While none of the names of the four newly merged Georgia colleges and universities is that inspiring, one is turning out to be downright polarizing.
Folks in Augusta are livid over the outcome of the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. The decision to christen the new entity Georgia Regents University is drawing fire as this Facebook protest page indicates.
Why, people are asking, was Augusta erased from the name? What’s odd is that the other three new merged schools reference their regions in their names, South Georgia State College, the University of North Georgia and Middle Georgia State College.
“I guess we should congratulate the Board of Regents on the birth of their son today because many of us will now call this new university ‘Georgia Board of Regents University.’ How narcissistic can you get? We should all call this new university ‘Junior.’ University of Augusta may not mean much others, but for we Augustans and the many others who graduated from Augusta College or Augusta State University it means a lot. Thanks to Dr. Azziz, the Georgia Board of Regents and others who could care less about Augusta for showing blatant disregard to our community today with this tomfoolish name — Georgia Regents University.”
The choice of Georgia Regents University also led to a stern letter from Regent University in Virginia asking the Georgia Board of Regents to reconsider the name.
In a letter to the Georgia Board of Regents, an attorney for Regent University wrote:
Regent University just learned that the agenda for the August 7, 2012, meeting of the Georgia Board of Regents includes a resolution for the approval of the name “Georgia Regents University” as the new name for the consolidated institution of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. We believe that any use by your institution of the mark “Georgia Regents University” in the United States is likely to cause confusion with Regent University’s REGENT UNIVERSITY trademarks.
Such use is also likely to lead persons to believe that the Georgia Regents University and its educational services are in some way associated with or endorsed by REGENT UNIVERSITY. Further, such use will serve to dilute Regent University’s trademarks. Please note that Regent University would like to resolve this matter with your institution amicably.
Therefore, we request that the Board of Regents select another name for use as the new name for the consolidated institution of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.
The name has zero relevance to anything and even less appeal. It’s not a nod to any person, place or thing – other than, perhaps the state Board of Regents which approved it.
It’s hard to imagine “Georgia Regents University” engendering the kind of emotional connection one normally associates with an alma mater. Certainly the local community will have a tougher time welling up affection for an institution that used to have Augusta in its name but no longer does.
Even so, Georgia Regents? Really? That’s the best they can do after half a year of posturing and polling?
If it’s mandatory to get “Georgia” in the name, what about Georgia Arts and Sciences University, one of the three finalists the regents chose from? Or Georgia International University? Or, of course, the clear-cut most popular and most obvious name: The University of Augusta.
But Georgia Regents? They chose the absolute worst option of the three.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog