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'Save the A' reveals thousands of backers

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 4:40 PM
Last updated Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 2:15 AM
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The group pushing to replace Georgia Regents Uni­ver­sity with University of Au­gusta as the name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities is showing the strength of its support in four full-page ads in Sunday's Augusta Chronicle.

The Save the A campaign’s ads have about 3,600 lines of supporters’ names. But quite a few have more than one person listed per line, so the true number is probably closer to 5,000, campaign spokesman Nick Evans said.

“And this is the first week of the campaign,” he said. “It’s exceeded our expectations, and they continue to come in.”

It is a remarkable breadth of support, crossing ethnic and political lines, Evans said.

“This is a united Augusta front issue,” he said. “It’s business leaders; it’s businesses; it’s doctors, dentists, lawyers, people who work in businesses across this community. It’s restaurants; it’s furniture stores; it’s automobile dealers.”

Supporters also come from surrounding counties, including Columbia, Mc­Duf­fie, Burke and Aiken, Evans said.

“They’re from all over,” he said. “This is such a unifying issue in Augusta. We’ve got people from other states who want to ‘save the A.’ ”

The next step might be to seek an audience with Uni­versity System of Georgia Chan­cellor Hank Huckaby and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, who appoints members of the Board of Regents.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson has said in the past concerning the controversy that the governor doesn’t get to vote on university names. On Friday, he said in an e-mail that Deal “has an open-door policy, and he’d be happy to meet with any group.”

Evans said the group has not yet asked for an audience but would like to be invited to discuss the issue.

The group is taking pains to say it is grateful for the increased support Deal and the Board of Regents have provided the Augusta universities.

“We want them to know we appreciate the commitment, but we also want them to fix the name,” Evans said.

Even though the consolidated university has applied for approval to the Southern Asso­ciation of Colleges and Schools Commission on Col­leges, it will not be difficult to change the name should the university system decide it wants to do that.

Should it happen before the approval decision in December or before a site visit from SACS next year, “we would merely ask the institution to send us a letter documenting the name change,” Belle Wheelan, the president of SACS, said in an e-mail. “That would put this process into July 2013 and, hopefully, a decision will have been made about the name within that time.”

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CobaltGeorge
164589
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/29/12 - 05:15 pm
7
1
Strange...

With so much support --
Where are all the comments?

seenitB4
90782
Points
seenitB4 09/29/12 - 05:27 pm
9
0
Helllo CG

The Ga game is ooooonnnn....everything stops.

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 09/30/12 - 08:58 am
9
0
Azziz Thought He Left with Things Cooling Down

Azziz is still in China, he reporting from his September 27th blog titled: "A Flattening World: Wire from the Far East (Part 1)" http://azziz.georgiahealth.edu/. When he left, he thought things were cooling down, which they were, the Chronicle had ceased with the front page, above the fold stories; the number of comments had dramatically decreased; nobody had stepped forward. But now things are much different, a group of movers and shakers are, well ... moving and shaking; and the community, with its pent up frustration have exploded with response.

Governor Deal - Won in 2010 a very close 51.1% margin of victory in Richmond and Columbia Counties over Roy Barnes and John Monds. 5,000 or more votes for the opposing candidate could have pushed the results into the loss category, so sure he will meet with the movers and shakers if he wants to carry the CSRA in 2014.

The BOR - Won't hurt to meet with Hank Huckaby, but I truly think they are a lost cause, because they can't be hurt by the community's response.

Azziz - Ah! That's the silver lining. If I were him I'd be preparing my staff for a Plan B when he returns. Should the community be successful in getting the name changed (know this name issue is just the symptom of his arrogance and lack of integrity not to follow his own stated Implementation Principles), I can hear him saying, "Well, at the end of the day, I never really wanted Regents, but the BOR, yada, yada, yada"

It's a good day, cause Azziz thought he left with things cooling down, and the exact opposite has happened.

TrulyWorried
15373
Points
TrulyWorried 09/29/12 - 07:28 pm
6
0
Marvelous

that there is a thing out there that people actually still CARE about. It seemed like everyone had become lethargic and at a loss, but thanks to Nick Evans and his group (and it took knowledgable people that cared and knew where to start) the ball is rolling and maybe Azziz could stay in China - maybe get them to send some of our outsourced work back our way while he is overthere?
(Wonder why he is there? Changing some names?)

Fiat_Lux
15910
Points
Fiat_Lux 09/29/12 - 08:03 pm
12
0
If Azziz has his head handed to him over this,

I doubt he would stay very long. The comments may have tapered off, not because people stopped caring or were becoming more resigned to the horrible name, but because virtually everything that could be said had been said, shouted, pled and begged. There was nothing left to say, no more suggestions left to make.

All that was left, until Nick Evans and Co. arrived on the scene, were the widespread hatred of the name and of the process that has brought it, and an ocean of ill will for Azziz and the Board of Regents.

This whole situation could have been such an amazing and energizing experience, and Azziz simply blew it every way possible, for heaven only knows what reason.

Hubris can be such a subtle demon, and probably the greatest cause of self-deception.

Benjamin Paine
233
Points
Benjamin Paine 09/30/12 - 09:26 am
8
0
Commitment- fallacy or truth?

"we want them to know that we appreciate the commitment." What commitment? Other than mandating the consolidation and funding the cancer center, which would have been funded anyway, what have they actually done to show a commitment? I seem to recall hearing that ASU had a classroom building that would probably have been funded if not for consolidation. If this is true, in reality Augusta lost projects, not gained in consolidation.

Also both presidents have complained that the budgets have been cut since consolidation and that additional cuts are likely. I also seem to recall that both presidents have complained about receiving no funds for consolidation and that they are trying to convince the board and politicians of the need for much greater funding if the consolidation is to succeed.

Which story is correct, the "commitment" or the unfunded mandate, reduction in budgets and support, and lack of recognition of and commitment to the required funding to successfully consolidate these schools among the Regents, Chancellor and politicians? It would be nice to know the real story.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 09/29/12 - 09:30 pm
4
4
The BOR must have took their

The BOR must have took their training from the Obama School of Administration. They do not care what we think.

KSL
134361
Points
KSL 09/29/12 - 09:36 pm
5
2
I can't get over how well

I can't get over how well Rick cartoons Azziz. My mother would disown me for turning a noun into a verb.

KSL
134361
Points
KSL 09/29/12 - 09:48 pm
4
2
I would like to know if my

I would like to know if my signature on the petition would count. Though not living in GA since 69, we have paid GA income taxes every year except for 3 since 1965. Those 3 were back in the 70's. I know we don't get to vote, but I certainly think we have earned a right to express our opinions.

homersmith
14
Points
homersmith 09/29/12 - 10:19 pm
9
0
Azziz commitment to Augusta?

Too many rumors that Azziz will bail out on Augusta. Let's hear from the man himself that he is not going to leave before fixing the mess that he has made. If he leaves, someone needs to find a reason to sue him. Half the faculty at GHSU/ASU are scared, the other half are so discouraged and are applying for other jobs.

KSL
134361
Points
KSL 09/29/12 - 10:24 pm
5
2
What a disaster this whole

What a disaster this whole thing has been. The ineptness of the powers that be, and that epecially includes the Regents.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 09/30/12 - 05:52 am
5
0
homersmith

In my opinion, Azziz does not have the kind of personality that could ever admit that he made a mistake or a mess.

And sue him for what? He apparently has had the approval of the Board of Regents and Gov Deal on everything he has done..so I have a feeling he won't/can't be personally responsible for anything he has done since coming to Augusta.

mookie88
18
Points
mookie88 09/30/12 - 07:49 am
7
0
Where can I get a "Save the

Where can I get a "Save the A" yard sign? GRU is bogus!!

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 09/30/12 - 09:00 am
5
0
Contact The 4 Other BOR Members That Have Dual Memberships

I was proud to see my name listed on these Save The A pages, compliments on the logo designer, the writers of the 4 clearly stated points and the decision to alphabetize the list by 1st name so that Azziz's minions have a tougher time identifying rebelling employees. In addition to Hank Huckaby, the Chancellor of the BOR and Ben Tarbutton, the Chairman of the BOR, 4 other BOR members could be written to, those that serve on Azziz's GHSU Board of Directors too:

Larry R. Ellis
Chief Executive Officer
Ellis Services & Solutions Enterprises, LLC.
3835 Presidential Parkway, Suite 118
Atlanta, GA 30340

C. Thomas Hopkins, Jr., MD
The Orthopaedic Sports and Injury Center of Griffin
717 South 8th St.
Griffin, GA 30224

W. Mansfield Jennings, Jr.
Chairman
ComSouth Corporation
250 Broad St.
Hawkinsville, GA 31036

Neil L. Pruitt, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
UHS-Pruitt Corp.
1626 Jergens Court
Norcross, GA 30093

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 09/30/12 - 09:15 am
0
0
Fantasy
Unpublished

Never in a million years is the state medical school for the entire state of Georgia going to be named "The University of Augusta". Not. Going. To. Happen. Doesn't matter if you get a whole newspaper full of signatures.

Newsflash!! Outside Augusta (yes, there is an entire state out there) nobody wants the state medical school to be called the U of A. This is a classic, small town, storm-in-a-teacup.

But keep up the ruckus, guys. If it goes on for much longer, I'm sure someone in authority will say..."Ya know what, why don't we just move the entire thing to Athens and call it "The University of Georgia School of Medicine" and have done with it.

corgimom
34061
Points
corgimom 09/30/12 - 11:53 am
4
0
Count me in as a supporter!

Count me in as a supporter! AC, '82, ASU, '94

PghSteelersFan
140
Points
PghSteelersFan 09/30/12 - 12:17 pm
5
0
I haven't lived in Augusta in

I haven't lived in Augusta in years but my Parents lived on Johns Rd until they passed away in the early 2000's. My Father was a PhD who worked full time at SRP.
When I was in high school, two nights a week he taught advanced Mathematics (algebra, trig, and statistics) at what was then Augusta College. I don't think he would have liked having 'Augusta' excluded from the name of the combined Universities.
I have decided to sign my name to the petition to the Governor and the BOR because although I don't live in Georgia, Augusta is my hometown and I believe 'Augusta' should be included.

JRC2024
9287
Points
JRC2024 09/30/12 - 01:13 pm
5
0
I will sign my name also.

I will sign my name also. Someone point me in the right direction.

mike1sc
217
Points
mike1sc 09/30/12 - 03:54 pm
4
0
Azziz......

And Azziz came rolling into town thinking he could do anything he wanted with all of us "dumb, southern rednecks". Hats off to the many graduates and other proud people who are doing their part in trying to save the Augusta related name for these consolidated universities.

Good luck to the Save the A group. I've spent my entire life in trying to save my own A....at times a daunting task!

noway
201
Points
noway 09/30/12 - 04:38 pm
2
0
Save the A

Benjamin Paine, you are correct. ASU is now being told to focus on saving money. They did lose their building on Wrightsboro Road...and much other funding. ASU is not seeing any money. It's a sham. I didn't see any ASU employee names on the list...not because they didn't want to.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 09/30/12 - 04:39 pm
3
0
Joining the movement

Does anyone know how to go about joining the "Save the A" organization?

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 09/30/12 - 06:13 pm
3
1
Here is where you JOIN/SIGN UP...

www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-a.html

You folks try to make sure this is posted everywhere an article on this thing appears...

KSL
134361
Points
KSL 09/30/12 - 10:21 pm
1
0
I watched for a short while

I watched for a short while how fast the sighners were coming in. It was quite impressive. Spread the site around.

Ruckus
467
Points
Ruckus 10/01/12 - 12:32 am
0
0
Dont you just hate it

Dont you just hate it when we hire someone who is not from Augusta to a posittion of power. These people make changes that never benefit the city. Maybe this should be a lesson to us all. I hope that he gets sued for everything he has behind using that Regents name (copyright infringments).

augusta now
7
Points
augusta now 10/01/12 - 08:38 am
0
0
Save the "A"

We need to stand up and be proud of Augusta. Continue to keep Augusta in the World news. The Ironman competition is an excellent example of our world coverage. Why wouldn't we want our name on our establishments of learning? We need to vote in people who are aware of our existence and know how to capitalize on it! So what if you step on some toes? That is what leadership is all about.

RogueKnight
221
Points
RogueKnight 10/01/12 - 04:25 pm
0
0
We have a champion college golf program...

but the next tournament they win and they announce, "GRU wins tournament," everyone outside of the CSRA will ask, "Who?" University of Augusta is the ONLY name fitting for the consolidated universities, and not just for the golf program.

KSL
134361
Points
KSL 10/03/12 - 02:41 pm
0
0
There are over 3000 names on

There are over 3000 names on the petition.

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 10/05/12 - 12:03 pm
0
0
Relying On Studies to Make His Points

Azziz sites 2 Studies and 1 Essay in his A Flattening World: Wire from the Far East (Part II) blog http://azziz.georgiahealth.edu/. Quoting from the blog:

"Half of colleges and universities surveyed placed ‘internationalization’ among their top five strategic priorities, according to a survey by the American Council of Education. And in 2011 the number of international students in U.S. colleges and universities reached an all time high."

"For example, a survey of 450 international students attending 4-year colleges in the U.S. South and Northeast reported that 38 percent had no close American friends (; and Gareis E. International Friendship: Effect of Home and Host Region. J Intl Intercultural Comm. 2012:1-20)."

"In fact, a recent essay by Michael Silverstein and Abheek Singhi in the Wall Street Journal questions if U.S. universities can stay on top."

His reliance on these "proofs" is so disingenuous, considering his overt discarding of the study results on the name change. Some actually say he might be bipolar? Is that a favorable trait for a leader who has the fate of 10s of thousands of people at his bidding?

Word has it that his Board of Visitors are meeting October 4-5, 2012 at some location in Augusta, no doubt so that he can wine and dine them at exorbitant cost at the Westobou Festival or at his house. Like to be a fly on the wall at that meeting, as he can't hide all the Save The A yard signs popping up all over (he has already admitted he doesn't read the Chronicle so he does not know of the 4 full pages in the Sunday addition). But are those Board of Visitor members at his bidding too? Sans Billy Morris and Nick Evans, who were members of this august group, pun intended.

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