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Board picks Georgia Regents University as name for consolidated school in Augusta

Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012 1:41 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012 12:30 AM
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ATLANTA — It’s Georgia Regents University after all.

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Students Brittney Laufer (left) and Jamie Lowe watch a live webcast of the Board of Regents deciding on a name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities - Georgia Regents University. "I'm not quite sure how I feel about it," Laufer said. "It sounds promising."  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Students Brittney Laufer (left) and Jamie Lowe watch a live webcast of the Board of Regents deciding on a name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities - Georgia Regents University. "I'm not quite sure how I feel about it," Laufer said. "It sounds promising."

After months of discussion and thousands of suggestions, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the new name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities Tuesday afternoon.

The name was one of three finalists, which included University of Augusta and Georgia Arts & Sciences University.

While acknowledging widespread opposition to the choice in Augusta, board chairman Benjamin J. Tarbutton III urged people in Augusta to get behind GHSU President Ricardo Azziz and the new name.

“It’s time to move forward and begin the next steps in the process,” he said.

The only board member to vote against the name was Vice Chairman William NeSmith Jr., who represents the 10th Congressional District, which until recently included part of Augusta.

“To a person, I haven’t found anyone supportive in the 10th Congressional District that supports Georgia Regents University,” NeSmith said. “It is widely unpopular to the people that I’ve talked to.”

Regent Tommy Hopkins, who sits on one of the boards overseeing the university’s clinical system, said he was lobbied heavily to vote for University of Augusta.

“This university is more and bigger than Augusta,” he said. To continue the expected growth, “this university needs to be marketed as more than Augusta. We need a name that donors from throughout Georgia can support and not feel they are abandoning their local colleges and universities.”

The three finalists emerged out of thousands of suggestions that went to work teams and committees, who then put out three successive “waves” of pared down lists that were subjected to statewide and national testing, said Azziz, who will oversee the consolidated university.

“This list is not one that the president came up with,” he said. But the Regents name, which was “relatively neutral” in national testing, will allow the university to continue pursuing national and international ambitions, Azziz said.

“For the university to grow and for the city of Augusta to grow along with the university, we must have our sights set on the larger state, nation and the globe,” he said.

While acknowledging student discontent with the new name, “at the end of the day, regardless of the name, we’re going to be providing a better service to those students, better education, better training and better value,” Azziz said. “And that’s what matters.”

Regents is also appropriate because “this is the first comprehensive research university in Georgia that is actually created under the guidance of the Regents,” he said.

Azziz acknowledged that there would still be a lot of work ahead to get people behind the new name.

“We’re going to have to obviously do a lot of outreach to our alumni, to our students, to our faculty, to the community and to the national community, to the statewide communities,” he said. “This doesn’t create more or less of a problem for us in our communication. We still have do a lot of work, and we will continue to do so.”

The name was approved despite a letter from Regent University in Virginia, which has trademarked the Regent name. The school enrolls 60 percent of its students online, many from Georgia. In a statement Tuesday evening, the school said it was “disappointed that Georgia’s Board of Regents chose a name that so closely resembles our school’s name, a name in which we have invested over many years. The Board’s choice will surely lead to confusion for students seeking higher educational choices. Regent University will review our options at this time and take appropriate action as warranted.”

The Georgia university system’s legal staff looked at the issue and decided it would not be a problem, said Shelley C. Nickel, the associate vice chancellor for planning and implementation.

“(Regents) is a general enough term that we don’t think we’re in any danger of it being a problem,” she said.

The new university must now apply to get an .edu domain name and finish a lengthy application process to have the merger approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. That application is expected to be completed by October, before the accrediting body’s Commission on Colleges meets in December. Final approval would likely come in January, and the name would officially take effect then.

It is the second name change for GHSU in the past two years. The old name, Medical College of Georgia, was retained only for the school of medicine, and the other schools became colleges within GHSU. Officials held off on making any major sign changes, however, when consolidation became a possibility last year.

Azziz said the school had spent about $280,000 of the $2.9 million budgeted for the name change, mainly on temporary signs and things such as letterhead and business cards. Consolidation committees could tackle other details this week, such as choosing a logo, school colors, a university seal and even what date should go on the seal, said David L. Brond, the senior vice president for communication and marketing.

Consolidation committees had already decided to keep ASU’s Jaguar mascot for the new university.

The merged university will have nearly 10,000 students and more than 1,000 full-time faculty, according to the consolidation Web site.

CANCER RESEARCH BUILDING IN BUDGET

Georgia Health Sciences University would be getting a big piece to help it pursue national recognition in cancer care under a budget request approved Tuesday.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Fiscal Year 2014 capital request includes $45 million in bond funding for a new $100 million cancer research building.

“This is a major investment in Augusta,” GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said. The potential funding was made possible in part by forgoing $22 million for a classroom building at Augusta State University that is no longer needed because of the consolidation with GHSU, he said.

The cancer research building will be helpful in the university’s push to get designated as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center, which would be the second one in Georgia after the one at Emory University.

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crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/07/12 - 03:37 pm
6
0
peacful protest
Unpublished

Let all 85 commenters and 1,000+ facebook members not stop calling or emailing the Board of Regents until their phone systems and networks/website shuts down. This is a total disgrace. I'm snail mailing ten envelopes tomorrow.

useful
750
Points
useful 08/07/12 - 03:49 pm
6
0
as usual the city of augusta is pushed around.

maybe the name should be city of suckers school of hard knocks.
I quess we should spend another $10 million on land to give them as good will,so they can return the good will some more.
Thank you dr. Azziz ,STOP ACTING LIKE YOU RULE THIS CITY!

Riverman1
94459
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 03:54 pm
6
3
Effects of Ineffective Augusta Leaders

We are witnessing the results of frail leadership in Augusta. Ineffective and passive leadership may not always manifest in immediate ways, but ultimately we pay the consequences. What happens is, we are taken advantage of and our name is dropped in our major institution and white elephants like the TEE Center take our funds for 50 years.

Those of us in all sectors of the community have to band together for the common cause and take charge to protect the interests of Augusta.

Someone told me before Dr. Azziz appreciated my comments, well, I dang sure wish he had sought my anonymous opinion before this decision.

Brian Schwartz
14
Points
Brian Schwartz 08/07/12 - 03:53 pm
8
0
Sounds cheap

The first time I heard the name, it sounded cheap and reminded me of a diploma mill. Now I know why. In fact, a diploma mill already uses the name.

Riverman1
94459
Points
Riverman1 08/07/12 - 04:01 pm
7
0
Peach Belt Conference

The conference may just ask us to leave because the name will be so ridiculous hanging with the banners of the other schools in gyms all over the conference.

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 08/07/12 - 04:01 pm
7
0
So sad.

A sad day for Augusta.

dichotomy
37682
Points
dichotomy 08/07/12 - 04:19 pm
8
0
Well, they knew if Augusta

Well, they knew if Augusta was dumb enough to vote for TSPLOST that we would take anything they do to us.

It definitely sounds like one of them online correspondence schools. They will always be MCG and Augusta State to me. Ya'll can call them anything you want but at least people will know what I am talking about when I use their REAL names.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/07/12 - 04:35 pm
4
4
Disappointing.
Unpublished

I commented as soon as this name emerged as the top choice that it was disappointing. Protest all you want, but please continue to support the institution which is much more than just a name. Bully Azziz will blow out of town as fast as he blew in....the university is a part of your community and is here to stay.

scoopdedoop64
2520
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/07/12 - 04:34 pm
8
0
Loss of Words

To say I am disappointed is a major understatement. Really there are no words to express how unjust and ignorant this is. Any name should have "Augusta" in it. I say do whatever we can to not let this stand.

pikeka
43
Points
pikeka 08/07/12 - 09:57 pm
7
0
GA Regents

Sounds like a testing center

twentieth century man
105
Points
twentieth century man 08/07/12 - 04:55 pm
8
0
university name

The choice of this name in the face of a possible lawsuit shows a certain level of arrogance on the part of the Board of Regents. I guess the Regents told Azziz to get behind this name. It may be years before they can actually use the name. Meanwhile the "brand" may languish. Our best friend here might be Regent University (http://www.regent.edu/).

avid.artist3
7
Points
avid.artist3 08/07/12 - 05:05 pm
5
1
Supporting an institution is

Supporting an institution is the same as supporting the president who runs that institution. If that president is inconsiderate of the body that makes up that institution, the future of that institution is going to fail. Have we not learned that dictators evidently fail? Sadly the body suffers when the head does. To people who think the name isn't a huge deal, you are sadly mistaken. A name is an identity and I want to put myself behind a name that can truly build a reputation. We don't need a name that tells people where we are or who makes the final decisions. We need a name like Walton after George Walton who had a hunger to learn and study. Something like that?? Not after a group of people who obviously do not take into account the people who make up the schools

hockeymann
226
Points
hockeymann 08/07/12 - 05:11 pm
7
0
Good..I recommend that Regents Now provide ALL the money...

Good..I recommend that Georgia Regents give all the money & support to
the school, because I doubt locals in the Augusta area will be wanting to
give or support anything about the place. I imagine Dip Metress will be
looking for a job now with a new school with a name that has some tradition and recognition, rather than this crappy name..Glad we have hockey because I wont be at the basketball games anymore after sup-porting the Jags for 44 years. Go Regents! - an ASU fan who is still ASU. Do us all a favor, Dr. Azziz, and move away from Augusta
as we don't care for you or your dictates...I'm done with ASU, and
there will be no support for the Regents' U....Why not just make it
Azziz U.?

wpaulson3
14
Points
wpaulson3 08/07/12 - 05:08 pm
7
0
Ugh ... Ugh .... Ugh

What the heck is a Regents University?

A place for new members of the Board of Regents to train?

cheapster505
581
Points
cheapster505 08/07/12 - 05:12 pm
5
0
regents

the regents of
Georgia Regent university would like to thank everyone who partook of our game of name this university altho we had the name picked months ago we thought it a good idea to go thru the facade hope to do it again really soon and thanks for your e mail facebook pages

cheapster505
581
Points
cheapster505 08/07/12 - 05:17 pm
2
1
diploma mill?

just about every diploma comes from a "Mill"seems now adays
high student loans low pay or no jobs available seems mills are doing good "millers' not so good

redapples
681
Points
redapples 08/07/12 - 05:19 pm
3
0
Is anyone really surprised by

Is anyone really surprised by their selection?

ARC fan
187
Points
ARC fan 08/07/12 - 05:21 pm
5
0
arrogance

In my opinion I think the issue is not so much about a horrible name but the arrogance of those who pushed this through, showing absolutely no concern for what we, those who make up the school and community, think. Apparently we're just a bunch of backwards, stupid idiots in their minds.

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 05:27 pm
2
2
When they see the hit in the

When they see the hit in the pocketbook, they will have "another think coming." Yes, it will hurt the innocents, including many who were totally against this foolishness. Sometimes, you just have to make a point, though.

wpaulson3
14
Points
wpaulson3 08/07/12 - 05:30 pm
3
1
Why not "Georgia University of the Arts and Sciences"?

Why not "Georgia University of the Arts and Sciences"?

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 05:33 pm
2
1
To go against the wishes of

To go against the wishes of the community is the height of ignorance and arrogance. I guess they will have to keep ordering ASU stuff for this year. Buy all of it and wear the shirts and hats long after the name change.

jg41160
6
Points
jg41160 08/07/12 - 05:36 pm
2
1
Really?

GRUAANSTIA = Georgia Regents University as a name sucks. That is all.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/07/12 - 05:38 pm
4
1
So I dedicate this Hi-Life 40

So I dedicate this Hi-Life 40 to my old school. She was a fine place with history and charm. We attended classes in barracks and learned English all up in there. We matriculated in a basement with lines wrapping into the quad. The stairs creeked in the registrar, hell, they creeked in all the buildings. We saw new buildings built and programs added. I remember my first Jags game by the old pool. This evening, I'm toasting the Augusta College and Augusta State University and although I don't dabble in medicines, here's to you old MCG. Someone fade in some Pomp and Circumstance for me. So although you may be pushed aside for the moment, your legacy won't ever forget how your name came to change to Georgia Regional or something sans Augusta. Raise it up

David

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 05:40 pm
1
2
Clemson University, Auburn

Clemson University, Auburn University, University of Chicago, Syracuse University, the list can go on and on.

AprilLowry
85
Points
AprilLowry 08/07/12 - 05:41 pm
3
0
Difficult to understand

I realize we can't all have the name we think is best, but how do 18 people(make that one person....Azziz) decide like this. Disappointing, but lots of things in this life are. University of Augusta is still the better choice, plain & simple.

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 05:45 pm
1
2
There ought to be a run on

There ought to be a run on applications to USCA. They have a great reputation.

shrimp for breakfast
5641
Points
shrimp for breakfast 08/07/12 - 05:50 pm
4
0
Georgia Regents University

I knew they were going to use this name all along. How you ask?
Because of egos. The only thing bigger than the Regents stupidity are their egos.

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 05:57 pm
3
1
Apparently Azziz has a large

Apparently Azziz has a large one as well. Or, it just got larger.

charles6780
203
Points
charles6780 08/07/12 - 06:04 pm
5
0
ASU Name Change

After all the hype regarding the “branding” of the new ASU/GHSU merger, the powers that be selected Georgia Regents University. This is the MOST underwhelming name for what was touted to be an “international” university. The new name makes the Augusta, Georgia campuses appear to be a satellite of Regents University located in Virginia. The name also affiliates us with a school created by Pat Robertson in 1978, some history there. The acronym GRU represents a myriad of topics: Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Soviet General Staff, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil - Guarulhos (Airport Code), Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravleniye (Soviet Military Intelligence), and Grid Reference Unit; just to name a few. Other names were offered up, that would have merged the missions of the two universities much better. Instead we have been dealt yet another name that sounds like a diploma mill, sullying the reputations of two universities in our city. What a shame.

KSL
144947
Points
KSL 08/07/12 - 06:32 pm
1
1
Just goes to show

That there are more intelligent and educated people in the community than at the head of the former MCG and the BofR.

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