'Help us rebuild'

Georgia Regents University name still is an insult, but don't let bitterness spoil an effective consolidation

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This page has been forthright in its undying opposition to the Georgia Regents University name, as well as the ugly manner of the consolidation that gave rise to it.

Get over it? Never. It’s a perfectly putrid name, though the stench of it attaches as much to the way it was chosen: Augustans were duped into thinking they had input into the name, when it appears all along the fix was in. Officials even had to ignore the results of a $45,000 national survey that ranked University of Augusta, or something akin to it, as the top choice.

As for the “Georgia Regents University” name, if they had been test-marketing it as a new product, it never would have been manufactured.

The whole thing is an enduring insult to Augusta.

Even at this late date, we encourage supporters of the former Augusta State University – which was consolidated with the former Medical College of Georgia to make GRU – to keep their heads up and their spirits unbowed.

That’s not easy, we know. We realize faculty, staff and administration at the former ASU feel they have not been treated at all well by the GRU leadership. We know you feel the health sciences campus has run roughshod over you, with tremendous disregard for the years of able service you’ve put in.

Though no one has been bold enough to speak out about what’s been going on – the dearth of whistleblowers has been staggering – we do hear things.

We also are at a complete loss as to why the state seems to have no interest in any of this – and has dutifully ignored a soaringly eloquent letter of warning from former ASU interim President Shirley Kenny, in which she diplomatically but powerfully skewered the consolidation process.

Having said all that, we would also urge our friends at the former ASU (now known as GRU’s Summerville campus) not to focus their hurt and anger on their colleagues from the health sciences campus.

We met recently with an anonymous source from the health sciences campus – one who says she was once a supporter of the “Save the A” campaign to keep Augusta in the name of the consolidated university. And she says she has lost sympathy for folks at the Summerville campus because of their continued bitterness and even hostility toward her and others from downtown.

This worker tells us she’s tried to treat former ASU colleagues with respect and even kid gloves, but that “I am still treated with hostility, hatred and bitterness. ...

“Help us rebuild the community. You’ll find that most everyone on the Health Sciences campus is just like you. We are trying to get a job done the best way we know how ...”

We don’t know whether the war is over as she says – we certainly won’t give up – but we’d implore our friends at the former ASU to pick their battles wisely. Rank-and-file soldiers from the health sciences campus aren’t the enemy, any more than you are theirs.

Rather, speak out if you feel wronged; many in the news media would allow you to do so anonymously. Let your legislators know how you feel. Let the governor and Board of Regents know.

And since we know of several people on the medical college side of the merged campus who also are dissatisfied with the university’s name, a “Save the A” petition from this group would be a splendid show of support.

But everyone should work toward a smooth and effective consolidation – from both ends.

That being said, all of this ill will could just go away if one thing happened.

Change. The. Name.

It is the issue. The remaining employees of the former ASU are the stepchildren of a lost institution, and they have every right to be unhappy.

Anyone who still hopes to “Save the A” can be asked to forgive. They shouldn’t be expected to forget.

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Riverman1
93691
Points
Riverman1 08/11/13 - 07:31 am
4
1
Azziz Told Us Early What He Was Going To Do

Many of us felt the consolidation wasn’t a bad thing and believed it would help ASU. It still may. But there are problems with the name. Calling ASU “The Summerville Campus” only works in certain cases. It’s unwieldy. Then when the medical portion is being identified it’s necessary to add special identifiers. University of Augusta, UA Medical School and UA Hospital would have solved those problems. I still believe the sports teams will simply be known as Augusta.

I remember writing a questioning comment early on in the name making process when Azzis said something like he wanted the name to reflect something bigger. That set off warning bells although I later tried to push it aside like everyone else, rationalizing he had to use U of A or AU when the final list to choose from was announced. I was even trying to influence him a bit saying it had to be UA because the Regents name was so hideous.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 08/11/13 - 08:41 am
0
0
Azziz is the "corporate hatchet man" from the home office.
Unpublished

Azziz is the "corporate hatchet man" from the home office.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 08/11/13 - 08:42 am
0
0
Azziz had no connection or loyalty to Augusta Georgia/Augustans.
Unpublished

Azziz had no connection or loyalty to Augusta Georgia/Augustans.

scamp1
103
Points
scamp1 08/11/13 - 09:28 am
3
0
Lies

A true consolidation could have been "not a bad thing" if it had been a true consolidation instead of a hostile takeover, if it had been done openly and correctly, and most importantly, if it had had a strong and trustworthy leader - like Bill Bloodworth. A good leader does not lie! Azziz, the Chancellor and, yes, the Governor, lied. The takeover was a sneak attack - an Augusta Pearl Harbor. It is true that the staff and faculty at MCG are not to blame and should not be treated badly. The whole situation is so much worse than the name. To make the ill will begin to go away would take one thing in addition to changing the name. Get. Rid. Of. Azziz.

GraceAnna
3
Points
GraceAnna 08/11/13 - 09:35 am
1
5
Oh for the love of Pete!

Just stop it! Nobody on the planet is crazy about the name!

However, at this point the "worker bees' on BOTH campuses have long since forgotten about the name. Honestly, we are just too busy! We are more worried about getting students processed, enrolled, and registered not to mention, ensuring we have quality professors who are processed and ready to teach.
The "worker bees" on both campuses understand that some marriages begin with weddings that required a lot of planning, while others begin with shotgun weddings. The "shotgun' wedding and ultimate marriage of two very different campuses, completely different systems and foreign terminology has made this marriage more confusing and frustrating for both campuses than any God-forsaken name change! Like all marriages, there will be growing pains, there will be disagreements, there will be differences, and fifty years from now, there will sill be folks who are not happy.

As for the person who is treated with bitterness, hostility, and hatred, I do not know the college or department on the Summerville campus you are referring too, but I can assure you that type of treatment to ANYONE is the EXCEPTION and NOT THE RULE!

"Please Augusta Chronicle, just let it go. We ALL have A LOT of work to do!"

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 08/11/13 - 12:05 pm
1
2
moving on here ....

I agree, it's time to move on. The name stinks, but the vision still remains. The Augusta community will greatly benefit from the plans of growth, and let's face it, those of us bitter with the name change will eventually die off and there will be a whole generation moving forward that just knew GRU. I am not planning on taking the resentment to the grave with me. There are plenty of other more serious issues to deal with in this world. Once you put things into perspective it's easier to move on.

corgimom
38440
Points
corgimom 08/11/13 - 07:00 pm
4
0
It is my opinion that the

It is my opinion that the reason why the people at ASU are bitter and hostile is because they know, beyond all doubt, that they are going to get shafted. They spent their lives, their careers, at ASU and it has all fallen apart.

Nobody believes that the ASU campus is going to get its fair share of anything. Azziz is all about MCG and Downtown.

Azziz has already proven himself to be totally dishonest. I wouldn't believe him if he told me the sun was shining.

moderate321
338
Points
moderate321 08/11/13 - 08:27 pm
1
2
GraceAnna is Exactly Right

I truly don't know anyone who treats anyone with bitterness, hostility, or hatred. That is truly overstated. Are there actions/decisions which many have questioned or disagreed with? Of course! But for the most part the faculty that I know at Summerville are generally supportive of the the new University.

KSL
143817
Points
KSL 08/11/13 - 10:38 pm
1
1
A merger of 2,very different

A merger of 2,very different entities. .Just how many students come from afar to attend ASU, except for recruited athletes?

KSL
143817
Points
KSL 08/11/13 - 10:45 pm
1
2
No way would I have gone to

No way would I have gone to West Georgia, which was 20+ miles from my home.Nor GA State, 40 miles. Or UGA, for that matter. Sorry, justthefacts. Neither of my parents, both grads of UGA, ever expressed any interest in me going there.

llewallen
72
Points
llewallen 08/13/13 - 06:55 am
0
0
Consolidation

I think ASU came out on the short stick in the ever expanding Aziz empire. I'm not sure why anyone agreed to it. ASU was solvent wasn't it?

I think it was a ploy for him to get his hands on all that Hope money to fund expansions at MCG.

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