A new engine of growth

New university lacks name, but not excitement or anticipation

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Rarely has Augusta seen such monumental progress occur so swiftly and sweepingly.

The state Board of Regents’ move Tuesday to consolidate Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University is historic, decisive, profound and exciting for the Augusta area.

Things changed forever this week.

Amid understandable concerns over jobs and the nuts and bolts of it all, thoughts turned quickly to what the new institution should be named. We’d love your ideas (see inset).

What’s in a name? Well, consider: The former Medical College of Georgia only last year allocated up to $2.9 million for its name change to GHSU – though much of the money had already been earmarked for signage anyway. It just goes to show you how important a name is.

That will be particularly true, and a much more delicate matter, in the case of the combined institution. You want to somehow reflect the statewide reach of the combined mission, but still honor Augusta’s role in it.

Of course, the more important matter is that both ASU and GHSU will be strengthened by the merger. Together, they will be an even greater engine of growth for the city and state.

It’s also exciting news that Gov. Nathan Deal has asked the legislature to restore $5 million in cancer research at the GHSU Cancer Research Center, in an effort to have it someday designated as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center. It would be the second in Georgia, after the one at Emory, and would take the center’s prestige, funding, faculty and reputation to unprecedented levels here.

The governor and lawmakers will no doubt get blowback from other areas and interests in the state, so they are to be congratulated heartily for having the wisdom and gumption to understand that these things are investments, not just expenses. Investments pay dividends, and nothing pays dividends like investing in education and health care.

Deal also has shown absolutely superb vision in asking lawmakers to partially fund 400 new residencies for doctor training – an investment of $1.2 million the first year, and $22 million total over four years. The program would split the cost of new residencies with the hospitals that host them – and would further bolster GHSU’s standing and its efforts to provide the growing state with desperately needed health care professionals in the future.

The Board of Regents quickly formed a committee to implement the residency expansion should the legislature go along – and signs are that it will.

Such radical and transformative change rarely happens so quickly.

It’s been a great start to the year.

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Riverman1
86668
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Riverman1 01/14/12 - 07:10 am
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I swear they should name the

I swear they should name the measure to fund more residencies as a way to increase the physicians in the state after Riverman. "He" started calling for this measure before anyone.

Now the trick is to MAKE county owned University Hospital fully get onboard with the plan. The problem is existing staffs don't want to train specialists who will later compete with them if they stay at the same hospital. Training more residents is going to be a matter that requires much pushing with state hospitals.

Riverman1
86668
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Riverman1 01/14/12 - 07:48 am
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I've got to say there have

I've got to say there have been some of the funniest comments I've seen in a long time being negative about the merger. One theme that made me laugh is many thought the undergraduate program at ASU would somehow be combined with the medical school or vice versa. Then we were told there were now 10,000 students at the medical college.

Some of that played over into the naming game. Many wanted to call it all something with medical in the name, completely forgetting the undergrad part will have little to do with the medical school except possible a pre-med program. Then there's the lack of understanding that, in reality, the hospital is separate from the medical school.

I mean do some think ASU students will be operating on them? Or medical students will be in classes at Hull? (Actually, that may not be a bad idea.)

agustinian
706
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agustinian 01/14/12 - 08:14 am
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Combining two government

Combining two government agencies to make an "engine of growth" is just nutty. They teach and suck up taxpayer dollars. How does that translate to "engine of growth"?
They are worthwhile institutions and worthy of funding, but let's not gild the lily.
If this is such a great idea, let's have a report in 5 years on all the savings and growth generated by this shotgun marriage. You up for that Dr. A?

Riverman1
86668
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Riverman1 01/14/12 - 09:07 am
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A hospital in Augusta is

A hospital in Augusta is about to undergo major downsizing resulting in the loss of many jobs.

blues550
380
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blues550 01/14/12 - 09:24 am
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The merger certainly does
Unpublished

The merger certainly does mean growth. It gives us a major college with many different schools.

Next step is to bring athletics to the same level the golf team enjoys.

freeradical
1102
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freeradical 01/14/12 - 10:18 am
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Nationalized / Socialized /

Nationalized / Socialized / government medicine for one and all ,

except the most priviledged and favored , is coming.

You can count on it.

And there is no aspect of life that will remain untouched by it's

incestous lust.

This is nothing more than a bunch of soft headed academic socialists

falling all over themselves to be first in line to grab the ankles , and

be "cool" for big daddy.

The only slip up they made was fogetting to tell the sheople that all

these new jobs created by this "economic engine" were of the "shovel

ready " type.

But no matter.

Sheople are so stupid.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 01/14/12 - 11:51 am
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Calling the merger an "engine

Calling the merger an "engine for growth" is a conclusion, but again there are no facts to back up this conclusion.

What is a merger if not the "nuts and bolts of it all"?

Think about who goes to ASU and MCG and then think about the nuts and bolts of the merger. The result won't be growth.

freeradical
1102
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freeradical 01/14/12 - 12:34 pm
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Nationalized / Socialized

Nationalized / Socialized medicine is coming.

And they know it.

This is nothing more than the soon to be federalized academic liberals

getting their ducks in a row, under the same umbrella in a frantic

effort to be the first in line to to grab the ankles for big

daddy and give our children the Post Office equivilant of Medicine.

All the while feeding the local sheople a generous helping of "

economic engine", "shovel ready jobs", etc , etc,etc,etc,,,,,,.

People are such sheople.

Dipshot
-5
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Dipshot 01/14/12 - 03:30 pm
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Yes.. and engine for growth

Yes.. and engine for growth that will be steaming straight up US 78 to Athens, GA

socks99
250
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socks99 01/14/12 - 05:50 pm
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No, Augusta, GA, behind

No, Augusta, GA, behind Athens, GA, apparently stands to benefit from a politicized Regents fully on board with playing regions against one another in both what they promise and what they deliver.

From above, however, the politicization -- where Regents vote more funding for their particular alma maters -- is a troubling development very likely to reduce the effectiveness of GA's higher education system as it boosts its costs.

Granted, medical education stands alone from other units in the System, and its effectiveness can directly impact the standard of living of Georgians. But where was this effort BEFORE the Regents rode to the rescue?

1. The system produced too many specialists and too few GP's.
2. Relatively few of the graduates were encouraged to practice within the state that funded their educations due to ...
A. A lack of residencies and an anti-competitive bent among practicing physicians.
B. The fact that smaller and poorer communities could not afford to provide the incomes and lifestyles so many MCG graduates have come to expect and demand.

Sonny Perdue, perhaps, initiated the 'beggar-thy-neighbor' politicized Regents system with his provincial appointments. Now Deal governs over a Regents that intends, apparently, to make amends in Augusta for what was decided before. At least that's seems to be the word and hint from Atlanta.

Unfortunately, GA's higher education system will serve state citizens less effectively in the future. While there may be provincial gains for some, there may also be a net loss for the state as a whole. If University Presidents and administrators were the only power-hungry, greedy folks involved in education, then an objective Regents could rein them in. Unfortunately, the Regents now are encouraging provincial efforts all over the state in the hopes that local citizens personal greed and provincial interests will rubber-stamp the Regents new, reckless politicization.

Riverman1
86668
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Riverman1 01/14/12 - 05:58 pm
0
0
Socks99, a thinking post as

Socks99, a thinking post as you usually have. There is one thing about this merger. Once it's established, it's a done deal. ASU has suddenly and unexpectedly entered the bigtime with a major public med school. This is not a deal like Mercer with their tiny med school. This is big...as we all know.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 01/14/12 - 06:30 pm
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Deal appears willing to fund

Deal appears willing to fund the Regents at a higher level and Augusta may well reap the benefit. On the other hand, if that's simply a re-election ploy, and the higher education system has entered into a new era of high political volatility, a high level of uncertainty might retard effectiveness and make workers think twice about taking jobs in the system, or staying in the system.

Education, per se, should NEVER have been tossed into the political fray. In addition to Regents 'playing favorites,' we now see state leaders holding-up education as the savior of the battered economy. They don't understand that that system needs a very long-term commitment and support and that at best it can only indirectly support the larger economy.

Oh, well. When the best researchers and professors began moving out of state to more stable systems, then we'll know why.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 01/14/12 - 07:03 pm
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0
If you have a business that
Unpublished

If you have a business that was cutting jobs due to a recent merger (think MCG transition to GHSU) and now a new merger is planned.... just how will this be a catalyst for growth?

freeradical
1102
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freeradical 01/14/12 - 10:40 pm
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0
This is just academic

This is just academic anticipation of the posterior pluking that is

coming.

They want to be first in line to grab the ankles.

Nationalized / Socialized medicine is coming .

Everyone knows it .

And no one here has the cahonies to deny it.

Mezmerized sheople waiting for promised "shovel ready jobs"

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