What’s in a name? If it’s Georgia Regents University, it’s what’s not in the name. Augusta.

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.

As Augusta Chronicle sportswriter Chris Gay wrote,

“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.

In an editorial, the Augusta Chronicle explains why the choice is so upsetting to Augustans:

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

107 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

August 8th, 2012
12:01 pm

Let’s not only hack off an entire community, let’s double down on that by coming up with a STUPID SOUNDING NAME.

Bernie

August 8th, 2012
12:10 pm

Yes, Maureen this story does have less of an impact and concern for ALL STUDENTS of Georgia when it comes to seeking and obtaining a higher education
in GEORGIA!

Keep them confused, distracted and uninformed!

mathmom

August 8th, 2012
12:26 pm

Why is it not Georgia Regents’ University? Doesn’t the name imply that it is the Regents’ school?

The obvious thing for students to do is transfer to a different school. When there are no students, the school will have to be closed. It won’t matter what the name is. Vote with your feet.

Tom

August 8th, 2012
12:40 pm

I don’t find Georgia Regents University any worse than Georgia Health Sciences University, which sounded like something one would hear advertised at 3am on SyFy offering Medical Transcription certificates.

Remember this involved the “Medical College of Georgia” and with all due respect to Augusta, a very fine city with a lot to be proud of, this school should have a name that feels bigger than a city of 200k. Georgia International would have been a reasonable compromise in my opinion but it’s clear the UGa supporters (who drove the moronic GHSU name change in the first place when MCG dared to oppose their medical school) wouldn’t want an institution to appear bigger than the old lady in Athens.

PR

August 8th, 2012
12:48 pm

What do you expect? It was named by a bunch of self-serving Georgian a-holes!

Beatings will continue until morale improves

August 8th, 2012
12:56 pm

GRUSOM
Georgia Regents University School of Medicine….

Ha ha ha

Totally confused

August 8th, 2012
1:00 pm

So my daughter who is in medical school at this institution – applied to Medical College of GA, started at GA Health Sciences University and will now continue at GA Regents University. Looks like 3 schools in 3 years. How would the regents like that on their resume?

Don Miller

August 8th, 2012
1:01 pm

I would beg to differ with you, Ms. Downey. Georgia Regents University is much more than Augusta, Georgia’s local college. As I have a masters and specialists from the formerly named Augusta College, brand recognition carries much more weight than the local community evidently realizes. Now that the Medical College of Georgia no longer exists (albeit in name only) perhaps many of their graduates scattered around the world can breathe a sigh of relief in that there actually is much to do about nothing, just as when the name was changed from Augusta College to Augusta State University. Perhaps the School of Education can now offer doctorate degrees? After all, when all is said and done, what does a college degree afford an individual other than a certificate or license? Obviously, by virtue of the many in academia’s stance on a name, it does not make one more intelligent!

K-Ster

August 8th, 2012
1:08 pm

Mathmom is RIGHT! We’ll be the joke for numerous groups who want to say that ‘technically’ proper grammar would make the name GEORGIA REGENTS’ UNIVERSITY (notice the ‘ symbol after Regents, to show plural possession).

With all these name changes, why are we being PC with geographical generalizations? What’s next? “Mid-South-Central-Off-Intersate-75-South-Past-Macon-State-International-College-University”?

If we’re going to regroup and alter our universities, maybe we should try the naming system popular in states such as California. Examples: University or Georgia, Atlanta (In place of GSU); University of Georgia; Augusta (in place of GA Regents University); etc.

The Board’s justification is petty. They want to name these institutions to enable citizens to expand their “area” of ideology on place-name locations. Basically, the Board thinks we’z all dumbs.

P.S. – I served on the Student Advisory Council of the University System of Georgia half a decade ago. I’m not anti-USG BoR. I’m for both sides of the issue. But the BoR is made up of retired-or-rich well connected people who never attended the Student Advisory Council meetings (which happened ONCE a semester). These board members are out of touch. I say we elect them!

old cool cat

August 8th, 2012
1:11 pm

Would you want a medical degree from a school with no history, with no name recognition and a really stupid name? Residency programs around the country are familiar with Medical College of Georgia but these new names? No. As someone posted, it sounds like they are attending one of those schools advertised on really bad, really late night tv. Yikes.

Bryan G.

August 8th, 2012
1:13 pm

That name is terrible. Why not University of Georgia at Augusta? Or just University of Augusta? Hell….or just consolidate it as Augusta State U. The name sounds like a BS for profit school.

Jay

August 8th, 2012
1:21 pm

Georgia Board of Regents is TERRIBLE. They are ruining higher education in Georgia. Need proof? Take a look at dwindling attendance. Parents and families will gladly spend their thousands of dollars in other schools and states.

Really?

August 8th, 2012
1:28 pm

There are Regents’ Professors at GSU, UGA, GT and whatever MCG is or isn’t being called. It seems odd to use the Regents’ moniker (and yes it should have the apostrophe as there are more than one Regent). Bad name, bad idea, second change and each costs millions of dollars in signage, email address changes, stationary, business cards and other forms etc.. .waste of money at at time when the University System of Georgia is going to experience yet another decrease in funding.. 3% now, 3% in the next budget year. Really????

bubba dodd

August 8th, 2012
1:28 pm

I’d like to know the names of the selfserving, ego inflated, dumbbells that came up with such a suck ass name for Augusta’s college!! Why do they hate us so much?

Old timer

August 8th, 2012
1:49 pm

UGA. Augusta sounds better.

spider

August 8th, 2012
1:52 pm

and lets not forget there is a college ROCKFORD COLLEGE in rockford, ill that their nickname is the REGENTS, and yes they have a football team,NAIA i believe.

The Ghost of Edward R. Murrow

August 8th, 2012
2:04 pm

Well, anybody who knows anything about or anybody in/from Augusta has to be laughing because it’s predictable what this kind of thing does to the Blue-Blood-Country-Club-Umpteenth-Generation-National-Golf-Membership-Provincial-Augusta crowd. I can hear the cuss words muttering over vats of single malt scotch at the club, now.

That fun aside, it’s hard to figure out why the Regents picked the name Regents.

Hell, how about “Richmond (as in county) Tech”?

“Savannah River School of Student Loan Debt”?

“Michael Adams University East”?

“James Brown University”?

“S.C.U.B.A” (”school or campus that used to be augusta”)?

Hey, I’ve got it….”Georgia A & M” (”Georgia Augusta and Medical”)

There ya go.

bootney farnsworth

August 8th, 2012
2:09 pm

God help us. the Regents have lost their minds, and Fran Millar is worried about teachers.

Jasmine

August 8th, 2012
2:15 pm

August has too much international name recognition to change the name for both colleges. Why not keep both universities as Augusta State University.

Charles Burdette

August 8th, 2012
2:17 pm

The “President” of the new combined University has alot of answering to do. I wonder how he plans on gaining the trust and support of ANYBODY, student or citizen, after helping to usher in such an abomination to our community. God willing the good people at Regents University in Virginia will sue the pants off these morons.

bigdawg88

August 8th, 2012
2:20 pm

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta isn’t any good? Yeah, I’d be mad if I lived in August too. Is UGA getting a medical school or something?

Blake

August 8th, 2012
2:25 pm

I’ll be applying to med school in a year, and I had wanted to stay in Georgia for it. But you can bet I won’t be looking to get my medical degree from “Georgia Regents University.” Sounds no better than “University of Phoenix Medical School”

Bill & Ed's Excellent Adventure

August 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

Get ready for the re-brand in 5 years from now…

Scrod

August 8th, 2012
2:30 pm

@Tom – check your facts. As of the 2010 American Community Survey, the CSRA had a total population of 709,433. The Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area (at the center of the CSRA) had a population of 543,738, making it the second largest in the State of Georgia.

Mike

August 8th, 2012
2:33 pm

I can’t wait to change my resume……..I’ll get asked at every interview if this is an online degree or they might just assume it….sux

Bill & Ed's Excellent Adventure

August 8th, 2012
2:38 pm

@scrod thank you for your comment, as I thought @Tom’s remarks to be a bit condescending. The “GRU” naming is a total snub to Augusta.

OldGrunt

August 8th, 2012
2:39 pm

The James Brown ‘I FEEL GOOD’ University

Fuzzy Zoeller

August 8th, 2012
2:42 pm

and now introducing your 2010 and 2011 National Champion Men’s Golf Teams from…Georgia Regents University???????

Gary

August 8th, 2012
2:56 pm

Interesting that Regent University complained about this. After all the went from being CBN University to Regent, even though there already was a Regent College. I hate the name Georgia Regents University, but I would like to see Pat Robertson get a taste of his own cooking.

Mascot Controversy Next

August 8th, 2012
2:56 pm

I hope they don’t get as much criticism for choosing
the university mascot.

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia State Panthers

Georgia Regents ___________?

Mark

August 8th, 2012
3:03 pm

You people are fools.

-Augusta is the second largest metro area in the state.

-The new university CANNOT be called Augusta State U. All the doctors that work there (remember, these people see patients, these people aren’t just professors) would revolt. Same goes for University of Augusta. All the professionals at MCG are already pissed that they have to merge with ASU. And for good reason. MCG was a very well respected medical school. ASU is a second rate school liberal arts school. Merging them waters down GA’s only medical school.

-MCG won’t be the only medical school for long. UGA is dying to get their own. This whole episode (MCG-GHSU-Merger with ASU-GRU) is because UGA alumni have 10 (TEN!!!!!) seats on the Board of Regents. It’s not too long before MCG is based out of Athens.

And for everyone’s information, MCG still exist, it’s just rolled up into GHSU. http://www.georgiahealth.edu/medicine/

mathmom

August 8th, 2012
3:08 pm

BigDawg – I know you know that UGA has just started its medical school…well, maybe it’s MCG’s medical school in Athens (http://www.georgiahealth.edu/medicine/expansion/) or maybe it’s the Georgia Health Science University in Athens or maybe it’s the Georgia Regents [sic] University in Athens.

K-Ster

August 8th, 2012
3:12 pm

Love it. Eternally: “Georgia Regents [sic] University”

Ron Roberts

August 8th, 2012
3:21 pm

Tom, Auburn, Clemson, Syracuse, NY are all cities with less than 200,000 people within their borders. Everyone knows where those cities are, and the schools benefit mutually. In Augusta’s case, Augusta actually TRUMPS those cities, and the likes of Louisville, Cincinnati, Boise, in that – internationally – Augusta’s VERY well-known, thanks to the Masters’ Golf Tournament.

Georgia Health Science made sense only because the name properly provided, in it’s name, what the school’s educational focus was, although in a more cumbersome manner than “Medical College of Georgia” actually did.

Honestly

August 8th, 2012
3:21 pm

I feel sorry for those good Augustans who have now lost their identity. There is indeed much to a name. Consider North Georgia College & State University soon ,thankfully, to be the University of North Georgia. NGCSU was at least a compromise, albeit a contorted one, among well meaning alumni and community folk. What Augusta now has defies logic.

Eppie

August 8th, 2012
3:27 pm

f the word “regents” is being used as noun, an apostrophe should be used because it is a possessive noun. If the word is being used as an adjective, as indicated by Dr. Aziz, then the “s” should be dropped. Using “regents” in the plural form implies they are using the word as a noun. This is elementary school grammar. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Tom

August 8th, 2012
3:29 pm

Scrod: I did check my facts… a little web site called the U.S. Census Bureau…the 2010 census for Augusta-Richmond County is… drum roll please… 195,844.

I’m proud you claim your metropolitan area, which is indeed a little over a half a million but approximately a third of that is in South Carolina. Just keep in mind the company you keep: Augusta’s metro area ranks 92nd in the country… behind McAllen, TX and Lakeland, FL and just ahead of Ogden, UT and Jackson, MS.

Outside of the southeastern U.S., Augusta begins and ends with the Masters tournament. I’m sorry if y’all take offense to the notion but the state of Georgia should be branding it’s premier state funded medical school with something bigger than Augusta.

Andre

August 8th, 2012
3:29 pm

Say it out LOUD, Georgia Regents. What does that sound like?

Tom

August 8th, 2012
3:31 pm

And yes, I realize it should be “… branding its premier …” before the Richmond County Schools grammar nazis attack. :-D

catlady

August 8th, 2012
3:32 pm

K-Ster: Or Hot as H3ll, Backwater State U.

I hope the people of Augusta and the alums raise cain, like the folks did back when Portch came up with all these great ideas like this.

Bill & Ed's Excellent Adventure

August 8th, 2012
3:35 pm

@Tom you’re the only one on here who likes that weird name…just sayin’

Clarence

August 8th, 2012
3:37 pm

Their new mascot is going to be the guy from Despicable Me… GRU.

catlady

August 8th, 2012
3:37 pm

Ms. Downey, have the Regents announced a budget for the changeover? Because it won’t be free; it will take significant bucks to change the signage, stationery, etc.

catlady

August 8th, 2012
3:40 pm

Mascot controversy: Georgia Regents Proctoscopists

K-Ster

August 8th, 2012
3:40 pm

It just donned on me. The new name sounds like “Georgia REJECTS University” if you’re not careful.

NOT SO WELL DONE

August 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

It’s actually ” I couldn’t care less.”

MCG MD!

August 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

The Regents are a bunch of knuckleheads. They have taken an excellent and highly regarded medical school and made it sound like an online school. Changing the name to GHSU was asinine in the first place. I never felt like my Georgia Tech education was lacking just because I didn’t attend a “university.” As a graduate of both GT and MCG, I would have preferred that MCG became the University of Georgia, Medical School over its current, embarrassing incarnation. They only way for Dr. Azziz to retain any degree of respectability is for him to resign. The entire process has made me sad for the future of medicine in Georgia.

Hillbilly D

August 8th, 2012
3:48 pm

I guess all this renaming keeps them from having to worry with the real problems.

Not an alum

August 8th, 2012
4:01 pm

Pathetic…………we can expect no less from those involved.

Austin

August 8th, 2012
4:03 pm

Augusta at 195k is bigger than Syracuse, NY at 173k. Good enough for them, good enough for us.