'Regents' name continues to generate complaints

Calls, e-mails convey displeasure over name

ATLANTA — The number of complaints about the name for the merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities continues to climb.

On Thursday, state officials in Atlanta reported that an additional 283 complaints wound up in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office and at the University System of Georgia in the past week.

The University System received 32 e-mails and one phone call.

“None of these express support for the name,” University System spokesman John Millsaps III said.

Deal’s office has logged 250 calls since Aug. 24, according to spokeswoman Stephanie Mayfield. With the messages received by Aug. 24, the total comes to 795 opposed to the name and three in support.

The outpouring of displeasure is over the decision Aug. 7 by the University System’s Board of Regents to give the new school the name Georgia Regents University.

Many Augusta residents want their city included in the new name, but members of the board said that might make people in other Georgia cities less likely to give financial support if they think it’s a community college.

What impact the complaints will have remains to be seen.

Deal hasn’t given any indication that he plans to ask the board to reconsider the name.

Regent University, a Virginia school founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, notified the board that it will sue the state of Georgia on charges of violating its trademark.

Nevertheless, Ben Tarbutton III, the chairman of the Board of Regents, said in a statement to The Augusta Chronicle that the decision is final.

The board’s attorneys said they believe the name “regent” is too general for trademark protection.

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