Well, here we are. Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz got his way and eliminated “Augusta” from the city’s only university supported by state tax dollars (tax dollars, by the way, that include the significant sums sent to Atlanta from Augusta). With this understanding, I have questions that have been bothering me since this fiasco began.
First, since, according to Dr. Azziz, Augusta is not “cool” and cannot be included in the name of the university, why doesn’t the new Georgia Regents University return the $10 million it received from the city for the purchase and development of Gilbert Manor? While this contribution would not be large enough to engender “naming rights” for the entire enterprise, it should allow for naming a facility or program.
Second, why should the city and its elected representatives support the narrowing of a major roadway for an enterprise that is obviously ashamed of its association with our city? Laney-Walker Boulevard has historical significance and provides direct connection between communities that need the connection. Universities around the country are divided by city streets.
Finally, are the regents who were hoodwinked by Dr. Azziz going to demand a return to the state coffers, – the taxpayers of Georgia – the $45,000 that was wasted on the study whose results were ignored? Since the funds were enterprise funds – funds given to GHSU by Georgia – shouldn’t the person at the top return those funds from his own resources? According to reports, it appears the results of this study were misrepresented for the Board of Regents to be able to point to the poll results to support Dr. Azziz’ choice of names.
Except for Regent William H. “Dink” NeSmith Jr., all other members of the Board of Regents who have any further political aspirations should think twice before asking Augustans to support their efforts, since they have shown us by their votes in this matter how much they value our input and support. Are you listening, Benjamin J. Tarbutton III?