If GRU name stays, will medical school leave Augusta?

There could be a very good reason that Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz refuses to consider a name change to one with “Augusta” in it. Is it possible he has an agenda being kept close to the vest because it would cause an even bigger furor than the name change has caused? I fear that Dr. Azziz is to our college consolidation what corporate downsizer Al Dunlap (“Chainsaw Al”) was to business.


Azziz knows a neutral name could work better in Athens or anywhere than “University of Augusta” or “Augusta University.” He has stated that the medical college is not moving while he’s here. Exactly how long will he be here? Like Dunlap, will he be here long enough to consolidate the schools, get them on track, cut a great number of employees and then leave the actual move to a new leader?

Azziz has not been honest with the name issue. Why should we believe anything else he says?

It is odd that all we heard for a long time was that the then-Medical College of Georgia needed to be in Athens. Even the powers-that-be in Atlanta were pushing the move. The topic died with the talk of consolidation. Has this lulled us into believing the medical college will remain here when consolidation is finished? Is keeping the medical college here really part of the big picture?

If we will not see big results for another 10 to 20 years, as Azziz has stated, maybe there are other plans we are not aware of – a medical school move, perhaps? Certainly Azziz cannot say he needs a neutral name so he can raise funds to move the medical college out of town. He just has to keep that issue to himself and ram the name “Georgia Regents University” down our throats until we give up.

To those who wish to move forward and accept the new name so we can begin to make progress, be careful what you wish for. You might accept the name and make donations to the school only to watch your beloved newly named medical school moved. Few will care or know about its history when it’s Georgia Regents University of Athens.

I, for one, will not donate another dime to this effort.

Mary Ellen Zielinski


Topic Page: University Merger


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