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Azziz defends Georgia Regents name in blog

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 2:43 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 12:47 AM
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Georgia Health Sciences Uni­versity officials on Mon­day defended the process that resulted in selecting Georgia Regents University as the name of the new consolidated school.

GHSU President Ricardo Azziz posted on his blog praising the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ decision and urging the community to embrace the new institution along with its name.

Azziz acknowledged that not everyone was happy with the name Georgia Regents University, but he suggested that some dissatisfaction was inevitable.

“While I do respect that not all individuals agree or like the decision made by the BOR (with three possible choices there was bound to be disappointments regardless of the decision made), it is important to recognize the extensive and extraordinary amount of work carried out by the work team and Consolidation Work Group to arrive at their recommendations,” Azziz wrote.

Azziz and the Board of Regents have been criticized since the board chose last week to select Georgia Regents University over the local favorite – University of Augusta – as the name for the consolidation of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.

The University of Augusta came out on top in a set of state and national surveys commissioned by a
consolidation committee for the two institutions. Fifty-seven percent of those polled ranked it 4 or 5 on a scale in which 5 meant “liked very much.” Less than one-third of those surveyed ranked Georgia Regents University with a 4 or 5, and it came in fourth out of seven names in the poll.

Despite these numbers, Azziz characterized the survey response to the Regents name as “neutral” in his blog.

“National and state-wide branding studies suggest that it is relatively neutral, allowing us to create our own brand,” he wrote.

Terry Sloope, the assistant director for research for the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research at Kennesaw State University, which conducted the naming survey, said the data show that University of Augusta was far and away the favorite among the almost 1,200 people polled. Sloope said he would characterize the survey results for the Georgia Regents name as “neutral to slightly negative.”

Complicating the results was that in the middle of the process, the naming committee asked them to stop and survey a second set of names.

This made the sample group of people who were asked about Georgia Regents University fairly small – only about 200, Sloope said.

David L. Brond, GHSU’s new senior vice president of communications and marketing, said the new set of names was introduced because there was some concern that none of the names on the original list of six had the word “Georgia” in them.

Brond said the thinking was that because the state’s other major research universities had the state’s name, it might also be a good idea for a new comprehensive university in Augusta.

“Internationally you have to make sure people know where you are located geographically,” Brond said.

At the same time, being too specific, such as associating the new university with a city, can limit your reach, he said. Because the school will have satellite campuses in Athens, Rome and Savannah, University of Augusta might be confusing, he said.

“How would the Uni­versity of Augusta play when it was in Athens?” he said. “Our footprint is big.”

Brond said that although it might seem that new name ignores the research results, “you can’t depend 100 percent on objective data.” He said common sense has to be used in some cases to override market research.

“You have to think about how the name plays out in the big picture,” he said. “Having a name that has somewhat of a neutral connotation, you can build a brand off of that.”

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tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 03:07 pm
11
0

He still doesn't get it...

"Doubling down"

Less is more right now Azziz... defend wasting $50,000 dollars and lying.

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 08/13/12 - 03:08 pm
11
1

Brand Azziz

Egoists such as Azziz will never admit mistakes, will not voluntarily back down, and do not value the opinions of others.

He will have to be forced to accept the new name by the General Assembly (or, even better, by the Board of Regents coming to their senses and reversing themselves).

OnTheHill1
345
Points
OnTheHill1 08/13/12 - 03:27 pm
9
1

6 Comments to the Azziz Long Blog Response

I've read this a couple times; what I take away is (see the bold faced paragraph titles in the Blog):

1. Fact #2 - He says, "On the same day the USG BOR approved the new name for our new university, demonstrating their confidence in our future they also approved submitting to the Governor’s office a $45 Million request for General Obligation (GO) bonds to be sold in FY14 for the construction of a new $100 Million Cancer Research Building." He goes on saying, "And the funding and construction of our new $112 Million College of Dental Medicine clinical training building opened last year, ensuring we remain the center for dental medicine training for the state."

Comment - Azziz infers if the name were different the BOR and the state would not have invested the money.

2. What's in a name? - He says, "And noting that I do not, and do not pretend to, know what the BOR's thoughts were behind their decision."

Comment - Explain then what your June 28th visit was to the BOR, and do you really believe that GRU was not your brainchild?

3. What's in a name? - He says, "It also created the impression that ASU took over GHSU, rather than it being a consolidation of equals."

Comment - This statement is a stretch but absolutely untrue. Azziz firmly believes and has said that his GHSU is far, far superior to little ASU.

4. What's in a name? - He says, "The cons include the fact that in national and state-wide testing it (GRU) is relatively neutral ..."

Comment - Azziz continues to ignore the $45,500 survey because the results did not match his "vision". Maybe his math calculates 1/3 as equaling a neutral 50%?

5. Why is a name that we can brand important? - He says in the 2nd paragraph, "And so let me tell you a story about a university name. A few years ago, I received a letter from a student at a university called ‘Florida International’ seeking a research position. However, as we rarely dealt with offshore colleges, I ignored the request. And oddly, shortly thereafter (which is why I remember) I received a call from a former mentor telling me that he was going to ‘Florida International’ to set up a new medical school and did I want to join his team. I demurred and feigned pressing obligations. I certainly was not interested in moving to a for-profit offshore enterprise!" In the 3rd paragraph he says, "I learned that Florida International University was one of Florida’s public state-supported comprehensive universities… with over 50,000 students… in the middle of Miami. Who knew!

Comment - Azziz's little story really exposes his close minded bias and prejudice. If all felt like him, "Florida International" would never have grown to 50,000 students! With evidence like this, from the horses's mouth, who needs others to question his leadership? He is his own worst enemy.

6. A couple of last facts - He says, "The new name does not take effect until university consolidation is complete, approved by SACS and further by the BOR."

Comment - Maybe a little chink in the armor ... setting up for back pedaling.

grinder48
1393
Points
grinder48 08/13/12 - 03:42 pm
0
2

Well Said OTH

Unpublished

Well said OTH. azziz, please go back to wherever you came from!

Susie Q
57
Points
Susie Q 08/13/12 - 03:55 pm
7
0

Confused as ever

Would someone please explain why the "certain chosen ones" are deemed as sitting on their thrones that they get to make such a decision that affects ones other than themselves in such a great manner? Where will this evolve to "i.e" Augusta having her name changed to accomadate "the chosen ones" to over ride something that doesn't affect them? Something needs to be rectified, this is tearing our "Freedom of Speech" astray.

Cynical old woman
1045
Points
Cynical old woman 08/13/12 - 04:01 pm
10
1

Why oh why

Doesn't he quit peeing on our boots and telling us it's raining?

my.voice
4205
Points
my.voice 08/13/12 - 04:02 pm
7
1

"Azziz acknowledged that not

"Azziz acknowledged that not everyone was happy"

Since when is NOBODY, NOT EVERYONE? The only people who like this are the BOR and AZZIZ. Its a selfish name choice on the part of the BOR, but I have a solutuon.....

GRU #1 = FORMER ASU/GHASU
GRU #2 = FORMER UNIV OF GA
GRU #3 = FORMER GA TECH

And so on and so forth. Why limit the joy to just Augusta?

grinder48
1393
Points
grinder48 08/13/12 - 04:03 pm
0
1

Regents, Georgia

Unpublished

Susie Q's comment gave me a BRILLIANT idea. Let's keep the name Georgia Regents University and change the name of Augusta to Regents, Georgia!

noway
201
Points
noway 08/13/12 - 04:11 pm
9
0

work group

"it is important to recognize the extensive and extraordinary amount of work carried out by the work team and Consolidation Work Group to arrive at their recommendations,” Azziz wrote. If their work was really important, like he writes, then he would have actually taken their top three recommendations, instead of ADDING GRU, as if it was a top three choice. The committee did work hard, and they were ignored. Don't patronize them by saying "it was important work" when going against their recommendations shows, Azziz didn't respect their work.

movingtoaugusta
62
Points
movingtoaugusta 08/13/12 - 04:14 pm
7
0

Easy Solution

The easy solution is for either our local ELECTED state Senator or our ELECTED State Assembly Representative to submit a bill before the legislature to have the name changed to "AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY".

blues550
344
Points
blues550 08/13/12 - 04:16 pm
0
0

Town Clown

Unpublished

Azziz has become the town clown.

Riverman1
70966
Points
Riverman1 08/13/12 - 04:40 pm
8
0

Our public officials?

So far I've heard little from our public officials except Jerry Brigham and Joe Bowles. I had assumed the officials were quietly working behind the scenes, but that doesn't appear to be the case with Azziz's comeback today. Again, I ask, when are Deke and other public officials going to make firm statements regarding their dissatisfaction with the GRU name?

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 08/14/12 - 10:59 am
4
0

NCAA Consolidation Rules and Regulations We Welcome

To be in compliance with the NCAA's rules regulations and policies of America's collegiate students and student-athletes. The advantage goes to ASU. GHSU students will have to make a big adjustment with the new authority under the NCAA governing body guidelines. By the way when was the last time someone filed a malpractice lawsuit against the University. The medical center is like "The Hotel California where you can check in but you can never leave" (alive). Lastly with the increased NCAA influence at the university maybe Augusta will seem more like A collage town. Rather instead of a city with university campus employees whom are cash strapped gold diggers. The commuters that cause the rush hours in the morning and in the evening during the workweek.

http://www.ncaa.org/

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 04:41 pm
7
0

Clearly, the logical thing to do is...

Re-name Augusta itself...

Georgia Regents, Georgia

Any takers? : P

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 04:45 pm
6
0

River,

That's because Deke is hoping beyond hope to still get his stadium on the land that "you know who" owns...

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 04:53 pm
3
0

On a side note...

I've never met Mr. Azziz personally, I'm sure he's great father and husband... but I've heard him speak, the vocal similarity to this person linked below is uncanny. Just slap some Harry Caray glasses on the the guy and voila, Azziz.

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/chief-wiggum.jpg

Riverman1
70966
Points
Riverman1 08/13/12 - 05:55 pm
2
1

Azziz and His Art

I’ve been viewing some of Azziz’s artwork and note his surrealistic themes. He appears to be drawn to solitary interests and doesn’t have a firm grasp of the everyday workings of a dynamic university and community. Wisdom doesn’t meet a hard definition much like surrealistic art. It could be admitting you are wrong simply means you are viewing the art from a different perspective and are wiser today.

Willow Bailey
20255
Points
Willow Bailey 08/13/12 - 05:45 pm
2
1

ASU stuck with GRU, when GHSU

ASU stuck with GRU, when GHSU meets GT at UGA.

Fiat_Lux
13913
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/13/12 - 05:47 pm
2
0

Please! Go put all this on his blog

Use the link and add your comment to his own blog. I seriously doubt he reads the comments on the AC site.

avidreader
2671
Points
avidreader 08/13/12 - 06:05 pm
3
7

GRU is OK!

Ten years from now, GRU will be a household brand name, and nobody will care about the current controversy. It's over; forget about it and start rooting for the GRUesome Grizzlies. A rose by any other name . . .

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 06:20 pm
5
1

Avid -

When a former Georgia Regents Chairman (Billy Morris), who is also the son of a Georgia Regents Chairman resigns his post given to him by Azziz at the school in question... I think he's pretty familiar with these processes and knows that this rose is of a color all to itself with a rather foul odor. Give you a guess as to what color it is...

Jake
30447
Points
Jake 08/13/12 - 06:31 pm
3
2

Much ado about..........

Come on Augusta! Embrace your inner GRU!
Focus should now be on making the university in the vision of Dr Azziz in terms of academics and research. Augusta, and hopefully the world, would have much to gain by this. Then the name thingy would not be an issue at all. Don't you think people have enough sense to realize that GRU is in Augusta?
It is kind of like when my wife comes home all sweaty from a long bike ride. Not pleasant unless you like sweat. But she is the same sweet woman that wears a lovely dress from time to time. It is not so much the packaging (which can be nice) but it is the product that counts.

thecraftman
107
Points
thecraftman 08/13/12 - 06:41 pm
2
0

is he forreal

The name Georgia Regents sounds like Georgia Region ( mental Hospital)

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 06:44 pm
6
0

Jake

Why cant the city have both? Are you completely letting Azziz and the BOR off the hook for how this was handled? They flat-out lied and blew almost $50,000 of taxpayer money...

Everyone and anyone that has a dog in the fight, deserves better than the process itself and the highly controversial results.

Do we not hold people accountable at all in America anymore?

rmwhitley
5107
Points
rmwhitley 08/13/12 - 06:51 pm
0
0

Isn't

Unpublished

it a terrifying thought that azziz and the board of regents hold Augustans in such disrepect. azziz is a californian, isn't he?

Jake
30447
Points
Jake 08/13/12 - 07:06 pm
3
3

Accountability

Seems like now-a-days the only way your are going to be held accountable is in a court of law and even then you may not get the justice you seek. The money spent on this is water under the bridge. I just wish I owned the bridge.
And just because the survey showed results different than what Dr. Azziz was lobbying for does not mean he was bound by the results.

tckr1983
311
Points
tckr1983 08/13/12 - 07:26 pm
3
0

Besides it all just being wrong...

You'd be a great attorney! ; )

The guy's a liar and if you or I stop holding people accountable... say goodbye to America, if we haven't already. At least the Chronicle is trying to hold him accountable! And the water under the bridge comment is disappointing to me... that's the ho-hum attitude that has resulted in out of control government and in the process sending our next generation (or ten) up the creek without a paddle. $50,000 is nothing to shake a stick at... especially with the hiring freezes going on at MCG, millions of people being out of work currently and the uncertain future with Obamacare.

When Azziz gives the reasoning as to why he's wanting Georgia Regents as to projecting a "brand" not just in Augusta but beyond and that Augusta gets confused with Augusta, Maine and that he hasn't had anything to do with the choosing of the name itself... and they're all proven to be wrong... what then? Seems like more of the thinking that is coming out of the White House lately... "sit down and shut up, we know best", not gonna happen... I'm surprised that Azziz didn't try to push this through via executive privilege!

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/13/12 - 07:59 pm
3
0

That is also part of the problem

is he forreal

The name Georgia Regents sounds like Georgia Region ( mental Hospital)

Yes, he is for real, since he is not from around here he doesn't even know about Georgia Regional and what it means to the locals and Regency Mall..all the things that we associate his ladeda fancy University name.

Jake
30447
Points
Jake 08/13/12 - 08:35 pm
1
2

Ho-Hum

I was not trying to be "ho-hum" with the "water under the bridge" statement. $50 grand is a lot of money, albeit wasted money at this point. Apparently GSHU has that kind of money to spend on a survey that they never intended to use unless it supported Dr Azziz's agenda.
The fact remains that unless there is some logical/legal reason to rename the recently renamed university (other than local contempt which may not be considered logical in legal circles or legal in logical circles) then the name is going to stick. GRU is going to be the name and what happens academically and research wise at GRU is more important than the naming of GRU.

KSL
106513
Points
KSL 08/13/12 - 08:43 pm
9
0

Moving Ahead Rapidly

I received this email late last night. Here is the copy and paste:

GEORGIA REGENTS’ UNIVERSITY (GRU) is already beginning the transition process toward its global leadership destiny. GRU has already begun to formulate new departments and programs.
Understanding that in the global economy and right here in the Augusta Metro, English is not the first language of so many people that GRU intends to serve, its Georgia Regents’ University English Language program (GRUEL) has the mission of serving the community with a program so popular that the students will describe their main activity as “Grueling”.
Another program that is necessary in the CSRA, with the SRS and Plant Vogtle mega sites, is Nuclear Technology. The Georgia Regents’ University Nuclear Technology program (GRUNT) will take its place among the programs offered by other area institutions. The onsite internships will be at the SRS in SC, such that they will be interning at least near Georgia. That summer program will be the Georgia Regents’ University Nuclear Training Internship Near Georgia (GRUNTING)
With increasing urbanization, not only in the Augusta Metro but also globally, a new planning degree will be offered by the new Georgia Regents’ University Municipal Planning department (GRUMP). Since there is so much revitalization in cities globally, the highlight of the department will be its master’s degree program in revitalization (MR GRUMP). A Michigan city right in the “Rust Belt” has offered a hands-on experience for those interested. They will spend a winter in Ypsilanti, MI., as a part of the GRUMPY group.
For those who are still trying to “find” himself or herself, there will be the non-directed General Education department (GRUNGE). Students will be in a relaxed atmosphere in which not even appearance will be important.
In athletics, basketball and baseball, (GRUB) will be ok. Since the school will be larger the school might investigate having a football team. The Georgia Regents’ University Football fact-finding mission (GRUFF) is sounding out attitudes among students and the community.

Note this information comes from a non-reliable source, but one who is quite intelligent and has made a point of making me laugh for over 50 years.

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