Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: 'Regents' might prove popular with regents, but not city leaders

  • Follow City Ink

So the Georgia Board of Regents will be asked to approve “Georgia Regents University” as the new name for Augusta’s consolidated ASU/GHSU this week.

Seems like a slam dunk, especially if Georgia Health Sciences President Ricardo Azziz has been lobbying for it. How clever to play on the regents’ egos, as they hold the purse strings. But I was thinking: Shouldn’t it be “Georgia Regents’ University,” with an apostrophe? Or “Georgia Regent University” and just let everybody wonder which regent they’re talking about?

Anyway, the news that Georgia Regents University is the recommended name sent shock waves through Augusta.

“It’s the dumbest name I’ve ever heard,” said Augusta Com­mis­sion member Joe Bowles. “What is a regent? Are you going to have a guy with a bowtie and a pocket protector as your mascot?”

“I ain’t digging that name,” Commissioner Corey Johnson said. “That sounds like some security firm, like we’re educating people to be security officers. They’d get a no vote from me on that.”

“Who came up with that name?” asked Commissioner Grady Smith, a trustee of the Augusta State University Foun­dation. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m not much on that name. Then I would ask, ‘What do they do?’ Usually, you name a university for something they specialize in, like Georgia Tech is known for its engineers, architects and the building industry.”

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he was “a little bit shocked” but had thought about it and decided it might not be such a bad name in the long run.

“But it’s not the one I thought they would have preferred,” he added.

How’s that for fence straddling?

Commissioner Jerry Brigham said he’d still like to see “Augusta” in the name, but to get funding from the Legislature, the university needs to have “Georgia” in the name “for broad based appeal.”

Former ASU President Bill Bloodworth at first said he’d rather not even have an opinion, but later said “Georgia Regents University” satisfies those who want “Georgia” in the name.

“My favorite name didn’t make the list,” he said.

What else could that be but Augusta State University?

“Hopefully, they’ll come up with something much better next week,” former Mayor Bob Young said. “That name is terrible. That name plays to the ego of the board of regents. It’s my understanding that would be inconsistent with the intent of the board that there would be a list of unranked names for them to consider.”

Commissioner Bill Lockett, however, said he’s very supportive of “Georgia Regents University.”

“It’s better than what they came out with initially,” he said. “The reason I was opposed to ‘Augusta’ was that there are so many Augustas throughout the United States, especially Augusta, Maine. So when we say, ‘University of Augusta,’ which Augusta are you referencing?”

ONE SIGN, ONE VOTE: You might say the South Augusta Mafia took a hit in last week’s Democratic primary for sheriff, but that would just be hyperbole because there’s nobody left to hit.

The once-powerful kingmakers are all dead, and the wannabes are just that, as evidenced by Robbie Silas’ poor showing. A lot of folks were surprised he received only 8.57 percent – 2,562 votes – because he had almost that many signs up throughout the county.

That was reminiscent of the 1998 mayoral race, when Mayor Larry Sconyers received only 16.6 percent of the vote after having drawn huge crowds to his barbecues and fish fries. About 4,000 people came to his fish fry at Julian Smith Casino before the election, which he took as a sign of easy victory. But rival Bob Young said, “Just because they eat your fish doesn’t mean they’ll vote for you.”

POLLING THE POLS: Most of the respondents in a totally unscientific poll last week predicted Scott Peebles will beat Lt. Rich­ard Roundtree in the Aug. 21 runoff, especially since Sheriff Ron­nie Strength has endorsed him.

“The number of votes Robbie Silas got will give Scott Peebles more than enough people to win the runoff,” Brigham said. “They might sit it out, but I don’t think the vast majority are going to vote for Roundtree. Not the old southern Democrats anyway.”

Johnson said the candidate who works the hardest and gets his voters back out will win.

“If I had to say who has the advantage, I would say Scott because he has the support of the sheriff,” he said.

“Good God! Let’s elect a man we can be proud of,” Smith said. “When you look at the credentials for somebody to head up our sheriff’s department, it’s a no-brainer. Black or white, most people want to do what’s good and best for Richmond County. Scott stands head and shoulders above everybody.”

“Scott Peebles is going to win,” Young said. “There’s no question about that. He has a well-organized campaign, and Richard Roundtree has not been able to put together a coalition that Ed McIntyre and Charles Walker were able to do to mobilize the black vote. The black people are no longer led around. They’re independent thinkers.”

As for the District 12 Repub­lican runoff, Johnson is betting on Lee Anderson, whose opponent has not yet been determined. In unofficial returns, Rick Allen holds a narrow lead over Wright McLeod for second place.

“Allen said he was going to Washington to defeat President Obama,” Johnson said. “I feel like that should not be part of anybody’s platform.”

Young predicts Allen will win the runoff.

“The issue of raising taxes is hung around Lee’s neck because he supported TSPLOST,” he said.

HOT DOGS AND CHILDREN AND COMMISSIONERS’ WHINE: At an Augusta Commission committee meeting last week, City Administrator Fred Russell said the attorney was moving forward with drafting an ordinance that would allow animal control officers and sheriff’s deputies to enter vehicles where animals have been left unattended.

“Do we have an ordinance in place about children?” Commissioner J.R. Hatney asked. “It makes no sense to me. I’m not a dog hater. An ordinance for dogs you don’t have for babies don’t make sense.”

General Counsel Andrew Mac­Kenzie said sufficient state law already exists that would allow entry if there was a life safety issue.

“When y’all don’t want to answer, y’all point to the state,” Hatney said.

Lockett said he thought the ordinance is needed but that the first course of action shouldn’t be to break a window.

“Generally speaking, the first thing would be to get the window open some other way,” Russell said. “I think this is sort of a last-case scenario.”

“How are you going to determine how long that animal has been in the car?” Johnson asked. “The minute you notice the animal is in the car? Is he unconscious or nonresponsive? How do you make that determination, because that’s something unlike a child, a dog can’t tell you. Of course, if you don’t see a movement, that’s a sign, but you don’t want to overreact the minute somebody walks in the store and by the time they come out five minutes later, the window’s broken out.”

Russell said he thought officers would use reasonable discretion to evaluate all the circumstances, including the temperature outside, the temperature of the vehicle and the condition of the animal.

“Mr. Attorney, would it be too much to draft one for babies and bring it back?” Hatney asked. “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have nothing against dogs. As long as they’re in somebody else’s yard, I got no problem.”

Comments (31) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 08/04/12 - 07:25 pm
3
10
HELLO SYLVIA

Guess what ..a Republican is running in that race...

Why don't yall just package up this election ---wrap a big ribbon around the box & hand deliver it to SP...GEEZ

Freddie ya got an uphill battle with this paper..UNBELIEVABLE..

Ya giving me a headache.....AC.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/04/12 - 07:30 pm
6
0
My god, do any of the
Unpublished

My god, do any of the commissioners speak English?? It probably explains a lot of things. . . .

seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 08/04/12 - 07:30 pm
3
9
the article says....

“The number of votes Robbie Silas got will give Scott Peebles more than enough people to win the runoff,” Brigham said. “They might sit it out, but I don’t think the vast majority are going to vote for Roundtree. Not the old southern Democrats anyway.”

You just never know what ticked off people will do...doya!

seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 08/04/12 - 07:34 pm
2
7
You might be surprised

I think you will see some Tree signs in some "unexpected" places...

yes yes yes...this will be interesting...

seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 08/04/12 - 07:37 pm
2
8
Poop

Some might be busy getting the poop out of their yard & can't make it to the polls......yaknow.

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 08/04/12 - 08:15 pm
3
4
Who will the Snake Lady Dance For?

Who will the Snake Lady be dancing for? The strip clubs', Southern borgata, has their favorite.

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/04/12 - 08:28 pm
8
1
Deke Riding the Fence?
Unpublished

Say it aint so?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/04/12 - 09:16 pm
9
0
Georgia Regents University

Wait for the 'ole last minute switcheroo right out of Fred Russell's playbook.

Every year, without fail, Fred proposes taxes going up 500 percent. There is an uproar. Consequently, when commissioners only raise taxes 200 percent, people celebrate.

In the same way, the "study" committee trots out an atrocious name, so when the Board of Regents dumps it for merely a bad name everyone will celebrate.

And, we will all be duped once again.

rational thought trumps emotion
2459
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 08/04/12 - 09:42 pm
12
1
Peebles most qualified

Well, let’s see why he probably gets the most press. The Sheriff, Mayor, many commissioners, home owner association presidents, Police Chief’s from nearby communities, other area Sheriff’s, The Augusta Chronicle editors, City Stink editors, Augusta Today, etc. not to mention the many Sheriff’s Deputies have all come out to show support for the candidate that is clearly the most qualified. This should be a non-partisan position and Augusta deserves the most qualified person as our next Sheriff which is Captain Scott Peebles. Peebles has clearly demonstrated he will work with and for ALL of Augusta to make is a safer place to live and raise a family. He needs our help and support on 8/21 in this runoff election so let’s make sure we get out there and show Scott Peebles our support.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 08/04/12 - 10:33 pm
5
8
Endorsements

Sorry, Rational Thoughts, but endorsements from politicians do not constitute any semblance of rationality or logic. I'm voting for a crime-fighter, namely, Freddie Sanders.

rational thought trumps emotion
2459
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 08/04/12 - 10:52 pm
10
3
LL

I can agree with part of that but Captain Peebles is certainly a crime fighter. He has been doing so for over 20 years, has a great plan to reduce crime, has the support of the Sheriff and a lot within the agency but most importantly, has taken hundreds of criminals, guns, etc. off of our streets. He is there now, doing a great job but at the same time prepared to take it to the next level. Anyway, Sanders isn't running right now, the choice is Peebles or Roundtree. And since most of the Sanders supporters on here continually seem to be against Peebles one can only assume they prefer he go against Roundtree in November. You can spin it any way you wish but he just wouldn't have a chance. Either way, Peebles is the best choice but certainly in this primary.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 08/04/12 - 11:22 pm
10
0
Albatross

From the article:

Former Mayor Bob Young predicts Rick Allen will win the runoff. “The issue of raising taxes is hung around Lee Anderson’s neck because he supported TSPLOST,” Young said.

Yes, we will find that this new tax will suck vitality out of our economy with its huge transfer of funds to GA DOT. Sure, some big contractors (granite quarries, asphalt plants, paving companies, etc.) will get a quick infusion of your and my earnings, but other merchants will suffer, along with all of us consumers.

just an opinion
2351
Points
just an opinion 08/04/12 - 11:49 pm
7
1
"Dr." Hatney ?

Mr. Hatney, YOU "just don't make no sense". Where did you get your Ph.D. ???

allhans
23227
Points
allhans 08/05/12 - 01:32 am
4
1
Will there be a plaque

Will there be a plaque showing the Board of Regents names at the entrance to the University?

seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 08/05/12 - 03:17 am
8
1
The Mayor said

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he was “a little bit shocked” but had thought about it and decided it might not be such a bad name in the long run.

Now how is that for fence sitting...hahaha....
Regents name really stinks....STINKS..it is sucking up sorta..

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 06:09 am
3
1
Rational Thoughts..

You said other area sheriffs are supporting Peebles. Who are they?

truth_be_told
214
Points
truth_be_told 08/05/12 - 06:56 am
3
1
ASU-MCG

How about "Georgia Regent's Augusta Diversity University" GRAD-U ????

That shoud please the majority...............and the minority.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 08/05/12 - 11:38 am
1
5
You have listed all of the
Unpublished

You have listed all of the endorcements for Peebles, yet none for Roundtree?

No one supports him? Not even roughly 11,500 voters in RC?

I'll be glad when those chickens come home.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 08/05/12 - 01:04 pm
4
0
Not buying the need for Georgia

Not buying the need for Georgia in the college name. Plenty of colleges are named based in their location without including the State: Valdosta State, Kennesaw State, Dalton State, Albany State, etc.... So why should Augusta be stripped of it's identity? If anything making it Georgia ..... anything will be just add to confusion. There's already Georgia College & State University, Georgia Highlands, Georgia Tech, Georgia Perimeter, Georgia Southern etc... Might as well call it Georgia Masters University, at least that has some tie to the Augusta community. Sure people might think it's only a grad program based on the word Masters but it's certainly no worse then the word Regent.

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 01:21 pm
4
0
Problem With Regents in Name

There was a program in New York that has sinced changed names, but it was called New York State Regents Program. It was a conglomerate of colleges and extensively used extension studies to confer degrees using the name New York State Regents as the degree granting body. In this case it may have been perfectly valid because it was an association of colleges all over the state.

Here it makes absolutely no sense because the two schools have been combined as one and are in the same city. The regents are scattered all over the state, but the school is NOT. We have one day left to get them to change their minds.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 08/05/12 - 01:34 pm
2
0
What would have been wrong with combining the two?

Augusta State & Medical College or maybe Augusta Medical College & State University or something like that where both the schools and true location are acknowledged? There are already too many incidences where names don't reflect location like Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Pete not Tampa, The NY Jets and Giants play in NJ not NY, the Cincinnati airport is actually in KY not OH. While yes, Georgia Regents would be in Georgia but realistically when people hear Georgia, they usually think ATL, not Augusta which sits on the SC border 150 miles east.

skeptical
84
Points
skeptical 08/05/12 - 01:48 pm
1
0
GRU

At least we won't have to pick a new logo. We can use this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GRU_emblem.svg_2.jpg

janderson1945
1819
Points
janderson1945 08/05/12 - 02:09 pm
1
0
Doubt any name would make

Doubt any name would make everyone happy but this decision is poor. RM, what could be done in one day to have them change this? Do we email someone?

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 08/05/12 - 02:23 pm
1
0
Long Names

@ Martinez: One of Dr. Azziz's no-negotiation requirements was that the new merged university have a name no longer than three words. It had to be catchy and cool.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 08/05/12 - 02:28 pm
1
0
Government Agencies

The new name, Georgia Regents University, opens up a whole new genre for naming merged universities and new universities here in the state; i.e., name universities after government departments. Here would be some new university names:

Department of Transportation University
Family & Children Services University
Environmental Protection University
Department of Corrections University

The state university system and its Board of Regents is merely a bloated state bureaucracy. It is stupid and shameful to name the new merged university after such.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/05/12 - 02:28 pm
3
0
Roundtree Endorsement

For the record, I heard Grateful Mother endorsed Roundtree for sheriff.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 08/05/12 - 02:33 pm
1
0
Jealousy

If the Board of Regents get a university named after them, you can imagine how jealous other bodies would get and they would begin to insist their names being applied to universities. The first, loudest, and most influential would be the legislature itself. Since the legislature controls the purse strings of the Board of Regents, they would easily succeed in getting a university named after them:

General Assembly University

I leave it up to your imagination what the shortened version might be.

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 08/05/12 - 03:10 pm
2
0
JAnderson asked, "RM, what

JAnderson asked, "RM, what could be done in one day to have them change this? Do we email someone?"

I'm hoping we've already started the ball rolling or have stopped the rolling ball, however you wish to view it. But our Mayor has once again shown his wishy washy ways. THAT didn't help one bit.

This is why an outspoken, opinionated mayor, who can push support of the city-county to a degreee people fear getting him riled up is such an asset. One with an "us against the world" attitude who would be screaming, calling every regent and Gov. Deal. We need a hard drinking Moscow Mayor Boris Yeltsin jumping on the Soviet tanks to stop them to protect his city.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/05/12 - 04:52 pm
1
0
Regents...

are the ones who control the money.

useful
552
Points
useful 08/05/12 - 04:53 pm
1
0
if grateful mother is

if grateful mother is endorsing roundtree that make two.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Think 'worst,' nuke study says

WASHINGTON - A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but ...
Search Augusta jobs