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More than 500 complain to Gov. Nathan Deal, Board of Regents about university name

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ATLANTA — Of the calls and e-mails to the University System of Georgia and Gov. Nathan Deal’s office about the new name of the merged schools in Augusta, the tally as of Friday was 512 against and three in support.

The Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s public colleges and universities, voted Aug. 7 for the name Georgia Regents University for the combination of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities. Ever since, people in Augusta have displayed their displeasure with the omission of the city in the school’s name.

Some have transmitted their displeasure to Atlanta. The University System has received 277 e-mails and 10 phone calls. All but three were in opposition, according to system spokesman John Millsaps III, who declined to comment further.

Deal’s office had received 228 messages as of Friday, according to his spokeswoman, Stephanie Mayfield.

“Yeah, those were opposed,” she said. “Honestly, not a heavy amount.”

As a comparison, it’s far less than the 3,000 messages sent to Deal before the execution of cop-killer Troy Davis over concerns that most of the eyewitnesses had backed away from part of their testimony. Legislation on illegal immigrants triggered 2,000 messages.

Issues that generate broader statewide attention, such as the treatment of illegal immigrants, cuts in the HOPE Scholarship or sales of packaged alcohol on Sundays, usually spark more public comments. Those were all issues that the news media across the state covered for weeks.

Public officials recognize that they rarely hear from people who are pleased; after all, those happy with a decision aren’t trying to get it changed.

They also realize most people who are upset don’t bother to communicate it, meaning that for every person who sends a message, there are likely to be dozens, hundreds or more who feel the same way and are quietly fuming.

Despite the outrage in Augusta, the members of the University System board have continued to rally around Ricardo Azziz, the president of the combined schools and an advocate for its new name. Board chairman Ben Tarbutton has said the board won’t consider changing it.

On Thursday, board member Tommy Hopkins, a graduate of GHSU and the board’s representative on GHSU’s oversight panels, was in Augusta, where he tried to downplay anger over the name and Azziz.

“It seems like it is very misdirected. The Board of Regents has made the final say on this,” Hopkins said. “Dr. Azziz couldn’t change it if he wanted to. The decision has been made. It will not be taken up again.”

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mycomments
339
Points
mycomments 08/24/12 - 01:29 pm
8
0
So, "Dr. Tommy Hopkins, a

So, "Dr. Tommy Hopkins, a graduate of GHSU and the board’s representative on GHSU’s oversight panels" did you make sure the Board had the results of the $45,000 survey that showed the name Augusta was recognized locally, nationally and internationally? Perhaps you could pay your school back for that sham survey.

Newsflash
1925
Points
Newsflash 08/24/12 - 01:43 pm
5
1
Is this the same...........

Is this the same Tommy Hopkins purported to play Mister Haney in the much anticipated remake of Green Acres TV fame ? If memory serves Tommy will play the part of Mr. Haney, a local farmer turned salesman and con man in the rural Hooterville community . If not...... perhaps he may serve as an understudy for the part as he seems to be qualified if only on the surface.

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 08/24/12 - 01:47 pm
9
1
So the BOR says it won't be

So the BOR says it won't be brought up again? Wanna bet? When Virgina gets done with this, youl'll be eating those words!

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 08/24/12 - 02:05 pm
12
0
If you want the Regents

If you want the Regents replaced, replace the Governor in the next election. In fact, let's replace him anyway.

kiwiinamerica
961
Points
kiwiinamerica 08/24/12 - 02:32 pm
0
1
Spin cycle.
Unpublished

Great analysis. You added the complaints to the University System to those made to the Governor's office and come up with a figure of 500, implying that there are 500 irate people. In fact, judging by the deranged state of the "Little Augusta" clique on here, it's quite likely that some people complained to both the Governor and the University System, which would make the number of malcontents somewhat lower than 500.

It's a little like me calling the mayor, the sheriff and a member of the commission to vent about something in Augusta and this is registered as three complaints when in fact it's one person complaining to 3 people.

Too funny.

NrthAugustaSam
504
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/24/12 - 03:12 pm
8
0
Keep Calling

(404) 656-1776 - call the Governor's office.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 08/24/12 - 03:46 pm
8
0
Sam is right!

Keep calling Nathan Deal's office at 404-656-1776!

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/24/12 - 04:58 pm
0
0
Take a close
Unpublished

look at the board of regents. Determine it's make-up and see where they stand politically.

jross1981
68
Points
jross1981 08/24/12 - 05:10 pm
8
0
Who are the three that called in support???

I can tell you who...

1) Ricardo Azziz
2) Ricardo Azziz's assistant
3) Deke Copenhaver (But to be fair, Deke called in again against it so he wouldn't have to take a side)

KSL
139783
Points
KSL 08/24/12 - 05:23 pm
6
0
I always like starting my

I always like starting my evening with a good laugh.

KSL
139783
Points
KSL 08/24/12 - 05:24 pm
7
0
Thanks, jross.

Thanks, jross.

abeecee
147
Points
abeecee 08/24/12 - 08:27 pm
1
0
500 Against "Not Heavy Amount"

“Yeah, those were opposed,” she (Gov.'s spokesman) said. “Honestly, not a heavy amount.” So come one ASU/MCGs, lets get heavy.
One way http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,165937316_166563415,00.html

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/24/12 - 10:33 pm
5
0
Another liar?

Either Dr. Hopkins lied to the reporter or Dr. Hopkins lied to the Board of Regents.

According, to the article, he graduated from MCG. According to the Board of Regents Web site, he graduated Emory medical school.

I guess it makes sense that he supports Azziz. One liar has to look out for another.

TruthJusticeFaithHope
233
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 08/25/12 - 05:08 am
4
0
Azziz is dishonest, manipulative, self promoting, and unethical

The "name" of the consolidated universities has been the focus of everyone's attention, and I agree... it was the worst name of all those presented... but, the real focus of our attention should be the insidious, unethical, manipulative, deceitful behavior of Dr. Riccardo Azziz.
When leaders lie, and cover up, and other leaders let them get away with it, the entire system suffers from corruption. Trust is lost, and opportunities are compromised. Stand up, speak out and condemn Azziz's actions.

OnTheHill1
347
Points
OnTheHill1 08/25/12 - 10:35 am
3
0
Disappointed ... only 512

Disappointed ... of the 100s and 1,000s of comments that have been posted on all of these above-the-fold Augusta Chronicle articles, only 512 people have taken their complaints to Atlanta. Though we have had a good time commenting here, seeing our point scores increase, noting the up and down thumb counts, we've got to do more. Use your already written ire and let the powers that could make a difference know:

Dr. Mark Smith - My e-mail sent received a personal response from him pointing to the SACS COC complaint procedure:
http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf. I did it this way so he could count a complainer. The SACS COC complaint procedure is cumbersome, needs to be mailed in duplicate, written on their Complaint Form, state the nature of the complaint in 5 sentences or less. Takes a bit of doing versus knocking out an e-mail.

Georgia Board of Regents - Didn't write them, they are a lost cause. Noted that the Chronicle did not count the number of complaints received. Wonder if they asked?

Governor Nathan Deal - governor@gov.state.ga.us. Received a response: "Thank you very much for making your views known. Your message will be shared with Governor Deal."

Wayne Howard (D) District 121 - Contact Form: http://gadistrict121.com/main/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&...

Barbara Sims (R) District 119 - Contact e-mail: barbara.sims@house.ga.gov

Your message is already written; make your voice heard outside of Augusta!

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 08/25/12 - 07:34 am
1
1
There is an admission

... of over 500. Wonder what the real number is, don't you?

Doug Duncan
348
Points
Doug Duncan 08/25/12 - 04:57 pm
0
0
Insider Info

I've seen Dr. Hopkins called a MCG and/or GHSU grad in several Chronicle articles. His bio states he is an Emory grad. Looks like it's the media who got this one wrong.

NrthAugustaSam
504
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/25/12 - 12:37 pm
0
0
Keep Calling and Follow On the Hill's lead

Call the governor at 404-656-1776
Fallow "On the Hill's" links for more contacts
Get your like minded friends and family to do the same.
Do not let up.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/25/12 - 07:50 pm
0
0
I think Augustans just want

I think Augustans just want to go on record at this point, since they weren't involved in the naming process itself. I do. I wanted Augusta Arsenal University.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 08/26/12 - 03:27 pm
0
0
The general public has long

The general public has long presumed the Regents have ably managed the state's system of higher education; hence, the relatively poor showing here may indicate, still, broad public support for this ostensibly politically-neutral Board of Regents; or it may be a leading edge marking a broader and deeper fall-off in public confidence.

On the other hand, elected officials ought take a close measure of recent management decisions that have negatively influenced public opinion. One need look no further than Penn State to see what a collapse of public confidence looks like; maybe their programs will recover, or maybe not.

In the final analysis, sound management of the state's system of higher education means the public gets the most bang out of the public buck invested there. Yet, some measures indicate -- even amidst the glitter of brand new technology and buildings, promises of future growth, and a highly leveraged and indebted system -- that GA's system of higher education is poorly managed, politicized, and possibly NOW-exposed to a sudden collapse in confidence, productivity and effectiveness.

Those elected officials choosing to "stay out of it" may regret later what happens. Let the Regent's whine about a loss of accreditation that may happen if political officials audit or intervene in their operations; maybe, the Regent's, themselves, lost their own accreditation.

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