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GRU to add 'Augusta' to signs

'Augusta' will be added after backlash about GRU

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 5:15 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 1:31 AM
  • Follow Education

After public backlash for not including “Augusta” on Georgia Regents University entrance signs installed last month, school officials announced Wednesday that the signs will be revised to include the city’s name.

David Brond, GRU's senior vice president of communications and marketing, says the signs should be completed by the end of February.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
David Brond, GRU's senior vice president of communications and marketing, says the signs should be completed by the end of February.

The decision was made after university leaders, including President Ricardo Azziz, spoke with “community members” upset about the issue, said David Brond, the senior vice president of communications and marketing.

Brond said that the work should be completed by the end of February and that the costs to change the signs will be “negligible.”

In August, university officials unveiled blueprints showing that “Georgia Regents University Augusta” would replace “Augusta State University” on the gateway signs throughout the campuses.

It was part of a compromise reached in October 2012 between Azziz and members of Save the A, a movement formed in response to the name chosen for the consolidated ASU and Georgia Health Sciences University.

GRU would remain the official name of the school, but university officials agreed to use GRU Augusta for all athletic teams and marketing efforts, which Save the A members understood to include signs, according to Chairman Nick Evans. When the signs were installed on the Summerville campus in December, however, “Augusta” was not included.

Fleming Norvell, a donor to the school, called it a “stab in the back” for every resident of Augusta. Evans regarded the move as another reason to distrust the leadership.

On Wednesday, Brond could not comment on whether the signs were a breach of promise made between Azziz and Save the A members in 2012.

“I wasn’t at that meeting, I can’t comment about the specifics of that meeting and there was nothing in writing from that meeting,” Brond said. “The interpretation of that meeting is up to the individuals who were involved ... I can’t address whether signage was addressed at that individual meeting.”

Evans, who took part in the meeting, said it was. He said that during a 45-minute phone conversation with Azziz on Wednesday, the president acknowledged the community’s disappointment and vowed to fix it.

“He recognized that there was a shortcoming as far as following the letter of our compromise, the letter and spirit of our compromise,” said Evans, one of the first scholarship golfers at the former ASU. “He recognized they had not lived up to that agreement.”

Evans said his conversation with Azziz came after several University System of Georgia Board of Regents members reached out to him, although he declined to give names. Evans said those Regents expressed “that it needed to be fixed.”

In their conversation about the signs, Evans said he and Azziz also spoke about the positive changes going on at the school – the proposed cancer center, the hiring of “very strategic and important professionals” and expansion of research.

Although Evans said he was encouraged to hear Azziz agree to change the signs, he said promises have been broken before. Living up to the agreement is another thing altogether, he said.

“I won’t be satisfied until I see the results,” Evans said.

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Riverman1
79677
Points
Riverman1 01/22/14 - 06:20 pm
23
3
They Were Only Trying To Please The Emperor

Leaving Augusta off the sign was the GRU palace guards trying to please the emperor. Thankfully, the peasants successfully attacked the castle.

charles6780
203
Points
charles6780 01/23/14 - 06:53 am
16
2
Augusta added to signage

While I am glad to hear that Augusta is being added, it should never have been edited from the original agreement. It seems that the president of GRU has little regard for keeping his word. The headline in today's paper about the Cancer center and the need for matching funds from the community would seem to be a driving force for the change today. It is a shame that keeping ones word, character and honor are no longer requirements for leadership. The merger of the two schools and community goodwill will not be cohesive until a NEW leader is in place.

And finally - at what cost $$$.

seenitB4
81872
Points
seenitB4 01/22/14 - 06:28 pm
13
2
WHOA

That is great to hear...might this have somehing to do with location of new hospital? I wonder..

corgimom
28285
Points
corgimom 01/22/14 - 06:45 pm
8
4
I'll believe it when I see

I'll believe it when I see it.

Esctab
818
Points
Esctab 01/22/14 - 06:50 pm
9
1
Charles6780 said it

Charles6780 said it exactly.
Ditto.

Cameron Poe
824
Points
Cameron Poe 01/22/14 - 06:51 pm
10
1
Charles, I agree. Looks like

Charles, I agree. Looks like the article about funding today and the change are more than just a coincidence. Looks like the old adage still rings true, "Money talks"

Just My Opinion
5294
Points
Just My Opinion 01/22/14 - 06:55 pm
9
1
Let's not forget who we're

Let's not forget who we're dealing with, folks. Okay, so they say they will add "Augusta" to the GRU signs, huh? Will it actually match the rest of the wording, or will it be comparatively tiny?? Will they add a "(at Augusta)" at the end of the sign?
Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

matjoe
30
Points
matjoe 01/22/14 - 06:57 pm
11
1
is it because...

Are they doing this now, so that public relations will soften in regards to their interest in building a hospital in Columbia County?

seenitB4
81872
Points
seenitB4 01/22/14 - 07:02 pm
7
4
Hospital in Col county

That is a big deal & ruffled feathers have to be healed....could this be the beginning of healing.....we shall see.

WMartin
119
Points
WMartin 01/22/14 - 07:57 pm
9
0
Hospital in Col county

I don't think there's anything they can do to improve their image enough to persuade Columbia county residents to support a GRU-based hospital. The majority of residents are affluent and well educated.

GeorgiaCarolina
132
Points
GeorgiaCarolina 01/22/14 - 08:05 pm
2
3
No Hospital In Columbia County

Yes, let's not support GRU building one of the most advanced hospitals in the country in Columbia County because we are are still whining and pulling our hair out about the name. That will show them we mean business. I am glad people in the CSRA have their priorities in the right place.

harley_52
22211
Points
harley_52 01/22/14 - 09:26 pm
5
1
"The majority of residents are affluent and well educated."

Not even to mention humorous, witty, charming, handsome, healthy, compassionate, kind, earnest, thrifty, courageous, and sporty, but not the least bit impressed with themselves.

Riverman1
79677
Points
Riverman1 01/22/14 - 09:39 pm
5
0
It's a good thing Azziz is

It's a good thing Azziz is not a Republican governor of NJ.

tl-bro
142
Points
tl-bro 01/22/14 - 10:14 pm
4
1
Thanks Karen...

It's clear that Karen Nixon is helping Azziz like she did Deke. It's only a shame King A didn't listen to her much earlier. He could have avoided all of this.

Dixieman
13035
Points
Dixieman 01/22/14 - 10:25 pm
14
1
Here's the new signage:

GRU!!!!! *

---------------------------------------
* footnote: by the way, we're located in Augusta. If you care. Which you shouldn't. We sure don't.

tabletop
28
Points
tabletop 01/22/14 - 10:22 pm
10
2
Azziz

It will never end as long as Azziz is in charge. Lying does not bother him one bit. It appears that he has surrounded him with people just as inept and would follow him no matter how dishonest the task assigned may be. How can the Board of Regents be satisfied with him when he seems to be unable to tell the truth. It is past time for him to go. The political leaders should work with other lawmakers from across the state and withhold any funding until he is gone. Another thing I don't understand is how can any donor could trust him. If you can't trust him in little things, you sure can't trust him in big things.

Bizkit
29281
Points
Bizkit 01/22/14 - 11:43 pm
4
0
I feel like Iran bragging

I feel like Iran bragging about victory.

blues550
355
Points
blues550 01/23/14 - 01:40 am
0
0
Azzzzizzzzzzz must go
Unpublished

Azzzzzzzzizzzzzz needs to go. Period.

Augz79
1083
Points
Augz79 01/23/14 - 05:16 am
1
12
Public outcry? From where??

The university was named GRU. Get over it. It was an awful name, but over time it becomes less awful. GRUA is an even more awful name.

To the “Augusta” name boosters, I submit for your consideration:

1. “GRU” won, get over it. Instead of insisting on an even worse name (GRUA), direct your civic boosterism towards the fact that the state's next major research university is actually located in Augusta (despite its name not being Augusta). Do you hear Athens, Statesboro, Atlanta protesting that their city names aren't in their schools? No - they don't have the inferiority complex Augusta has.

2. Even if you succeed in getting GRUA on signs and banners, the official name of the university is still GRU. This was Azziz's “compromise”. Your “Save the A” leaders got on a stage with him and went along with it.

3. If you think that insisting on GRUA as a name boosts the profile of Augusta, think again – you're just making the state's next major university sound like a satellite campus. So when GRU does get a satellite campus in Atlanta, “GRUA” will just make people think that Augusta is the satellite campus. Ya think?

4. Where are the fiscal conservatives pointing out the waste of adding Augusta to the signs?

tl;dr - GRU won, get over it. GRUA is even worse and sounds like a satellite campus of the future GRU-Atlanta.

Riverman1
79677
Points
Riverman1 01/23/14 - 01:40 pm
4
0
@Augz79

Cost of adding Augusta to the signs? When has Azziz ever worried about the cost of signs? We been through about 19 name changes since he got here, it seems. What you are missing comparing us with the schools in the other cities is that we were Augusta to start with. Let the BOR try going to UGA and changing their name. A medical school merging with a college should not result in the college losing its name. Should UGA be renamed because a medical school was started there by MCG?

rebellious
20174
Points
rebellious 01/23/14 - 07:26 am
4
0
And Lucy Azziz

carefully stands the football on it's tip, her index finger extended to hold the upper end while Charlie Brown (Augusta's gullible) preparse to kick. One knows what they are going to do. The other trusts once again, even though history says differently.

nocnoc
38694
Points
nocnoc 01/23/14 - 08:16 am
7
2
I wonder how the signs will look?

.
.

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

------------------------------------------

in that place called AUGUSTA

------------------------------------------

Face it Augusta Y'all have been Played, Laid and Not Paid.

If this is how Gov. DEAL allows Augusta to be treated, the next elections can't come soon enough.

BTW:
Technically shouldn't the signs read "Augusta / Richmond Co."

??????

Little Lamb
43975
Points
Little Lamb 01/23/14 - 09:25 am
4
0
Signs

We've seen the pictures on this Chronicle website of the signs at the Summerville campus. Has anyone seen comparable signs at the Medical campus? I don't recall seeing pictures in the paper of signs down there?

nocnoc
38694
Points
nocnoc 01/23/14 - 09:33 am
3
0
Historically speaking

The
MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA
was founded in here, wasn't ?

So technically President AZZZZZZ has change history also.

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 01/23/14 - 09:35 am
3
0
Augz79

Maybe there wasn't an outcry in Athens because the school was not initially named Athens State University. You also seem to be missing the larger point -- it's the lies and unethical behavior that has people upset. For those still interested in ways that Augusta is being left off of things, Augusta will not be appearing on any school rings. Here is the link. http://grubellringer.com/2014/01/13/rings-to-unite-university/

GuyGene
1218
Points
GuyGene 01/23/14 - 11:15 am
2
0
They miss the point!

We didn't just want Augusta in that ridiculous name. That is not the point at all. We simply wanted the name NOT changed! Augusta State University, with MCG, etc., listed as a college under the university works fine. Or to make a big change, University of Augusta would have worked, still keeping the historic, proud name of MCG.

But, noooooo, aziz, et.al, wouldn't have it. They have forever ruined the naming of a great educational institution.

corgimom
28285
Points
corgimom 01/23/14 - 11:20 am
4
0
I just wish they'd quit

I just wish they'd quit sending me requests for money. I never went to GRU, I have no wish to support it.

The new, glossy, expensive alumni catalog was about 75% MCG, 25% ASU. Yeah, that really makes me want to dig out my wallet, alright.

OutnAbout
40
Points
OutnAbout 01/23/14 - 12:13 pm
3
0
This will continue.....

and the so called president will then go to the Board and say that "pleasing" the public in a little known place called Augusta is costing the school and MCG. My question is why he doesn't have to pay from his pocket since it is his intentional "mistake". We need the cost published.

Bizkit
29281
Points
Bizkit 01/23/14 - 01:06 pm
3
0
What's the ole saying'-the

What's the ole saying'-the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So even if Azziz's master plan is "paved" with good intentions-the devil is in the details. From the shift in changing the name of MCG to the fusion of ASU it has been a public relations nightmare. Lot of money spent on useless questionnaires and public manipulation with propaganda but the whole process was just handled poorly-seemingly arrogant and insensitive to concerns. I don't know how many times in life I have been absolutely, positively "right" with best intentions but handled the whole issue so poorly I was the villain and in the wrong-sheesh I guess I am sensitive to Azziz after all.

Bizkit
29281
Points
Bizkit 01/23/14 - 01:10 pm
2
0
I think they should build a

I think they should build a Giant Bubble to contain all GRU. Then in a few years ,when technology allows, lift the whole section in a floating island that will hover over the state. It can move around and serve the whole state-the first mobile university and hospitals. With the money they've spent they could have accomplished this feat.

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