Officials from Regent University wrote to the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents on Saturday requesting a different name from Georgia Regents University, which was recommended by a committee.
“We are concerned that there could be some confusion and dilute our brand,” Regent University President Carlos Campo said Monday.
Regent University enrolls 60 percent of its students online, many from Georgia.
The proposed name makes the Augusta institution sound as though it’s a branch of the 6,000-student Virginia school, Campo said.
He said Monday morning that he is trying to reach his Georgia counterparts by phone to discuss the matter in a friendly way so that the e-mail from his attorney isn’t the only communication.
Regent University, founded in 1978 by the Rev. Pat Robertson as CBN University, changed its name in 1990 and holds a trademark to the name. Campo said that he doesn’t want a court fight but that his attorney felt confident the school using the name longer would prevail.
When the Virginia school changed its name, it sought permission from the 600-student Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, which raised no objection because the schools were in different countries.
Georgia officials might also want to avoid confusion because a state school has a different mission from a faith-based university. The Canadian school is also faith-based.
Campo cited the reaction from readers of The Augusta Chronicle who want the name of their city in the school’s new name. He suggested that was another reason for selecting one of the other proposed names forwarded to the board – Georgia Arts & Sciences University or the University of Augusta.