Augustans are all GRU now

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Enough already with the constant friction between Georgia Regents University and the greater Augusta community.

There is no rulebook on how one merges two long-standing and beloved institutions within one community. It is a thankless task, yet one that, if accomplished, could jettison both the institution and the community into a new and higher level of recognition and success. But that will only happen if we quit fighting one another!

Yes, mistakes are being made. This consolidation is occurring with insane deadlines and insufficient staff and resources. Frankly, I do not believe the most recent issue was really about the altered photos in the promotional pamphlet. The “error” made was not malicious in its intent – it was made to reduce confusion and to promote the unified identity to new students.

The real issue is about the community’s lack of embracement of the new GRU. Everything that is produced by GRU is viewed with skepticism and suspicion in the larger community. There are even some who say that “they” want to erase the proud heritage of Augusta State University (and it intrigues me that the community seems to care little that Georgia Health Sciences University has all but melted away in this search for a new collective identity, and that the Medical College of Georgia is now the name of the medical school only).

Who are “they”? We are all now Georgia Regents University, and frankly, I am proud to be a faculty member of the institution. The real question is when do we let go of the past and embrace our new future – together? If the energy expended on “Save the A” and other efforts designed to protest consolidation, was redirected to insuring the success of GRU, then GRU could be to Augusta what Stanford University is to Palo Alto, Calif. That is something we should all get behind and cheer.

Nothing is going to be perfect, but I challenge this community to become part of the solutions and not just problem-identifiers. We either will flourish together, or will continue in this confrontational farce until no one in academia wants to live in this community – and that is a loss from which the community will not recover.

We have the opportunity as a community to showcase and support our new consolidated university. I challenge and implore everyone to get behind it and to rally for its success, instead of nitpicking it to death. Give folks the benefit of the doubt, and do not ascribe nefarious motives to every mistake made.

Denise Kornegay

Augusta

(The writer is executive director of the Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Center Network, a partnership designed to increase the ranks of health professionals in rural and underserved parts of the state.)

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wordwright
134
Points
wordwright 03/07/13 - 07:46 am
14
1
Damaged

I appreciate your comments; however, I believe that the best way to move forward is to relieve Dr. Azziz from his position of leadership. Hiding the results of a $45,000 survey was a serious and intentional act. He intended for the name of the school to exclude the name Augusta. As far as the identity of GHSU--if I'm not mistaken, wasn't it renamed when he took command, as well?

One of the worst mistakes a newcomer to an area can make is to try to make too many far-reaching changes. Ask any new preacher who takes on a well-settled congregation. The Medical College of Georgia and Augusta State University were two widely recognized organizations with long histories in this area. To change their identities was a serious mistake in the first place. Any PR person should have known better than to alter photographs--that was a no-brainer, which wasted another $10,000. Dr. Azziz receives a no-confidence vote for his leadership of this merger, and I, for one (and probably many others), will never have any confidence in his leadership.

MadisonGH
59
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MadisonGH 03/07/13 - 07:50 am
8
0
What a mess!

God bless the next president. There is SO much cleaning up to do around here that the general public doesn't even know about! I hope the board of regents are regretting this decision. The economical state of the university, satisfactory rate, and overall morale is TERRIBLE! This whole merger and 2x name change was such a mistake. Infinite more damage than good has come of this.

MadisonGH
59
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MadisonGH 03/07/13 - 07:54 am
7
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Side note...

Yesterday Azziz sent out a mass email calling the removal of Augusta State from photographs a "isolated incident." I'm sorry, but you have removed Augusta States name and MCG's from everything in this city! It was simply the tip of the iceberg to wake up this city and remind them to rally around giving him the boot!

Bizkit
29479
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Bizkit 03/07/13 - 07:56 am
8
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I've watched the Prez at MCG

I've watched the Prez at MCG come and go and every one of them tried the same as Azziz to make the school a premier institution. Perhaps the reason it hasn't happened has nothing to do with the name or anything else but poor management of resources. Every time we were promised the sun and moon, yet I see no more recognition that thirty years ago. Rather than take advantage of a long history and numerous contributions from past faculty-they wipe the slate clean and try starting over? This union was supposedly to save money but it has turned into a big waste of taxpayers money-it seems an impeachable offense. My grandfather, father, uncles, and my spouse and I use to be proud graduates of MCG-now I have no idea what to call it. I heard Azziz call the medial school Georgia Health Science university. I doubt this Prez will keep the promises so many made before he came.

Bizkit
29479
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Bizkit 03/07/13 - 07:57 am
6
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I think Azziz prefers his own

I think Azziz prefers his own new name-ScrewU.

Bizkit
29479
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Bizkit 03/07/13 - 08:00 am
9
0
I wonder how much this

I wonder how much this editorial author was paid to promote the school? This is poor leadership by definition. A good leader takes advantage of the assets he has, and creates an atmosphere of success. I understand morale at GRU is at an all time low.

MadisonGH
59
Points
MadisonGH 03/07/13 - 08:09 am
7
1
BOMBSHELL!!!!!

Google "Denise Kornegay" the author of this article. The only result for that name is this article. Way to make up a fake person to write a bogus article!!!

Riverman1
79839
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Riverman1 03/07/13 - 08:19 am
7
1
Stanford Example

Very little energy by anyone was spent protesting consolidation. Outrage has been expressed over an incongruous name that has no regard for ASU. The way the school is identified now is to call it “The Summerville Campus.” The hospital is now GRUMC. By the way, does anyone think Palo Alto or any group in California would push to change the name of Stanford University?

The history of their medical school is interesting. Cooper Medical School became part of Stanford University in the last century and was renamed…guess what…Stanford University School of Medicine. Does anyone know of any merger of a medical school and university where the university lost its name?

The cliché to become part of the solutions and not just problem-identifiers works well for administrators if the problems embarrass them. Not so much for those who note the problems and want the glitches corrected.

Riverman1
79839
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Riverman1 03/07/13 - 08:20 am
9
0
Denise Kornegay is For Real

She works out of MCG with her organization that just received a big grant.

A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration supposedly to help Georgia Regents University diversify Georgia’s health care workforce.

MadisonGH
59
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MadisonGH 03/07/13 - 08:25 am
5
1
Denise Kornegay

Incredible how this article is her only online footprint. I still think this is part of a damage control plan from the university, not this woman's sole effort.

seenitB4
81913
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seenitB4 03/07/13 - 08:37 am
7
0
Make lemonade

I think many have tried to make lemonade out of the lemons...it just needs more sugar & we are running out of sugar...sugar..

nocnoc
38849
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nocnoc 03/07/13 - 08:41 am
5
0
I like the way Harley Drew put it yesterday on WGAC

"Just call it the college formerly known as Augusta State".

justthefacts
20507
Points
justthefacts 03/07/13 - 09:28 am
7
0
Oh sure, the country is broke.

But, we have money for this:
"A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration supposedly to help Georgia Regents University diversify Georgia’s health care workforce."

deestafford
24177
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deestafford 03/07/13 - 09:30 am
10
0
You don't come in to someone's home

and spit on the floor. That's what Azziz did right off the bat. It start with his "Augusta is not cool" comment and went downhill from there.

Tyler-Ray_Daddy
44
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Tyler-Ray_Daddy 03/07/13 - 11:59 am
7
0
Planned Elimination of ASU

I have said it before & will say it again for those of you to watch as it unfolds; I am of the opinion that consolidation has been an installed plan utilizing a back-door approach for Azziz and cronies to eliminate ASU in order to acquire the facilities/campus of ASU in order to expand the medical school. Eventually, the liberal arts, business school, etc. at ASU will be phased out. Just imagine how Azziz would like to have those beautiful acres and buildings to use as he sees fit.

crkgrdn
2287
Points
crkgrdn 03/07/13 - 10:05 am
6
0
A $2.5 million grant!?

Well isn't that just dandy? "Embracement" that.
This story becomes ever more sleazy and sordid by the moment.

john
894
Points
john 03/07/13 - 10:12 am
5
0
diversify the workforce?

How about actual patient care?

rebellious
20226
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rebellious 03/07/13 - 10:54 am
4
0
Tote

that water for Azziz!

harley_52
22304
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harley_52 03/07/13 - 12:38 pm
2
0
If Denise Wants To DIversify The Staff....

....perhaps she might start with her own office.

All chicks...

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 03/07/13 - 12:39 pm
2
0
I see a little campus-envy

I see a little campus-envy going on here. Dig in ASU and Godspeed

Fiat_Lux
14854
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/07/13 - 03:15 pm
2
0
Kornegay's program actually is a good one

She, however, is paid quite handsomely (2012 data):

Kornegay, Denise Director, Div/D $139,923.48 +$7,717.00 travel

Her staff also appear to be paid pretty well by MCG standards.
Public information available at: http://www.open.ga.gov/sta/viewMain.aud

Perhaps it's not difficult to understand why she would be loudly proclaiming the regime talking points. What is listed is the state's contribution w/out including any federal or private grant monies.

What kind of citizen can just blow off the past as if it were nothing of importance? One who ain't from here, that's what kind.

How long have you lived in Augusta, Ms. Kornegay? Judging by the territory you've covered, I doubt Augusta means any more to you than Statesboro or any other Georgia city does. You are loyal to the institution that pays you, not the community, so your thoughts on this matter should be considered with that information in hand.

Truth Matters
6316
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Truth Matters 03/07/13 - 01:36 pm
1
0
GRU....

Long after I graduated high school the county built a new school and named it after the county. My HS no longer exits; not in name but in the hearts of the many graduates, only. We all committed to keep it's legacy alive by holding class and all school reunions. We have a national alumni association that awards scholarships to the off spring of graduates. It is possible to move on.

For the second issue, we all know that Dr. Azziz was carrying out the mandate of the board of regents and the governor. Attacking everyone but those two entities shows misplaced efforts.

All ready people have turned the focus on Ms. Kornegay instead of focusing on the issue of the schools and how the collective community can ensure its success. Heaven us!

noxiousfumes
417
Points
noxiousfumes 03/07/13 - 02:40 pm
2
0
Confusing

Even though Wikepedia isn't the flagship of great scholarship, the entry for GRU is just as confusing as this lame-brained merger of a liberal arts university with a medical school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Regents_University

It pretty much erases the history of ASU.

justthefacts
20507
Points
justthefacts 03/07/13 - 02:42 pm
2
0
Truth

Right or wrong the focus transferred to Ms Kornegay because it the textbook example, albeit a small one, of why the Tea Party came into existence. The government always trying to take more money from taxpayers to finance these "programs", while screaming that they don't have enough to run the government.

Fiat_Lux
14854
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/07/13 - 03:02 pm
2
0
Yeah, yeah, Truth Matters

But it's not just the name, and people who care deeply about these institutions have leveled every bit as much protest against the BOR and about Nathan Deal's hiding out on the matter.

The merger itself wasn't being viewed as a bad or unwelcome idea-- until it became clear that it wasn't really a merger so much as commandeering all the resources of both while executing an all-but-complete erasure of the identities and heritage of the merged schools. That is what got and still has people boiling over.

Chris Gay
79
Points
Chris Gay 03/07/13 - 05:19 pm
4
0
I've misused a word a time or

I've misused a word a time or two before (and will likely do so again in the future) so I can certainly understand, but she chose the wrong word in the second paragraph. "Jettison" means to throw away/get rid of.

Darby
23730
Points
Darby 03/07/13 - 06:52 pm
3
0
"Enough already with the constant friction between....

Georgia Regents University and the greater Augusta community."

There is no such friction. The rub is with Azziz

Riverman1
79839
Points
Riverman1 03/07/13 - 06:56 pm
3
0
Letter Served Its Purpose

I have no doubt Ms. Kornegay's letter, poorly written as it is, served its purpose with her career at MCG. However, to the public she may have displayed her limitations.

Darby
23730
Points
Darby 03/07/13 - 07:13 pm
3
0
Nothing wrong with the letter that....

a thesaurus couldn't fix..

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