GRU to produce radio show in partnership

Georgia Regents University will go live on the radio waves in January when it begins a partnership with WACG 90.7 and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The school will hire a full-time station manager to cover news events and local issues while increasing awareness on the consolidated university’s identity to listeners, according to David Brond, Georgia Health Sciences University’s senior vice president of communications and marketing.

Brond said the radio program will use the existing studio at Augusta State University and will coordinate airtime so that it does not overlap with popular, scheduled shows syndicated from National Public Radio, such as All Things Considered and Talk of the Nation.

“This is not a takeover of GPB,” he said. “This is a collaborative work.”

Officials from ASU and GHSU discussed the new radio partnership and other branding and logistical updates at a Consolidation Working Group open meeting Wednesday. It was the group’s last scheduled meeting before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges decides on the consolidated university’s accreditation in January.

Brond said school officials are working with Trend Influence advertising agency to finalize logos, colors, the university seal, alma mater and fight song in time for accreditation in January.

The school will submit three logo options to students, faculty, staff and alumni in an e-mail survey after Thanksgiving and will present the chosen branding to the public in a media release and video message from GHSU President Ricardo Azziz on Jan. 8.

Officials will also launch a visual campaign through the holidays to raise awareness of the GRU branding and support the name change. The school will create a “Great people doing great things” video, which will be broadcast on YouTube and local TV stations during prime news spots through the holidays, Brond said.

After accreditation is finalized, the school is planning several celebratory events, including on- and off-campus thank yous and a celebration at the home Jaguar basketball games Jan. 12.

The working group also heard initial plans for merger of the two universities’ Student Government Associations. ASU SGA President Andrew Phillips and GHSU SGA President Caitlin Madigan said GRU will have separate undergraduate and graduate SGAs.

Each body will have its own representatives, but there will be one joint executive cabinet and joint committees to allow for communication between the graduates and undergraduates.

GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman and ASU’s vice president of academic affairs, Carol Rychly, also updated the group on the progress 40 committees have made in areas ranging from financial aid and enrollment to alumni relations and transportation.

Most of the committees are still working, but some issues have been finalized. May 2013 will be the first commencement ceremony for the new university, and Gov. Nathan Deal is tentatively scheduled as the guest speaker, Rychly said.

GRU is also planning a 50 percent increase in online course offerings to encourage continuing education and is working on a strategy to get outside organizations involved in more community education programs.

The work will also not be finished with accreditation. School officials are already preparing the first Site Visit Report, an update on how the institution is functioning that will be given to SACS in July before its campus visit.

“This is again the heavy work of consolidation,” Azziz said. “This is the true machinery. This is the reinvention of the university. Hopefully it’s more than just putting the parts together ... and sticking them with masking tape.”

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