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Regents didn't see results of name survey

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012 6:20 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 1:12 AM
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 ATLANTA — Members of the Board of Regents have no recollection of seeing marketing survey results before they voted last week on the name of a consolidated university in Augusta.

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Regents contacted Tuesday said they didn’t get the data compiled by Kennesaw State University that compared public perceptions of proposed names. At last week’s meeting, the board voted 17-1 to name the school Georgia Regents University after being told of the survey but hearing no details.

“We were not provided with all the data; however, we were briefed on a summary of what the data was,” Regent Dean Alford said.

He stressed that the survey was only one factor in the decision, but he also said a reporter’s inquiry would prompt him to seek more information.

Copies of survey results released by Georgia Health Sciences University show that the proposed name University of Augusta received a more favorable response when the survey asked whether the name suggested qualities such as excellence, integrity, national and innovative. The name Georgia Regents University elicited mostly neutral reaction, offering, in effect, a blank canvas.

The regents have said they are building on the strength of the combined schools but intend to propel it to national prominence without a name suggesting it was just a community or regional school.

The president of the combined institution, Dr. Ricardo Azziz, describes it as a “new, comprehensive university” and says the name Georgia Regents University recognizes that it is the first research university established by the Board of Regents.

Azziz posted a blog entry Monday saying the University of Augusta name proposal “carried the risk that the new university would be viewed only as a local and parochial concern and not the statewide entity that it needs to, and will, become.”

Of three names proposed to the board, the only vote was on the one with the staff recommendation. University System spokesman John Millsaps declined Tuesday to say who on the staff made the actual recommendation.

“There’s no person that is the recommender, so I don’t know that there is somebody you can talk to,” he said. “... In the end, it was the regents’ call.”

Regent Dink NeSmith, the only vote against Georgia Regents University, said Tuesday that his objection was based on comments from Augusta residents because he hadn’t seen the survey data.

“I know many Augustans are upset, but the naming decisions rest with the Board of Regents,” he said.

NeSmith said that during the three weeks between when the regents were given a list of three names to consider and their vote last week, Azziz met with individual members to discuss the final name. He said Azziz had a favorite.

“He was leaning toward the Georgia Regents name,” NeSmith said, “based on its national and international potential.”

Regent Larry Walker also said that he hadn’t seen the survey results and that its revelation could be enough to prompt the board to revisit its decision.

“I would not promote reconsideration, but I would not say I’m against it,” he said.

Most of the regents did not return phone messages seeking comment. One asked not to be quoted and suggested that Millsaps or Chairman Ben Tarbutton speak for the board. Millsaps said several regents had called him about the media inquiry.

The regents were vocal about their support for Azziz and their commitment to investing heavily in the school.

“The way I finally came down was trying to back up the man we put in charge there in Augusta,” Walker said.

NeSmith agreed.

“When Dr. Ricardo Azziz was hired, he was challenged, by the regents and the governor, to be a change agent,” he said. “The goal is to move the Medical College of Georgia into a top-tier, medical-research university. Dr. Azziz embraced that mission, and change is rarely easy.”

Did the board feel sandbagged by not seeing the survey?

“I have no reason to believe I’ve been misled,” Alford said.

Though the survey showed a generally positive reaction to the name University of Augusta, it also showed that people have definite views of “Augusta” that might not be in sync with the image the board is hoping for as a center of cutting-edge medical research.

In open-ended responses, many volunteered impressions of “Deep South,” “quaint Southern city,” “sleepy backwater” and golf.
Staff Writer Steve Crawford contributed to this article.

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countyman
20588
Points
countyman 08/14/12 - 06:46 pm
2
0
Bad press....

Bad press...

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/14/12 - 06:39 pm
3
8
"sleepy backwater" is an apt
Unpublished

"sleepy backwater" is an apt descriptor. You can't attract top faculty and students with that characterization in a brochure.

MD2013
101
Points
MD2013 08/14/12 - 06:40 pm
16
1
So..

let me get this right. The BOR and Dr. Azziz want to make GRU into a nationally known, high ranking medical school and enterprise, but they don't want Medicine in the name? Come on guys. What in the hell is going on with the BOR and Dr. Azziz?

So our BOR also voted on the name before they even saw the data from the survey? How bad can this possibly get? How many educated people does it take for someone to decide that looking at the survey that they spent $50,000 on is a good idea?

BOR needs to revisit this silly name.

jmo
16729
Points
jmo 08/14/12 - 06:43 pm
18
2
I say

I say give Azziz a good old fashion ride out of town on a rail.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 08/14/12 - 06:49 pm
17
1
Since the Survey Dr. Azziz

Since the Survey Dr. Azziz was not utilized I say let's take that $50,000 out of his salary. That money will provide much advertisement to take "His" university to a national level. I said "his" university since he is not really concerned about the opinions and support our community has contributed over the years!

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 08/14/12 - 07:10 pm
5
3
I don't how the term 'quaint

I don't see how the term 'quaint south' is considered an negative.. In the southeast there's Atlanta/Miami/Tampa, Charlotte/Nashville/Orlando, Jacksonville/Raleigh/Louisville/Memphis and the rest are 'quaint south' cities.. Some people would even call Raleigh and Jacksonville sleepy or quaint..

The name 'University of Augusta' couldn't be the clear winner if the majority of people agreed with the last paragraph.... A large portion of the minority who feel that way about Augusta have never visited before.. This city looks much different compared to even five years ago.. I-20/I-520 widening/spaghetti interchange in West Augusta, Starbucks plant, ADP building, ESI headquarters on Broad, I-520 widening in South Augusta, Augusta Regional new parking/terminal, kroc center, Costco at Village at Riverwatch, Augusta mall expansion(promenade), Sheraton, new library, Saint Sebastian, etc...

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/14/12 - 07:07 pm
5
3
I20 and 520 were great before
Unpublished

I20 and 520 were great before they clear cut the trees and built the walls. Very scenic...now it looks like a walled parking lot.

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 08/14/12 - 07:18 pm
2
5
The interchange at I-20/I-520

The residential developments located behind the walls might explain the reasoning why.. The interchange located at I-20/I-520 in West Augusta resembles the road projects found throughout major american cities... This should be good news considering it's the opposite of 'sleepy backwater'..

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/14/12 - 07:20 pm
4
5
Or too big for its britches.
Unpublished

Or too big for its britches. Or lipstick on a pig.

prov227
3245
Points
prov227 08/14/12 - 07:35 pm
6
1
On vibrant cities ...

Thank goodness we aren't vibrant like Chicago, New York, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, etc.

NrthAugustaSam
491
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/14/12 - 08:10 pm
7
0
Organize to Continue

Augusta needs to organize an effort to keep this movement alive. The trickery cannot stand.

Riverman1
86940
Points
Riverman1 08/14/12 - 08:17 pm
11
1
Do we even need to go over this again?

Do we even need to go over this again? Auburn, Alabama has 53,000 people. Dr. Azziz is showing lots of flaws in his thinking such as the silly Florida International and "cool" comments. He is not well read on the community history, local flavor and opinions.

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 08/14/12 - 08:28 pm
7
1
WOW....maybe Azziz is

WOW....maybe Azziz is carrying a GRUdge since he got hammered about his "cool."

TruthJusticeFaithHope
229
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 08/14/12 - 08:31 pm
18
1
University of Augusta

Azziz does not tell the truth. Azziz is a self serving, self promoting bureaucrat. He is a horrible part of the power structure of Augusta and the medical community. No one seems willing to stand up to him... execpt Billy Morris. What does that tell you? Everyone is fearful of his power, and the fact that he has misrepresented his support of Augusta, he should be confronted and his power removed. Azziz is BAD for Augusta, bad for education... and bad for character building. Thank you Mr. Morris. I will support everything that was printed in Sunday's Augusta Chronicle in the article about your resignation from the MCG, GHSU, GRU Board.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/14/12 - 09:21 pm
4
8
He may be a bureaucrat...but
Unpublished

He may be a bureaucrat...but the real power does NOT lie with him. If you think this entire move was not orchestrated prior to him coming here and maybe the reason he was recruited, I think you are sadly mistaken. And if Dr. Azziz did not anticipate this level of local protest, he would not be president of a university, I could provide an anecdote of a similar local outrage in 1972 when phones with dials on them came on the scene in the farming village that I grew up in.....but this is not the Austin Rhodes show.

Fools_and_sages
360
Points
Fools_and_sages 08/14/12 - 08:52 pm
9
0
Medical school doesn't belong in the name
Unpublished

When you think of the top medical schools in the country, is Harvard University called Harvard University and Medical School? Is Duke University called Duke University and Medical School? Is Johns Hopkins called Johns Hopkins University and Medical School? Is UCLA called UCLA Arts and Medicine? Is University of Michigan called University of Michigan Arts and Medicine? The answer to all of the above is a resounding "NO!" There are many universities that have med schools, but the med school is rarely ever included in the university's overall name. You also need to remember that GRU isn't going to be ONLY a medical school. In time, it's going to become a high quality institution like Georgia Southern or UGA-- one that has high admissions standards and won't have a student body that is drawn mostly from the local population. The goal is to create a school that is as prestigious as Georgia Southern or UGA. . .only with a med school attached. The community needs to snap out of the mindset that GRU is going to exist as a 4 year community college or a med school. It's going to be a big school that attracts undergrads, grad students, and medical students from all over the country. It will take time to get there. But it will happen.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/14/12 - 08:59 pm
9
0
This is a "research" university?

Come one, come all to this wonderful research university called GRU.

Come to where we conduct research, hide the results, spin, lie and deceive....and that's just with the naming process of the school. You'll be amazed at how we can fudge the numbers on the cure for cancer.

Now that is a top-tier research institution.

rtwahlmeier
6
Points
rtwahlmeier 08/14/12 - 09:04 pm
4
2
"Provincial School

You mean like Auburn University, Georgia Tech, "ole Miss", Boston University, Cal Tech, University of Chicago? I think Azziz is aiming for a higher spot and is trying to cripple both MCG and ASU before he leaves for another school in the state.....

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 08/14/12 - 09:59 pm
6
1
The more they say, the worse

The more they say, the worse it all gets.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 08/14/12 - 10:12 pm
5
1
Deceitful yoU, Azziz.

Deceitful yoU, Azziz.

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 08/14/12 - 11:04 pm
9
0
It's not as much about the name as the Integrity of the process

Consider these facts that speak to the "integrity" of the process:

* Money and Time Wasted - The $45,500 study and the significant time spent and expenses incurred by the 21 person Consolidation Working Group were all a smokescreen for what Azziz really wanted to name the new U. Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby appointed the members of the Consolidation Working Group, movers and shakers from around the state (http://asughsu.org/cwg - click on Consolidation Working Group). Do Chancellor Huckaby and the 21 members feel their time was well spent?

* Only 1 Name Recommended - There were never 3 names presented for consideration. "Of three names proposed to the board, the only vote was on the one with the staff recommendation." In Azziz's lobbying efforts 3 weeks prior to the BOR meeting he likely selected the recommender who the BOR conveniently forgot. Suggest the Chronicle use the Georgia Freedom of Information Act and get a copy of the meeting minutes.

* Never provided the data - “'We were not provided with all the data; however, we were briefed on a summary of what the data was,' Regent Dean Alford said." Why should the BOR have requested the data? They believed Azziz was being honest and legitimate. Hopefully they will have learned the error of their ways. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

All of Azziz's and the BOR's rhetoric on the new name obscures the glaring and building evidence that Azziz is not an honest person and is a discredit to his profession and the office he holds.

It's not as much about the name as the integrity of the process.

Little Lamb
46940
Points
Little Lamb 08/14/12 - 11:35 pm
7
0
Ay, Yah, Yahy, Yah, Yahy

Okay. The only input was Azziz'z cheerleading for Regents U? We now have enough information to insist on a re-convened Board meeting to rescind last week's vote.

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 08/15/12 - 12:19 am
5
0
The national, statewide, and

The national, statewide, and local results all point to the name 'University of Augusta'.. The spin about the name 'Augusta' 'limiting the scope' is completely false.. The choice with the word 'Augusta' beat out the choices who included the name'Georgia'. The name 'College of Charleston' is doing quite well, but Dr. Azziz is afraid of the 'University of Augusta'... University of Alabama at Birmingham? Birmingham but not Augusta?

In 2010 MCG students picked Augusta 6 to 1 over Athens
http://onlineathens.com/stories/042110/bre_612701261.shtml

The location of the school plays heavily into the decision of young people. The students who have negative views of Augusta won't change their minds simply because of the name GRU.. The school will still be located right here in Augusta, and they have to spend multiple years in the city. Only when you start investing heavily into Medical District and especially outside of the MD(CBD, Laney Walker, Harrisburg, Bethlehem, 15th street going towards South Augusta) can you start changing personal opinions.. Retail, sense of identity, live music, bookstores, coffee shops, growing arts community, diversity, transplants, entertainment, restaurants, bars, etc will follow behind and make Augusta 'cool'...

Please call the other location MCG at Athens...

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 08/15/12 - 12:05 am
6
1
ahhhh.....if you want the

ahhhh.....if you want the community to support you.....perhaps YOU should snap out of the little power trip YOU are on. IF... your powerful research facilty....with a "med school attached" does not require community support....then by all means carry on.

KSL
134471
Points
KSL 08/15/12 - 01:20 am
5
1
Azziz clearly has no

Azziz clearly has no understanding of southern Americans. Bet he is sending out his resume..

seenitB4
90841
Points
seenitB4 08/15/12 - 05:48 am
5
0
Didn't SEE IT!

Did not see the dang survey....did not......$50,000 down the drain....are you kidding me.....keep the pressure on them....maybe they will SEE THAT!

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/15/12 - 06:30 am
1
0
This is From www.georgiahealth.edu/today

It the the Summer/Fall 2010 Issue, you should check it out. I find it interesting that he does indicate here that the name change to GHSU was temporary nor did I realize that a survey was sent out about that name before it was change..should have realized.

In keeping with the goal of elevating the university’s
national prominence – and following through on an idea
that had been discussed for years – Azziz in September asked
for state approval to change the university’s name from
the Medical College of Georgia to Georgia Health Sciences
University.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents
approved the new name Sept. 15. The Medical College of
Georgia name will now be used as the name for the School of
Medicine. The other four schools will also adopt college names
– the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Dental
Medicine, the College of Graduate Studies and the College of
Nursing.
Azziz and other MCG officials engaged the university’s many
All of the new names become official Feb. 1 to give the
university time to change stationery, signage and other items
that bear the university’s former name.
Azziz said the new name reflects the changes the institution
has gone through since its founding as a medical school in
1828.
“Georgia Health Sciences University better defines our
institution as what it is – a comprehensive health sciences
university and a modern academic health center,” Azziz said.
“In this competitive world of rankings and reputation, we
believe the new change will allow us to achieve the national
prominence and recognition that this university community so
richly deserves.”
In addition to prior surveys supporting the willingness of
the academic community to accept a name change, Dr. Azziz
commissioned a survey of faculty and administrators at health
sciences institutions across the country that showed roughly
half had never heard of MCG, and of those that had, only a third
thought it was a health sciences university. Most respondents
believed it to be a stand-alone medical school. The survey,
conducted by Kennesaw State University’s A.L. Burruss Institute
for Public Service and Research, showed that overall only 18
percent of respondents knew MCG was a comprehensive health
sciences university.
The name change will not affect the MCG Health System,
Inc. or MCG Health, Inc. Both entities will retain their names, a
reflection of their strong connection to the university’s medical
school.
“Georgia Health Sciences University truly indicates the
institution’s status as a comprehensive health sciences
university that benefits the citizens of this state and nation
as a whole, and the board’s approval is a testament to our
commitment to its mission,” said Willis Potts, chairman of the
University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/15/12 - 08:14 am
3
0
Deke Suupports GRU

First on 12: Augusta mayor announces New U's name 'definitely final,' issues support

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (WRDW-TV)

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 has just received a statement from Mayor Deke Copenhaver announcing his support of Georgia Regents University

According this he says it is final...

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 08/15/12 - 08:38 am
2
1
It is not about the BOR

Azziz wanted GRU, he lobbied the BOR so that the "vote" would go his way. He even assured the "vote" could not even include the other 2 finalists by eliminating them from consideration. Regent Dink NeSmith was the only free thinker.

Why did the BOR allow this? Because they "were vocal about their support for Azziz and their commitment to investing heavily in the school. The way I finally came down was trying to back up the man we put in charge there in Augusta,' Walker said. NeSmith agreed."

Except that the democratic process was discarded. Reminds me of communist elections where the only one on the ballot is the incumbent. Azziz dictatorially got his way; the BOR stood by, apparently not caring.

This is all about Azziz, his reliance on deceit, lies, manipulation and intimidation to get things done. These traits are the fabric of his being, to be employed on a day-to-day basis in future decision making. For all those dissenters at ASU your time will come in January, lists are being compiled, just as they were at MCG where employees deigned to question. Terminations or demotions are your fate, unless a leadership change is made.

Are we, the Augusta Community (sans Mr. Billy Morris), the BOR (sans Regent Dink NeSmith), Governor Nathan Deal, so short sighted that the ends justify the means?

The 5th Estate, Print, TV, Radio, Blogs, including the hundreds of commenters that have risen from being quiet like myself (note the great number of low point counts) need to probe deeply into Azziz's many transgressions. His continued leadership at the new U will result in a reputation that none of us want or deserve. Only with irrefutable evidence will the BOR rise out of their complacency and revisit their decision on hiring Azziz.

It is not about the BOR now. But it can be in the future.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 08/15/12 - 08:52 am
3
1
.......didn't see results of name survey?????

To members of board of regents: YOU ARE LYING!!

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