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Augusta Commission to weigh in on school name change Tuesday

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The Augusta Commission is weighing in on the name the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia selected for the merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Science universities.

The commission is scheduled to vote on two resolutions asking the Regents to include “Augusta” in the new name of the consolidated university, which has been named Georgia Regents University.

Attached to Tuesday’s meeting agenda at the request of Commissioner Matt Aitken is the same resolution that the commission voted against in June, but the city’s general counsel, Andrew MacKenzie, released a shorter version late Friday.

Both resolutions mention the origins of ASU and GHSU in Augusta’s history, but the newer version cites the existence of universities with city names in their titles, such as Princeton University and the University of Memphis.

Aitken voted against the resolution in June but said this week he has changed his mind now that university system officials apparently disregarded local input and costly study data.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham, who urged the commission to approve the resolution in June, said he isn’t sure he supports it now.

“I think at this point it’s too little, too late,” he said. “I don’t think our (legislative) delegation has enough strength to change anything. The only people that could are the Regents, and I don’t see them changing anything they’ve done.”

Commissioner Grady Smith, who graduated from Augusta College before it was renamed Augusta State University in 2001, said that despite the new name’s seeming omission of much of ASU’s tradition and history, he is still undecided.

“There’s a lot of history at that school. I wonder if it’s going to be obliterated,” Smith said. “If there’s a compromise coming, let’s get it out on the table now.”

Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who supported keeping “Augusta” in the name before the Regents’ decision, and Commissioner Bill Lockett said this week that Augusta should embrace the Regents’ choice and think of the millions the state is investing in the merged institution.

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles said he doubts the resolution will get six supporting votes Tuesday and didn’t support it himself.

“It’s a little too late for suggestions, after the decision is made,” Bowles said.

A similar resolution in Columbia County, announced earlier this week and up for approval Tuesday by the Columbia County Commission, is four paragraphs long and asks merely that the Regents “reconsider” the choice of Georgia Regents University “for one more appropriate for the region.”

University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock said the Regents’ 17-1 vote to call the new university Georgia Regents University indicated minds were made up, at least for now.

“(A local resolution) might have more impact potentially with the governor, who appoints the Board of Regents,” Bullock said. “If I was trying to put some leverage somewhere, that’s where I would try to lean.”

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crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 08/17/12 - 08:46 pm
5
0
Let's get this fixed

Our leaders in the CSRA must- not dicker and waver- show leadership and correct this travesty. This is so far from what this country is supposed to be about and what the South is about.

Get to it!

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 08/17/12 - 08:46 pm
1
0
Let's get this fixed

Our leaders in the CSRA must- not dicker and waver- show leadership and correct this travesty. This is so far from what this country is supposed to be about and what the South is about.

Get to it!

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/12 - 10:53 pm
8
0
Decision

What is it with these politicians who are moaning about the decision already being made? These same politicians have passed ordinances, then come back and repealed them. They have defeated ordinances, then come back and passed them.

No political decision is final. The name can be changed.

Harvard on the Hill was once called Augusta Junior College. Then the name was changed to Augusta College. Later the name was changed to Augusta State University. It is set to be changed again.

Down on 15th Street, the institution of higher learning was once called Medical College of Georgia (even though it contained many separate divisions such as nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, etc.), but its name was changed to Georgia Health Sciences University. It is set to be changed again.

Mike Padgett Highway was once called Old Savannah Road.

No name is final.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/17/12 - 11:53 pm
3
0
I gave you a thumbs up on
Unpublished

I gave you a thumbs up on this one,LL.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/18/12 - 04:39 pm
3
0
The Name is Not Final

According to the BORs website:

The new names will be effective upon the new institutions receiving approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Board of Regents in January 2013.

Since Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has a say in approving GRU I went to their website to see who to get in touch with there are found this from The Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement 2012

http://www.sacscoc.org/principles.asp

The Commission on Colleges expects integrity to govern the operation of
institutions and for institutions to make reasonable and responsible decisions consistent with the spirit of integrity in all matters. Therefore, evidence ofwithholding information, providing inaccurate information to the public, failing to provide timely and accurate information to the Commission, or failing to conduct a candid self-assessment of compliance with the Principles of Accreditation and to submit this assessment to the Commission, and other similar practices will be seen as the lack of a full commitment to integrity.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/18/12 - 05:15 am
5
0
Has Anyone Heard From Gov Deal?

Seems to be quiet on that front. I haven't gotten anything back.

And look at the enthusiasm this article shows from the commissioners. I know I am taking names when it comes election time.

Riverman1
86916
Points
Riverman1 08/18/12 - 06:14 am
6
0
The Commission Should Be United on Name

It's disconcerting to see Deke and some others on the Commission not firmly behind our protests. They are the representatives of the people who are obviously against the name change. Deke and some others seem to be saying since there's nothing that can be done, why even voice your dissatisfaction?

The reason is it's important to remain united to show we are opposed to the name. We may be closer to a victory of sorts here with the schools keeping their names under the umbrella GRU than some realize. I hope the Commission realizes the possibility and doesn't derail the efforts with a misguided indifference and negative vote.

peggyandrick
169
Points
peggyandrick 08/18/12 - 07:09 am
3
0
Deke is wrong

Deke says that we should give up on the name and focus on the money. If I can't trust the Wizard of Az to be honest about the name, how can I trust him with the university and all of that money? So far millions are coming to GHSU, can anyone in Augusta trust him to look after ASU. Deke never learned "Fool me once . . ."

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 08/18/12 - 06:30 am
0
0
GRUAC would work with Azziz
Unpublished

Georgia Regent's University Augusta Campus.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 08/18/12 - 06:32 am
0
0
AGRU would work for Lee Anderson
Unpublished

Augusta Georgia Regent's University. Sound like agriculture.

seenitB4
90792
Points
seenitB4 08/18/12 - 08:03 am
2
2
Like the first poster said

Let us NOT dicker & waiver......

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 08/18/12 - 10:08 am
2
0
What hapened to the schoolin

What hapened to the schoolin Virginia? I thought they were pursuing a blockage of the name usage!

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/18/12 - 11:33 am
1
2
Tilting at windmills.

The decision has already been made, give it up...I don't like it either but what's done is done...All this posturing by Commissioners is akin to a parent (the BoR) letting a child (Augusta)pitch a temper tantrum knowing the whole time that nothing will change. This thing was decided months ago..The Commission already voted to keep Augusta in the name sometime this last June.. ......How did "Deer in the Headlights Aitken" vote then?... He voted against it...hmmmm. "Finger in the wind" principles on display...

Little Lamb
46920
Points
Little Lamb 08/18/12 - 12:18 pm
5
0
To the commission:

Come on Jerry, Joe, Grady, Wayne, the other Joe, Al, Bill, Corey, and Rev.; you don't vote yes because you think you will absolutely prevail. Instead, you vote yes to state what you believe in your heart to be right. Go ahead and pass Matt's resolution. Even if the Regents arrogantly ignore it, you will at least have made the correct statement. To whimper away with your tail tucked between your legs is not what Americans do.

914darknlovely
8
Points
914darknlovely 08/18/12 - 12:41 pm
6
0
Augusta Commission

Our commissioners, continuously build "monuments of nothingness." They waiver back and forth on pettiness, instead of standing firm on principles. This is why local elections at just as, if not more, important than national election. These are the people who make the decision that most directly impact our lives. I refuse to vote for an incumbent this year, not just because of this matter, but because this inability to be efficient and/or effective is now a pattern. Voters need to make them aware that we are paying attention and expect our wishes to be carried out. They can't oppose the BOR, because they act in the same "shut up; we know what's best for you" manner. On this matter, I'm equally disappointed in the mayor's complacency. Why wouldn't he fight to have the name "Augusta" recognized nationally for academics? Pointing out the money that the Regets approved for the school just means that they bought his cooperation.
It is insulting that commissioners are acting as nothing can now be done. There is always a means to "appeal" government decisions and actions.

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 08/18/12 - 01:34 pm
0
0
Pure grandstanding.
Unpublished

The commission is just jumping on a bandwagon. This issue is not within their jurisdiction.

Augusta will not be in the name.

GRU is a lousy name but get used to it. This movie is over. Top tier academic institutions cannot continually change names to suit popular opinion.

Typical small town mentality.

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 08/18/12 - 02:01 pm
0
0
Blowhards
Unpublished

Most of the folks pontificating the loudest on this issue have absolutely no skin in this deal.

They're not students of GHSU nor will they ever be so they have no worries about what their diploma is going to say. They're not alumni of GHSU nor are they faculty who must market themselves in the world of research and/or medicine and apply for research grants. Neither do they have any experience of medical education and its standards.

Most are self-opinionated blowhards with too much time on their hands who can be found on absolutely every thread in the Chronicle.

GHSU is a statewide institution which is most certainly NOT the University of Augusta. It has campuses in Athens and Albany.

saywhatagain
413
Points
saywhatagain 08/18/12 - 02:19 pm
4
0
Insanity

They say "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over and then expecting a different result. We keep electing the same rats who appoint their buddy rats who make cheesy decisions like this one. (My apologies to the Muroidea). Nothing will ever change unless we do, i.e. starting electing persons based on their character, not personality, education, money or ethnicity. However, I don't see that happening in this narcissistic world. All we want to know is "What's in it for ME"?

Newsflash
1925
Points
Newsflash 08/18/12 - 02:57 pm
4
0
A vote of no confidence ............

A vote of no confidence has been taken and the faculty, students and community at large have spoken. People don't trust Dr. Azziz and want him out. He has torn his shorts and what is exposed is not very pretty. Time to change names and put the school first instead of a few blow hards that cant overcome their own arrogance.

just an opinion
2718
Points
just an opinion 08/18/12 - 03:36 pm
3
0
STAND UP FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS

Don't be afraid! You have surely read and heard what they are saying. Now represent us! That's what you are there for.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 08/18/12 - 05:29 pm
3
1
Misunderstood.

Because I got two thumbs down, I'm guessing everyone missed the point of my post....I AGREE with the outrage over this decision...My point was that these people NEVER intended to allow the name Augusta to be in the name in the first place....And Commissioners feel the need to go on record as opposing it. Fine, cool, great.....but understand....the BoR minds were made up long ago and no amount of crying will change that. Heck, they've even got the Mayor agreeing with them now.....even the Governor has no power to force a change....What bothers me is that certain members of the Commission who initially voted against putting Augusta in the name are changing their stance in an obvious attempt to pander to voter outrage over this thing....it's a shame we can't get the public this worked up when millions are being misappropriated downtown to enrich a select few at the expense of the many....I guess those issues just aren't as "cool" as being mad at a name change that's gonna happen whether WE like it or not....
I'm "down with the struggle" and I like a good protest as much as the next person, plus I LOVE having my voice heard, but the cynical realist in me knows it's a done deal......sad...

Mr. Thackeray
953
Points
Mr. Thackeray 08/18/12 - 06:16 pm
3
0
Will you WIMPY mayor take a

Will you WIMPY mayor take a stand?

nocnoc
44929
Points
nocnoc 08/18/12 - 07:26 pm
3
0
Who are we kidding

Commissioners will be voting on a Resolution that is likely nothing more than lip service to the voters unless it has sharp teeth. Otherwise it is nothing more than good politics and free press for the next election.

No we need to put some legal and political teeth into dealing with the GA. Regents on this matter.

I say let us stick it too them 1st by renaming the street sections running through MCG "Univ of Augusta lane, way, st, circle, alley and etc.". The city does have control of that without GA. Regents approval.

Disapprove or re-look at (delay indefinitely) the Property transfer by Kroger to GRU. It was for MCG not GRU.

Disapprove or table for deep further review all current MCG, GRU items coming up for review. Traffic, city service, and etc.

Look into all past property transfers just to make sure they were done correctly and all promises have been kept by MCG/GRU.

Officially refuse to acknowledge the GRU name by passing a binding resolution that requires all legal matters to use the name Univ. of Augusta and that GRU is not recognized legally by the city of Augusta.

Yes I know these are all semantics, but stalling or interrupting any issues important to them is the only way to get them to listen.

For you young college kids its called Protesting the Establishment 101, Old School.

sand gnat
573
Points
sand gnat 08/18/12 - 08:59 pm
0
0
noc noc

you have a great idea on renaming of streets. MCG Blvd. would be perfect for the stretch of road between 15th st. and wrightsboro.

KSL
134418
Points
KSL 08/18/12 - 09:11 pm
0
0
From the conversation I had

From the conversation I had with a with a friend from way back who is a regent, I got the impression Augusta was not in the mix. In addition, he said he had had calls from doctors who were grads and who were against having Augusta in the name.

He was gracious to take a call from someone he had not spoken with in years, even though our families were close for several generations before we were born.

I feel strongly that if the honesty about the direction had been forthcoming, the regents would have at least been made aware of the outrage that some alumni from both institutions and their employees have. Did you consider the regents may have been lied to as well? I guess they were, if indeed they didn't see the $45K survey.

If nothing else, the way this whole thing was handled should be of great concern to ARC taxpayers and the GA taxpayers in this area.

I surely do wish we had been informed up front of the thinking and planning going on behind the scenes from the beginning.

KSL
134418
Points
KSL 08/18/12 - 09:14 pm
0
0
I am reminded of We have to

I am reminded of We have to pass the bill so we can know what is in it, paraphrasing closely the crook from CA.

KSL
134418
Points
KSL 08/18/12 - 09:36 pm
0
0
We being us who might believe

We being us who might believe a taxpayer paid study and it's results might actually carry some weight. Or at the very least, admission that even though participants in the poll have spoken, the regents are sticking with their vision or the one they have been led to have.

tckr1983
360
Points
tckr1983 08/18/12 - 11:22 pm
0
0
I got...

$50 saying this is for vote pandering... $100 that mayor Deke will have laryngitis tomorrow and "won't be able to speak".

NrthAugustaSam
491
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/21/12 - 03:58 pm
0
0
Call the Governor

They are counting calls. Let's give them a few thousand. Call (404)656-1776. This is what matters to Nathan Deal.

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