Gov. Nathan Deal urges compromise in GRU name controversy

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 9:32 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 2:58 PM
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Gov. Nathan Deal said Tues­day that he has encouraged both sides in the Georgia Regents University name-change controversy to work together toward a compromise.

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during the CSRA Regional Commission's annual meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel. While in Augusta, Deal addressed the Georgia Regents University issue.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during the CSRA Regional Commission's annual meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel. While in Augusta, Deal addressed the Georgia Regents University issue.

“There is conversation going on, and that is good,” he told reporters Tuesday night after a speech to the CSRA Regional Commission. “Hopefully a version of the name that will be, to some extent, satisfactory will emerge.”

Deal acknowledged he met last week in Atlanta with members of Save the A, a group of local business and community leaders created to campaign for replacing Georgia Regents University with University of Augusta as the name for the consolidated Augusta State and Geor­gia Health Sciences universities.

Also attending were members of the Board of Regents and Chancellor Hank Huck­aby, all of whom were encouraged to work out a solution.

“I’m not in the naming business,” Deal said. “That’s not the responsibility of the governor.”

Community sentiment toward having Augusta as a part of the name is easy to understand, Deal said. “The part that is not understood, though, is the point of view the regents had.”

Deal said Georgia Regents University conveys the image of a statewide institution – something that is destined to emerge as a nationally known institution that will bring resources, research funding and jobs to Au­gusta, Deal said.

“I want us to have a top 50 medical school, and I want it to be in Augusta,” he said.

The governor met Tuesday with GHSU President Ricar­do Azziz and reiterated that he has full confidence in Azziz’s leadership abilities.

“We are fortunate to have someone of his stature here,” Deal said.

During his address to the CSRA Regional Commission, Deal said the federal government’s formal “record of decision” that will allow the Savan­nah Harbor deepening project to move forward is expected soon.

“I am now being told it will be next month,” he said, though it is not likely to occur before Election Day.

The record of decision is a document in which every federal agency with oversight of the $600 million project signs off on the plan.

“It will be the green light to move forward toward making that project a reality,” he said.

The regional commission is a nonprofit planning and development agency that serves a 13-county and 41-city region in the east central Georgia.

DEAL DISCUSSES SAVANNAH HARBOR

Gov. Nathan Deal told the CSRA Regional Commission that the federal government’s formal “record of decision” that will allow the Savan­nah Harbor deepening project to move forward is expected soon.

“I am now being told it will be next month,” he said, though it is not likely before Election Day. The document will show every federal agency with oversight of the $600 million project has signed off on the plan.

“It will be the green light to move forward toward making that project a reality,” he said.

– Rob Pavey, staff writer

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Jake
30426
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Jake 10/23/12 - 10:59 pm
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Politician

Spoken like a true politician which, after all, is what he is. How about the statement, "The part that is not understood, though, is the point of view the regents had."? How do you folks in Augusta feel about that? Do you think there is going to be a compromise? The words of the governor don't seem to imply a compromise is forthcoming but maybe I'm wrong.

Old Timmer
260
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Old Timmer 10/23/12 - 11:41 pm
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Typical

There is no part of this issue that we Augusta folk do not understand Governor. We know why they wanted GRU, who rammed it down our throats, who is covering up, WE KNOW EVERYTHING! In the end money talks best so hold onto your money people. The only new jobs seem to be in the VP range.

KSL
106415
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KSL 10/24/12 - 04:41 am
1
1

Queasy

Queasy

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 10/24/12 - 06:48 am
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Surprise

A politician that said a lot and avoided saying anything.

"The governor met Tuesday with GHSU President Ricar­do Azziz and reiterated that he has full confidence in Azziz’s leadership abilities."
Why?

“We are fortunate to have someone of his stature here,” Deal said.
Interpretation: Darn I'm glad this guy ain't running a college in Atlanta or Athens.

Little Lamb
40303
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Little Lamb 10/24/12 - 08:10 am
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Deal drank the Kool-Ade

From the story:

Deal said [the name] Georgia Regents University conveys the image of a statewide institution.

You can infer from what he didn't say. Deal bought Azziz's assertion that the name Augusta University (or University of Augusta) conveys the image of a regional institution. Hence, you can forget either of those two names.

At its core, Gov. Deal's statement is absurd. What, really, does the term "statewide" mean? Isn't Valdosta State University a "statewide" institution? Cannot students attend there who do not come from Valdosta?

Little Lamb
40303
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Little Lamb 10/24/12 - 08:23 am
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Yeah, right

Nathan Deal, speaking about Ricardo Azziz, said, “We are fortunate to have someone of his stature here.”

From my dictionary:

stat·ure n [L statura pp of stare to stand] 1: natural height (as of a person) in an upright position.

drabun1
2
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drabun1 10/24/12 - 12:03 pm
0
6

Really?

It's The University of Georgia (not the The University of Athens);it's Georgia Technical Institute (not the University of Atlanta);it's Georgia Southern University (not the University of Statesboro). The University of Augusta? Really? Dumb name. I have to agree with the regents on this one.

caddie160
51
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caddie160 10/24/12 - 12:31 pm
2
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Auburn University, Clemson

Auburn University, Clemson University, Syracuse, Louisville, Miami,Pittsburgh,Houston,San Diego State,

Little Lamb
40303
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Little Lamb 10/24/12 - 01:18 pm
1
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Don't forget

Don't forget University of Chicago, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, which has had several Nobel Prize laureates on its faculty and among its alumni.

Also, many of the California universities have city names in their names.

Little Lamb
40303
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Little Lamb 10/24/12 - 01:26 pm
2
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Copenhaver drank the Kool-Ade

From the story:

Deal said Georgia Regents University is . . . destined to emerge as a nationally known institution that will bring resources, research funding and jobs to Au­gusta.

This was Mayor Copenhaver's pitch to the public back in July. Well, Gov. and Mayor, if research funding is indeed going to increase at the merged university, it certainly is not going to increase because of the name "Regents." It will have to get that funding because of the quality of the faculty and the post-docs who seek the grants and do the research. The new university will have to get that extra funding in spite of that hideous name, and its connotations with vanity, narcissism, pompousness, and condescension.

OnTheHill1
345
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OnTheHill1 10/24/12 - 04:16 pm
1
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What is the Save-The-A Committee's Next Step?

“I’m not in the naming business,” Deal said. “That’s not the responsibility of the governor.”

Community sentiment toward having Augusta as a part of the name is easy to understand, Deal said. “The part that is not understood, though, is the point of view the regents had.”

Deal said Georgia Regents University conveys the image of a statewide institution – something that is destined to emerge as a nationally known institution that will bring resources, research funding and jobs to Au­gusta, Deal said.

“I want us to have a top 50 medical school, and I want it to be in Augusta,” he said.

The governor met Tuesday with GHSU President Ricar­do Azziz and reiterated that he has full confidence in Azziz’s leadership abilities.

“We are fortunate to have someone of his stature here,” Deal said.
---------------------
The committe accomplished step 1, convincing Deal that Augusta leadership and the BOR leadership be in substantive talks. Deal is aping Azziz's statements, that an Augusta name condemns the institution to being regional, and does not meet his objective of becoming one of the top 50 medical schools in the nation. Azziz's actual vision is that the new U becomes one of the top 50 in the nation in research funding, part of his 10-year growth plan called Transformation 2020.

Conclusion is Azziz is untouchable in Deal's eyes and any and all negative comments (no matter how well deserved they are) will fall on deaf ears. The BOR is likely of like mind and would have to move heaven and earth to convince Deal that Azziz should be canned.

What is the Save-The-A committee's next step? A logical next step would be to convince the BOR movers and shakers that an Augusta label does not condemn the new U to being just a tiny little regional institution. The analytical argument is to dissect the named universities in previous posts, how they are perceived nationally and internationally and opine that as those universities go, so will go University of Augusta.

But being in sales, I know facts and figures no matter how compelling, don't assure the sale. So in the next step, the personalities of the BOR leadership must be understood. Who runs the show? Just because a BOR member has the title doesn't mean they run the show. How powerful is Dink NeSmith, the only BOR member who voted NO on GRU?

This new U naming is as emotional as it is analytical. Not every person makes decisions because of the facts, an appeal to the BOR members should include an emotional appeal too.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/24/12 - 05:18 pm
2
0

Look for it soon

GRU of AUGUSTA.

Sad to say but I feel this is best we'll with them dug in up to their necks in this pile public resentment.

Augusta Made AUGUSTA COLLEGE
Augusta Made Medical College of GA.

With a Lawsuit records could be requested, emails could be reviewed, discussions could be taken under oath.

bentman
447
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bentman 10/24/12 - 10:23 pm
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0

GRU . . .

. . . kind of like that bastion of academic excellence, Western Governors University (http://www.wgu.edu/)

Little Lamb
40303
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Little Lamb 10/24/12 - 11:41 pm
0
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Excellent

Excellent find, Bentman. Perhaps our new Groooo can measure up to WGU in a couple of decades.

hockeymann
226
Points
hockeymann 10/26/12 - 09:46 am
1
0

Nathan Deal Needs To Make His exit As Governor Next Election...

This is a sham. Deal is fully behind Azziz and this circus of a name change.
Both of them need to be sent packing as soon as there is another Governor election. My vote will go to anyone but Deal, regardless of the
party represented. Deal is nothing but a sorry sham as Governor. Azzioz
needs to go back to Berkley, CA.

prov227
2336
Points
prov227 10/26/12 - 12:38 pm
0
0

We need a gubernatorial candidate

who will save the A. I think Deal's milktoast attitude will be remembered by Augustans and graduates/alumni.

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