Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: New name has everyone confused

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Nothing in recent memory has riled folks up as much as the Board of Re­gents naming Augusta’s consolidated universities Georgia Regents University, or GRU.

To add insult to injury, there’s evidence of what we’ve been suspecting since last week’s vote, which is that the surveys and public polls to come up with the best name were just part of a long drawn-out charade, a $45,500 one at that.

Staff Writer Tom Corwin’s article in Saturday’s edition of The Augusta Chronicle showed the survey results didn’t mean a thing when the regents voted. If they had, they’d have voted for the highest ranking name: the University of Augusta.

In fact, they might not have even seen the poll results considering Regent Neil L. Pruitt Jr.’s comment after the vote. Pruitt told Morris News Service reporter Walter Jones that he was relying on the fact that the names were tested nationally by a marketing survey firm.

But in every poll and survey taken – national, state and local – the University of Augusta was the top vote-getter, and Geor­gia Regents University never ranked higher than fourth.

Records obtained by The Chronicle also indicate that GHSU President Ricardo Azziz or his designees met with regents and other state and local leaders after the branding team submitted its six finalists and the Consoli­dation Working Group sent three finalists to the Board of Regents.

That was not cool.

An online petition to change the name to Univer­sity of Augusta has received thousands of signatures, and a protest at ASU has been scheduled for Aug. 20. People have been encouraged to contact Gov. Nathan Deal and ask him to rescind the decision, but I think it’s a done deal.

The power structure’s reasoning is that the schools belong to the state and not to Augusta, so why should they worry about putting Augusta in the name? Anyway, they don’t even like Augusta except for one week a year.

THE MUSICAL M.D.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

ACT I, SCENE I

(The ER at MCG, GHSU and soon to be GRU)

Nurse: Wake up, doctor. The campus police picked up one of the students wandering around in the student center parking lot muttering he was lost.

Doctor: The nurse tells me you’re having some confusion about where you are.

Student: Yes, I have a feeling I’m lost.

Doctor: How long have you had this feeling?

Student: Since they changed the name of the university again. I think it was last week. When I enrolled four years ago, it was MCG. Then the new president changed it to Georgia Health Sciences University. It took me two years to learn to say Georgia Health Sciences University. And now it’s Georgia Regents University, so I don’t know where I am anymore.

Doctor: Hmmm. What I think you have, young man, is Matriculation Disorientation, a disorder you developed because you thought your diploma would say you graduated from MCG, and you had to adjust to GHSU, and now you have to get used to the idea of having it say GRU. Currently, there is no remedy for Matriculation Disorientation except to buck up and face the fact nobody cares what it says on your diploma. You have to look on the bright side. Georgia Arts and Sciences University made the short list. They could have named it that, and everybody would have called it GASU. So the only thing for you to do is …

(Sings) Accent-tu-ate the positive,

E-lim-inate the negative,

And latch on

To the affirmative

Don’t mess with mister in-between!

You gotta spread joy up to the maximum,

Bring gloom down to the minimum,

And have faith (amen!)

Or pandemonium’s

Liable to walk upon the scene!

Student: I feel better already.

SCENE II

Nurse: Doctor, you’d better get in here as fast as you can.

Doctor: What is it this time, nurse?

Nurse: It’s a vice president of administration who’s being forced to pretend he likes the name GRU.

Doctor: What seems to be the trouble, sir?

VP: I’m depressed. I hate the name GRU, but I’ve got to pretend I like it because I have to keep my job.

Doctor: I understand.

VP: No you don’t. No matter how many times I say, ‘I love GRU,’ my real feelings keep coming out at the worst times possible. Just yesterday in a meeting with the vice presidents, Dr. ZZZZZ asked us how long we thought it would take for the controversy over the name GRU to blow over. Butterupper said, ‘Oh, about two weeks.’ Brownenoser said she thought it would take a little longer, six months. When he came around to me, I blurted out, ‘Until hell freezes over.’ There was dead silence, and everybody just stared at me. Finally, Dr. ZZZZZ said, “Thank you for your honesty,” but it felt like the kiss of death.

Doctor: Hmmmm. This is a pretty easy diagnosis. It’s evident you have Glenlivet’s Disease.

VP: Glenlivet’s Disease?

Doctor: Yes. Unfortunate­ly it’s often misdiagnosed as Jack Danielitis or Absolutitis. But Glenlivet’s Disease affects people of Scottish descent more than the other ethnicities. Therefore, I recommend you take the bottle you currently have in your desk and flush it and switch to Wild Turkey.

VP: I’m going to do it right now, Doc. (Leaves singing)

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,

My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air,

Across the clouds I see my shadow fly

Out of the corner of my watering eye

A dream unthreatened by the morning light

Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

There’s no sensation to compare with this

Suspended animation, a state of bliss

IF ACCUSATIONS ARE TRUE, EITHER MAN WOULD FIT RIGHT IN: The Republican runoff in the 12th Congressional District is getting nastier by the day. I’ve heard of slinging mud. But manure?

That’s what I saw splattering on a photo of candidate Rick Allen’s face on TV last night. It was coming from a manure spreader. I was so struck by the image I didn’t hear what the accusations were. But e-mails from Lee Anderson’s camp accuse Allen of lying about his votes in the Legislature.

E-mails from Allen’s camp accuse Anderson of voting for tax increases, supporting TSPLOST, refusing to debate and lying.

“Lee, my message is simple: it’s time to put up or shut up,” Allen said in his latest missive. “You’ve been telling lies about me and my campaign for several weeks now; all I’m asking is for you to stand before the voters and defend these lies. You name the times and places.”

CALM AFTER THE PRIMARY STORM: In comparison, the Richmond County sheriff’s race has been a snooze.

Democratic runoff candidates Scott Peebles and Richard Roundtree appeared at a forum at Moses Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, and the only fireworks were those going off in the stormy sky outside.

As usual, the topic of race relations between the sheriff’s office and the community came up, as well as the disparity of black officers. Both candidates promised to implement recruitment programs in the black community.

HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG? Dave and Debbie Barbee are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary this weekend. The couple met in a Belk store in Concord, N.C., in 1967. He worked in the men’s department; she in the babies department. He came over one evening, introduced himself and said, “Let’s go have pizza after work.” And the rest is history.

City Ink thanks Johnny Mercer and Pink Floyd for their contributions to this week’s column.

Comments (17) Add comment
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Jerry Mander
16
Points
Jerry Mander 08/11/12 - 07:25 pm
12
0
No One's Confused. Azziz just lied.

The Board of Regents should fire Azziz for misrepresenting the state. This is fraud and Azziz should be prosecuted.

Fiat_Lux
15646
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/11/12 - 07:32 pm
12
0
The VP ain't alone

And I hear tell some people are looking for a manure spreader for when the new signs start going up.

The smilin' Dr. ZZZZZ may win the name battle, but it probably will cost him the war.

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 08/11/12 - 07:50 pm
9
1
Editing

I heard Romney's and Ryan's speeches this morning during the rains. Then, tonight, I heard the edited versions on NBC Nightly News. NBC played the single sentence where Ryan said, "We pledge to you, that we will lead." What NBC did not do was play the set-up sentence, the sentence that provided the context for the payoff sentence. Before Ryan's "we will lead" sentence, he said something to the effect that Romney and he will not blame those going before them. That is refreshing. That is taking responsibility.

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 08/11/12 - 10:05 pm
9
0
Can't the name be changed

Can't the name be changed back as soon as Azziz, err Da-zziz, is run out of town?

MD2013
101
Points
MD2013 08/11/12 - 10:19 pm
5
0
Needing more

We need more news coverage and a different name. This is ridiculous.

Doug Duncan
346
Points
Doug Duncan 08/12/12 - 12:20 am
5
2
NBC

Never Back Conservatives

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/12/12 - 12:22 am
2
2
Not everyone,

Sylvia.

seenitB4
88080
Points
seenitB4 08/12/12 - 07:05 am
5
0
Yea Augusta is worth fighting for!

Gerald O'Hara: Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.

Riverman1
84897
Points
Riverman1 08/12/12 - 11:32 am
7
1
I'll be Rhett Butler, the Realist

I recognize the greed and lust in most men and women. Looking for the true motive will always make you wiser. No one slips anything past me and makes me a babbling fool, but Scarlett.

My observations today: this column and the other article are surprisingly neutral regarding the sheriff's race. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm thinking about it.

The Democratic run-off for sheriff has come down to this:

"I'll hire 100 more black officers if I'm elected."

"Well, I'll hire 200 more black officers if I'm elected."

"I meant to say I'll hire 100 more black officers every year."

"Yeah, well, I'll hire 200 more every year."

"Well, I'll replace half the whites on the force immediately."

"Well, I'll get rid of all whites soon as I take office."

"If I see a white person come near the RCSO he will be arrested."

"Well, if any white sets foot in Richmond County..."

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/12/12 - 09:40 am
2
1
Lol RM. I sure wish the man

Lol RM.

I sure wish the man receiving praise on another article would "pull" all the big money folks out of all local politics too & let the citizens decide that as well.

I love Augusta too but most decisions made in the community, including the naming of our combo-college, were made long before it ever became news.

I have another filthy rich man on my mind to attend to today ... Book #1 devoured in 24 hours ... Book #2 downloaded & waiting :)

Shellman
623
Points
Shellman 08/12/12 - 02:21 pm
0
3
Google Augusta
Unpublished

Did some Googling of Augusta and this is the sort of stuff that comes up. Not exactly flattering. So I think you can understand why some people did not want to brand the new university with the name Augusta. http://disgustaga.blogspot.com/

seenitB4
88080
Points
seenitB4 08/12/12 - 02:39 pm
3
0
Delta

^^^Delta is ready when ever you get ready to go bye bye...

Little Lamb
46392
Points
Little Lamb 08/12/12 - 03:16 pm
0
0
Speech Text

Okay, I had it a little backward. The "blame" part of Ryan's speech came after the NBC sound bite, not before. Still, my premise is correct. Leading and taking responsibility instead of blaming Bush is what Romney and Ryan offer our country. Here is the text from Ryan's speech that I was trying to remember yesterday:

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this: We won’t duck the tough issues...we will lead! We won’t blame others...we will take responsibility! We won’t replace our founding principles...we will reapply them!

Blaming Bush has been Obama's mantra in his pathetic attempt to cover up his abject failures. It is time to move on.

KSL
131269
Points
KSL 08/12/12 - 03:25 pm
2
0
Shellman

Burn called you on that, on another thread. He said he gave up looking after going through 10 pages of Google. Riverman said that blog has averaged about 1 post a year.

Riverman1
84897
Points
Riverman1 08/12/12 - 04:21 pm
2
0
KSL, the site Shellman

KSL, the site Shellman directed us to has 5 members and has averaged about 1 post a year. I guess the 5 people can tell each other how bad things are every few years.

KSL
131269
Points
KSL 08/12/12 - 08:50 pm
1
0
Could he be the author of the

Could he be the author of the blog since he found it so easily, so he would have us believe?

Riverman1
84897
Points
Riverman1 08/13/12 - 04:02 am
0
0
John Ivey

I hear some say Robbie Silas shouldn't have run for sheriff, but it's pretty well known he was his own man and a serious candidate with the backing of some influential people. On the other hand, I wonder about John Ivey. Were there ulterior motives involved with his candidacy? It was out of character for him to run and he had little funding and backing. Something wasn't right with him running.

Karen Slater-McDaniel
3100
Points
Karen Slater-McDaniel 08/13/12 - 05:08 pm
1
0
F4ther we HAD one of those as

F4ther we HAD one of those as Sheriff ... regretfully he has decided to retire at the end of this year ... and I do not blame him one teeny tiny bit! Happy retirement Sheriff Ronnie Strength ... I hope you fish, hunt or whatever makes your heart content.

But F4ther you and I both know that no one is ever going to say that in a campaign ... they only say what they think the masses want to hear to get themselves elected. My only issue with that is there are people who actually believes what a politician says even after years of electing people who promise one thing and deliver another.

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