It’s official. Sort of.
“Augusta” is back in the name of the city’s new consolidated university.
University officials, along with the head of the community-based “Save the A” campaign, announced with some fanfare Thursday that the merged schools of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University will heretofore be known as “Georgia Regents University Augusta.”
At least publicly. That will apparently be the name on the letterhead and on merchandise, and perhaps on tongues.
Officially, however, the name will still be Georgia Regents University – which is still the name that will be put forth to the entity that accredits colleges.
It does sound as if Save the A folks still hope to get the official name changed. But for now, we’re told that the Board of Regents won’t revisit the issue.
So, to summarize: It appears as if the official name will remain Georgia Regents University, but that, according to the press release, “Georgia Regents University Augusta will be the brand name used in the official logo and in marketing
efforts of Augusta’s new consolidated university.”
We’ll just have to see how the community feels about it, but Save the A officials – who have been fighting to get Augusta into the name – say they are pleased and satisfied. Bottom line: It appears to be the best we can do for now.
As long as we’re honest and open about it: This is not a “name change.” As one Save the A official put it, it’s a “name brand change.” Whether Augustans care about the difference remains to be seen.
For now, we heartily commend Gov. Nathan Deal for encouraging a compromise in the bitter months-long battle over the name, and perhaps influencing the university system to listen to Augusta. The brouhaha technically doesn’t involve the governor. But he recently met with the Save the A campaign folks, and speaking Tuesday night in Augusta the governor encouraged the community and the Board of Regents to arrive at an amicable solution.
Even the governor’s mild intervention might have been a dam-breaker, and we appreciate his willingness to help broker a compromise. It also marked an important – and desperately needed – message to Augusta that our pleas were heard in Atlanta.
Augustans have felt saddled with “Georgia Regents University,” as a name that essentially says nothing and has no brand recognition or relevance to Augusta. Early reviews Thursday at augustachronicle.com and Facebook were hardly any kinder to “Georgia Regents University Augusta.”
And it was unclear whether the bulk of the news media would be reporting the fact that the official name Georgia Regents University is going to remain. The name “Georgia Regents University Augusta” is but the “brand name.”
But it remains that the Save the A committee of local businessmen – the ones who managed to get us this far – obviously felt this was the best we could do at this point.
You do have to wonder: If this is going to be what everyone calls the university, why won’t the Board of Regents be asked to make it official?
If we’re supposed to buy the brand, why can’t they?