For better or worse, Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz has been successful in his charge to “be a change agent with the goal of moving GHSU into a top-tier, medical-research university.” This included the consolidation of GHSU with Augusta State University.
Dr. Azziz has had his way up to a point. With the drive and success he has had, it leaves one to wonder if he would have preferred a name such as the Ricardo Azziz School of Technology, or RAT for short. Those outstanding athletes, the Jaguars of ASU, could then be known as the RATs.
However, it was up to the Board of Regents to select the new name. To get advice on this, they paid Kennesaw State University $45,500 to make a national survey to select a name for the combined schools. In the initial list of names, Georgia Regents University was not even on the list. The University of Augusta was the preferred name both locally and nationally.
But in voting, the regents – perhaps with a feeling of omnipotence – preferred “Regents” in the name, and were not even given copies of the survey for which the state paid. (This reminds me of Congress, which acts like it wants input from the people it represents but don’t.)
The Aug. 16 Augusta Chronicle quoted Board of Regents Chairman Benjamin Tarbutton III, who represents the 12th Congressional District on the board, as saying “the board will not reconsider its action.”
I would like Tarbutton to be less confident. He should be advised never to overlook the power of the people that he represents. He should follow the survey he requested and use the name “University of Augusta,” and give the people what they want – or consider some new position.
Neil O. Myers