The compromise for the new name of the merged Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University shows that those involved just don’t get it.
Augustans should be insulted at the new name – “Georgia Regents University Augusta.” The new name seems to portray an Augusta that got fired up for the sole reason that they wanted their town in the name of the university. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The ire of the CSRA comes from a feeling that, in labeling the consolidated school, the Board of Regents and GHSU President Ricardo Azziz didn’t pay attention to the marketability of that name.
I challenge you: Go look through earlier letters to the editor and rants from the Rants and Raves column. The posts aren’t filled with opinions that “Augusta” should be included in the name for the satisfaction of the area. Rather, they want “Augusta” in the name because it’s an opportunity to market the new school well by connecting it to the city’s international notoriety. That’s why so many of those against the name cited the studies conducted that showed that the University of Augusta was the most popular name.
Where the Board of Regents, university officials and the Save the A campaign got it wrong is that they presumed that the fervor of Augustans came from a pride in their city when it stemmed more so from a concern for what is best for the school.
In throwing together this compromise, those involved created a name that was less marketable than the former name.
I urge those in control of the university name to reconsider. If the University of Augusta or Augusta University can’t be the name, then I believe that Georgia International University should be looked at as a compromise.
Why? Because those names are marketable, and marketability is what we want.