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Records show University of Augusta was most preferred

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Had they gone with the results of the market research and surveys, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents would have voted for University of Augusta as the new name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, according to records obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

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In the only time it was included in the survey, the name the regents selected – Georgia Regents University – did not even rank in the top 3.

In the national and Georgia telephone surveys, among internal polls of faculty members, staffers, students, and among people in the Augusta community, the University of Augusta was the top vote-getter every time, according to research conducted for committees working on the consolidation. The Chronicle obtained the records through a Georgia Open Records Act request.

GHSU paid $45,500 to Kennesaw State University’s A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service to conduct a phone survey of 800 people nationally and 400 people in Georgia, and an Internet survey of 200 faculty members at other institutions.

Those polled were told they were being asked about “potential names for a new comprehensive research university,” to rank how much they liked or disliked the name, and which names they associated with the concepts of “prestige, excellence and innovation,” according to a proposal for the research.

In the first wave, when respondents were asked to rate the names from 1 to 5, with 5 being “like very much,” University of Augusta was the top vote-getter, earning a 4 or 5 from 68.5 percent of the people in Georgia and 55.9 percent nationally.

MIDWAY THROUGH THE tel­e­phone surveys, and apparently after the initial six finalists got a tepid reception, the potential names in the national survey changed.

University of Augusta and Bartram University were kept and five names with “Georgia” in the title were added, including Georgia Regents.

In the national survey of 199 people, University of Augusta was still tops, with 57 percent giving it a 4 or 5, followed by Georgia National University and Georgia Eastern University.

Georgia Regents was a distant fourth, getting favorable marks from less than one-third of those polled.

The survey also asked people about Augusta, including in which state it was located, and gave them the option to choose more than one. In Georgia, 96 percent said it was in Georgia; 74 percent nationally said it was in Georgia and 6.4 percent said Maine.

There was a third wave of 241 people nationally that was labeled “Final Results for the Last Set of Names,” but it does not say when it was performed.

It appears similar to a final recommended list given to the Consolidation Working Group by the Branding Work Team, but that survey does not contain the name Georgia Regents University.

Once again, University of Augusta had the most favorable marks, at 47.9 percent. Those polled were asked how the word “Augusta” made them feel. Most, 45.8 percent, said “no feeling either way,” while 44.2 percent said it gave them a positive feeling and only 2.7 percent said negative.

In the faculty survey, University of Augusta also received the most favorable ratings, 68.3 percent, and was the one most associated with “prestige,” “excellence,” “innovation” and even “national.”

When asked what they most associated “Augusta” with, many said golf, the Masters Tournament, the South and, being academics, some brought up Roman emperor Caesar Augustus.

The Chronicle asked for documents related to travel in connection with the naming process but was not given any travel documents.

IN A REPORT titled “Nam­ing Timeline,” however, it appears GHSU President Ricardo Azziz or perhaps his designates did approach state leaders and regents. In a section of the timeline titled, “Meet with Leaders,” it reads, “Dr. Azziz to meet with Regents and other state/local leaders” from June 28, after the branding team gave its six finalists, to July 17, when the Consoli­da­tion Working Group picked three finalists and sent them to the Board of Regents.

Asked to outline the process before the regents voted, Azziz said that three rounds of surveys had been done and that “that data” helped determine the three finalists, which included Georgia Regents, University of Augusta and Georgia Arts & Sciences University.

“It’s a little bit more extensive and certainly a bit more costly than previously, but we did feel that the name should have a statewide and national and eventually global impact, as would our university,” he said.

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countyman
19133
Points
countyman 08/10/12 - 09:47 pm
5
0
I've commented several times

I've commented several times on here Augusta, GA is the most famous 'Augusta' in the US.. I also said you didn't need the word 'Georgia' in the name either..

jmo
14348
Points
jmo 08/10/12 - 10:56 pm
9
1
What does it take

What does it take to get Azziz fired? He couldn't care less about Augusta or its residents and their wishes.

showboat
304
Points
showboat 08/10/12 - 11:28 pm
0
0
AIZZ NEED TO BER RUN OUT OF
Unpublished

AIZZ NEED TO BER RUN OUT OF TOWN ASP!!!!!

showboat
304
Points
showboat 08/10/12 - 11:29 pm
0
0
AIZZ NEED TO BE RUN OUT OF
Unpublished

AIZZ NEED TO BER RUN OUT OF TOWN ASP!!!!!

Georgialina
7441
Points
Georgialina 08/10/12 - 11:34 pm
9
1
UofA was never a serious choice

I do not care how many polls were taken and how many said University of Augusta was the clear winner, that name was NEVER seriously considered. Dr Azziz made it clear before all this started that he wanted the school to reach beyond Augusta. We all know from previous comments that he has made he has much disdain for Augusta. So if 10,000 people said we wanted Augusta in the name, his one vote cancelled all the others out. He really does not want to be here in Augusta. This is just a stepping stone for him to move on to "bigger and better things". Like him or hate him you can not deny he has some serious "pull" when getting what he wants. In this case he did not want Augusta in the name.

MD2013
101
Points
MD2013 08/10/12 - 11:39 pm
5
2
Sigh

This needs to be bigger news around the state. MCG/GHSU/GRU is the only dental school in the state, the largest medical school in the state, and home to one of the better know cities in the southeast. Our new school has a horrendous name that very few people like, and it's slowly going to tear us apart instead of uniting us.

Why should we have to live with a name that no one likes? How does this inspire me (and other soon-to-be alumni) to form new scholarships for incoming students and to contribute to new projects around campus? I just don't get it. I feel betrayed and mislead by our administration, and if anyone would have even thought that this name could have been selected (we all joked that it was included to insure that one of the other two names would be selected) we would have protested from day one.

All that this makes me do is want to support the Athens campus as they try and establish themselves as the new standard for health sciences education for the state of Georgia.

bdouglas
4487
Points
bdouglas 08/10/12 - 11:55 pm
9
0
So let me get this

So let me get this straight... GHSU paid $32.50 PER PERSON to ask 1400 people how they liked each name and completely ignored the results?!? Wow. Your tuition dollars at work...

GWT
20
Points
GWT 08/11/12 - 01:28 am
10
0
If they already had

If they already had determined what they wanted to name the college why ask us what we wanted?

GWT
20
Points
GWT 08/11/12 - 01:30 am
4
0
This is sad

This is sad

KSL
121438
Points
KSL 08/11/12 - 05:19 am
7
0
Perhaps Azziz needs to pay

Perhaps Azziz needs to pay GHSU back for the waste of $45,500. At his salary, he can easily afford it.

Newsflash
1881
Points
Newsflash 08/11/12 - 05:31 am
5
0
Did they ever consider.........

Did they ever consider " King Azziz '' University ? It has a ring to it........kinda like my telephone.

Riverman1
79303
Points
Riverman1 08/11/12 - 05:39 am
3
0
A Mistake of Epic Portions

If Dr. Azziz could be sued for malpractice for administrative decisions, we would all be filing lawsuits now. A way out of this mess is to have Georgia Regents as the overriding name of both institutions that would keep their respective names of ASU and GHSU. That's the best way to handle it now. No feelings are hurt.

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 08/11/12 - 07:19 am
3
1
NCAA Division l or NCAA Division ll

NCAA Division l or NCAA Division ll University Name? University of Augusta could not be wasted on a division ll school. This is one of the deceptions in making GRU into a top 50 university in the nation. It's A top 50 division ll school. A down grade! http://www.ncaa.org

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/11/12 - 06:58 am
8
0
The trust of the community
Unpublished

The trust of the community has been shattered and $45.5 thousand has been wasted.

skeptical
84
Points
skeptical 08/11/12 - 06:48 am
2
1
The trust of the community

Uh, make that 45.5 THOUSAND

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/11/12 - 07:00 am
2
0
Holy cow. Thanks,
Unpublished

Holy cow. Thanks, skeptical..

Riverman1
79303
Points
Riverman1 08/11/12 - 07:37 am
4
0
I bet they feel pretty

I bet they feel pretty foolish with all those domain names they purchased. But someone trying to make a quick buck would have never bought this one. No one would believe a school would be named after the state regents.

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 08/11/12 - 08:06 am
2
0
UGA is now the Division l Med School GRU down to Division ll

Look like Augusta gets nucked again by Ozy! Clint Bryant did not need the BOR to drop AC down to division ll after leaving The Big South Conference which was division l status to be with U.S.C. Aiken in the Peach Belt Conference which in reality is a division lll school. Also to get the old AC coach and AD to be the Commissioner and President of the Peach Belt Conference. Can anyone remember his name, probably better forgotten. Think of all the money the GRU will save the state of Georgia and the BoR, Ozy will be a hero!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/11/12 - 07:58 am
2
0
Arsenl ain't so bad now eh?

Arsenl ain't so bad now eh?

I'm not going to bash the Dr. He brings energy and vision. That's not a bad thing. He may need to be reminded that his ability isn't the only limiting factor. I think its coming through loud and clear at this point. Pressure Pressure Pressure. Get the answers that will clarify why they chose GRU over their 45K study result.

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 08/11/12 - 08:57 am
2
0
Position For A Hero

Lets make Azziz the the new Commissioner and President of The Peach Belt Conference. More new titles for the good Dr. as if he doesn't have enough already! Also a way to get him to move on by giving him a better job offer to further his career in a leadership capacity! Tried that with Clint when the University of Miami Florida was restarting their basketball program after bing suspended by the university and the new head basketball coaching job became open a few years back, it didn't work for some reason!

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 08/11/12 - 09:30 am
1
0
heres a tidbit riverman

Weir-Stewart the advertising/marketing firm on Broad street registered www.georgiaregentsuniversity.com. i wonder if its for guerilla protest or an investment strategy.

galaxygrl
1165
Points
galaxygrl 08/11/12 - 09:37 am
2
0
Dr.Azziz

You know, I keep hearing from some people how much Dr.Azziz is doing for the hospital. I am sure he has good ideas, there are many leaders with good ideas. However his continued disregard for the employees, students and members of the community shows he lacks in respect for those he would lead. This to me is a fatal character flaw. At some point he will sell even his allies for his own selfish ambitions. I have said and wonder if his next power grab with be Paine College. It is just across the street, has dorms, new buildings and he could "rescue" it for his grandiose vision. I guess that does make him a Regent.

jmb578
94
Points
jmb578 08/11/12 - 09:42 am
4
0
Good job, Chronicle!

Thank you Chronicle for getting this information to the public. Now we truly see that GRU was the brainchild of Dr. Azziz, and the solicitation of community input for the name was only a sham. May this add fuel to the fire of those who are fighting to have the name changed. The community is behind this fight like we've never seen before, so let's charge ahead and show Azziz and the Regents that they answer to us!

Riverman1
79303
Points
Riverman1 08/11/12 - 09:54 am
1
0
Students will have to take

Students will have to take the Georgia Regents Georgia Regents University exams. Kind of silly, but it does show yet another problem with this out of place name.

OnTheHill1
345
Points
OnTheHill1 08/11/12 - 10:08 am
3
0
Don’t blame the BOR; they were simply managed

The Board of Regents (BOR) choice of new U’s name, Georgia Regents University (GRU), was not really their choice. The name was what President Ricardo Azziz wanted. I think the reason is Azziz needs to claim the sole credit for branding the new U name. Since the name “Augusta” is already world famous because of the Masters, he would be denied the bragging rights of saying he alone had made the new U brand into one globally known. “Regents” is not an oft used name, just a couple institutions claim it, and only in the singular, Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA and Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. As with other odd names, Google, Yahoo, Kodak, the challenge of creating the brand is lessened.

The question and debate now seems bigger. Despite overwhelming facts to the contrary, Azziz chose to ignore the $45,500 commissioned study of 1,400 Georgia, National and faculty members at other institutions. Azziz cites three rounds of surveys. Were the two other surveys priced at nearly $50,000 too? What were those results? The bigger question is how many other decisions has Azziz made, ignoring the input of his executive staff, internal committees, external, highly paid consultants and others because of what appears to be a compelling need to be absolutely in control. “Don’t bother me with facts, this is what I feel”, I hear him saying.

Don’t blame the BOR; they were simply managed by a self-serving operator, Azziz.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/11/12 - 10:10 am
4
0
Augusta-Richmond County Leadership
Unpublished

One of the most disappointing aspects of the whole debacle is the lack of concern by the Augusta-Richmond County Leadership. Mayor Deke Copenloser made a bland, nonchalant, gutless, heartless statement, "Oh well I guess it will have to grow on us." THIS IS AUGUSTA'S UNIVERSITY you morons! Non of our leaders, people of influence have listened to the students, alumni, faculty, athletes, golfers or community. That is sad. And for me, that is enough to touch my index finger on next to a new candidate on the touch screen in the next election. I don't care who it is, these guys do not care about Augustans.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/11/12 - 10:15 am
3
0
Gestapo
Unpublished

I feel like the gestapo just showed up and told us all we had to wear gold stars that say GRU on them.

Fiat_Lux
14845
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/11/12 - 10:16 am
5
0
This is sickening

Azziz misrepresented this research to us, telling us the choice was based on the branding/marketing research.

In effect, HE LIED. Only God knows what the regents did.

Riverman1
79303
Points
Riverman1 08/11/12 - 10:36 am
5
0
OntheHill1, of course it's

OntheHill1, of course it's all about Azziz getting to be the one who named it. Thus, a new name. Who is on the inside at GHSU feeding Azziz misinformation and his ego at the same time? Is that assistant Sonny Perdue sent there to help Rahn with the Athens school still around?

Crackertoy is also right about the weak leadership in Augusta contributing to the bad name. Deke would be happy if Cal played catch with him or Azziz let him listen to someone's heart with a stethoscope and wear that mirror thing with the hole in it on his forehead.

Cynical old woman
1090
Points
Cynical old woman 08/11/12 - 10:38 am
3
0
Azziz

Is disliked by employees and locals alike. However, he likes himself so much it doesn't matter. And apparently the Board of Regents are buying his swamp land. How much MORE money will he spend on MORE signs, stationary, etc. grrrrrrrrrrr

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