A&M is not just fine. You can think it is if you like, just as I can think it is beyond tacky and regrettable. I won't stop being an alumnus or an employee either way it turns out.

As for the demographic paralyzing Augusta and the CSRA, it certainly isn't the one you believe it is. The demographic that I include myself among is the one trying to move Augusta forward and is being blocked at virtually every turn by those with little or flawed vision, no insight and a stunning lack of concern for the welfare of the community as a whole. Your smugness is unlikely due to having a superior perspective.

Bizkit
29295
Points
Bizkit 06/26/12 - 08:23 am
4
0
So a few Medical Students and

So a few Medical Students and one ASU student should have a say-why not the thousands of us Alumni. No one sent me a letter asking for a suggestion. Perhaps rather than pander to a bunch of broke students Azziz should pander to Alumni he keeps sending donation cards. I still don't know the real reason why they are fusing the two schools-none of what they told us appears to be true.

comet2u
28
Points
comet2u 06/26/12 - 09:05 am
0
0
Naming

Lamb - MCG has the word 'Georgia' in it, thus following the dictum it should either be simply 'College of Medicine' or 'School of Medicine'

Bizkit - Great idea - all the alumni should form a committee to raise funds to buy the naming rights usually runs $200-300 million in cash - eg Weill Medical School (Cornell), Geisel School of Medicine (Dartmouth), Geffen School of Medicine (UCLA) after money makers and an author of children's books or in the case of USC - Keck School of Medicine after the Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery.

As it stands most everyone is upset, large issues are left ignored, and no major donations are floating our way....and I am not the one with an MBA.

Little Lamb
43987
Points
Little Lamb 06/26/12 - 09:29 am
3
0
Colleges

Each of the colleges will formulate its own name. The business college calls itself Hull. The fine arts college will come up with its name. The medical college will likely continue to use Medical College of Georgia. There is no "dictum" that the word "Georgia" or "Medical" cannot be in the college name. It was a dictum that the word "medical" or "medicine" or "health" must not be used in the university name.

Little Lamb
43987
Points
Little Lamb 06/26/12 - 11:09 am
4
0
Ballot Box Stuffing

From the story:

Harrison Grace, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Georgia Health Sciences University, was one of the students who helped organize an online petition to add three more names to the potential short list of names for the university that will come out of the consolidation of Augusta State University and GHSU. A group of mostly GHSU students and one ASU student got together last Tuesday to whittle down about 20-30 suggestions into three new names to add to six put forth by a name-selection group. Their online petition garnered more than 1,600 signatures as of Monday evening, far more than Grace had initially hoped.

I wonder what kind of petition security they put into place? Was it possible for a person to vote more than once in Harrison's online petition?

kiwiinamerica
924
Points
kiwiinamerica 06/26/12 - 11:46 am
0
0
Reality check
Unpublished

For the soccer mom's, local politicians and others contributing to this debate based on their feelings about local history, aesthetics and how to make Augusta a better place, you should know that the MCG/GHSU people who will be most affected by this naming, such as the students named in the article, are coming at this from a completely different angle.

Their primary concern is that the name of the university convey the message that this college is a Tier 1 school within the state of Georgia and not some quaint backwater. Why? Because medical students must apply for residencies at other academic institutions and name recognition of the school from which the student graduated plays a significant part in this placement process. The same can be said for Ph.D students who are applying for post-doctoral fellowships and also for post-doctoral fellows who are applying for permanent faculty positions elsewhere.

Faculty themselves must apply for research grants and a part of the decision making process when it comes to the allocation of funds, is the "research environment" in which the work will be carried out. A score is allocated for this part of the granting process. Naturally, a school of which nobody has heard will score poorly in this regard while a school which is known for its academic gravitas will score higher.

Hopefully, this will help some of you understand why "Augusta University" leaves students faculty and alumni feeling altogether underwhelmed.

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