Nathan Deal convenes peace talks over ‘Augusta’ university

Gov. Nathan Deal has stepped into a hornets nest. And we’re not talking about charter schools. From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The group pushing to keep Augusta in the name of the newly consolidated university has initiated discussions with Board of Regents members looking for a possible compromise, officials said.

Nick Evans, the chairman of the Save the A campaign, said members of the group met last week with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Board of Regents “leadership,” including Chancellor Hank Huckaby and board Chairman Ben Tarbutton III.

At issue is the Board of Regents decision to give the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Service universities the name of Georgia Regents University.

The name choice has already provoked a trademark infringement lawsuit by Regents University in Virginia. The Banner-Herald article includes this paragraph:

Deal’s spokesman, Brian Robinson, said the governor facilitated the meeting in an effort to find a resolution to the contentious issue.

The problem? When these relationships don’t work out, everyone blames the matchmaker.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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25 comments Add your comment


October 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

The problem is Dr. Azziz the president of MCG. (It will always be MCG to me, get over it.) He is a pompus a$$ who has pretty much told to Augusta community to go pound sand. He has no support in the community at all and is pretty much in hiding. He needs to go.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

October 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

Billy Morris is up to his…. ears… in his latest attempt at practicing a crony capitalism upon the backs of the taxpayers of Augusta and Richmond County. To divert public attention in The Garden City of The South and its immediate environs from this less-than-civic effort, he “ginned up” the “Save the A” campaign. Furthermore, a not-insignificant consequence of Morris’ self-serving campaign has been to undermine the standing and influence of GHSU’s hard-charging, visionary President Dr. Rick Azziz, one of the few people in Augusta courageous enough to stand up to somebody who “buys ink by the barrel.”


October 23rd, 2012
2:23 pm

Why not The University of Georgia at Augusta?


October 23rd, 2012
2:32 pm

Ricardo Azziz needs to leave. Then, we can have a real and reasonable conversation. Until then, such progress is not possible.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

October 23rd, 2012
3:18 pm

“Georgia A & M” (Georgia Augusta & Medical)

No? Okay, how about…

“Georgia, P.C.” (Georgia, Politically Correct [Name])


“P.E.A.C.H.” (Politically Expedient Augusta College for Health)

Well, hell.

Every parent needs to read this

October 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

When the AJC and Cox Media Group-Atlanta upgraded the look and feel of the website, they decided to postpone the really crucial part: changing the blogging interface so that real log-ins would be required. That was not done because of “priorities” and “reallocation of funds.” Oh, the ad revenue will probably increase because of the pretty new look, but you, the end user are apparently less important than the window dressing.

By deferring the upgrade to the blogging environment they made the choice that certain features are going to continue as before. This means that somebody with Cox Media Group-Atlanta will have to manually remove offending posts when requested by users.

That means that

- racist
- misogonistic
- obscene
- homophobic
- threatening
- name calling

posts, as well as trolling creeps posing as other users, particularly on the sports blogs,
will be allowed to continue.

This is business-as-usual for Cox Media Group-Atlanta
and the, I guess. That promise of enhanced customer experience falls real short for end users, doesn’t it?

In order to protect your children from this trash content, I suggest that you set up individual user accounts in your operating system. For example, in Windows you keep the Admin account for yourself only, with a secret login name and password. Then, set up login accounts for the kids. As Admin, you can then enable PARENTAL CONTROLS to block offensive sites on the web. For your kids, I think that web site should be blocked, because the content is certainly offensive. You don’t want your children to be engaged in posting with these creeps, do you?

If you are concerned about the Cox Media Group-Atlanta’s wrong-headed priorities, let them know via e-mail or phone call. You are the customer, and their senior management claim to want to be sensitive to your customer experience.


October 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Dr Spinks @ 2:19,

As someone who was born and raised in Augusta and still has many friends there I can say without reservation that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. Maybe you can do something called research. I know, it might be difficult for you being a doctor and all, but at least try to have an opinion based on a silly word called facts. Thank you.


October 23rd, 2012
3:33 pm

Dear Parent,

If you do not like the contents of this, or any other blog, please consider a device on you computer called the off switch. It works wonders.

Everybody Else Who Knows How to Run a Computer

An observer

October 23rd, 2012
3:52 pm

Augusta College and Medical School sounds good.

Danny O

October 23rd, 2012
4:13 pm

Do the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim thing: Call the medical college Georgia Medical College at Augusta State University. The rest of the school can be called Augusta State University.

The Mirror

October 23rd, 2012
4:51 pm

What a long and detailed comment from a vendor obviously trying to get Cox to pay them to upgrade the AJC website….

And a rather transparent one at that.

Chaser of Stars

October 23rd, 2012
5:50 pm

Every parent needs to read this – 3:23

Hmmmmm…me thinks thou art one of those “…trolling creeps posing as other users,…” Could I be correct?

Metro Mensa Man

October 23rd, 2012
5:53 pm

@every parent, etc….
Could you please enlighten me and others on this blog and state what is your point? And, too, what are you obsessing about and why?

Former Augusta Resident

October 23rd, 2012
5:56 pm

MCG does not want to be “taken over” by a little ole 4 year college. ASU doesn’t want to lose their identity. The proposed name is stupid and very few folks in Augusta like it. While the Regents aren’t elected, they should still try to work something out that will satisfy the local population, not the President of MCG, and also avoid the costly lawsuit. The AG is probably wrong on the sovereign immunity question and the Judge doesn’t have to worry about re-election, so he won’t have to do the future governor’s bidding.


October 23rd, 2012
7:03 pm

The truth is that both huckaby and tarbitton work for nate money deal…

Nuff said…But beware this could be another smoke screen to cover up other
Corrupt activities..


October 23rd, 2012
8:04 pm

Every parent! Why do liberals continue to want to curtail Freedom of Speech,our First Admendment Right ! The Liberals idea that the meaning of the Constitution of the United States can be changed as time goes by means that in effect we have no Constitution to protect out liberties!


October 23rd, 2012
8:33 pm

The Medical College of Georgia sounds good to me.
I’ve been going there for a long time, and that name has such a warm, cozy, secure feel to it.


October 23rd, 2012
10:22 pm

GRU is an awful name, and points to the bureaucratic/technocratic nature of the Board as they dictate to the people of the state what its higher education program will be, whether the rest of the people are on board or not.

Leaving that aside…I would like to point out that many universities have colleges that have their own well-known names, in addition to the overarching university name. Consider the various colleges of Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard’s Radcliffe (before absorption) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government..

Consolidation for efficiency is fine, but there is no need for a Borg-like merger of school identities (”We are the Regents. You will be assmilated. Resistance is futile) when in fact there will still be a need for seperate academic units–as there is.

Thus, since the Regents have apparently put on mitres and deemed themselves infallible on this issue–there is still no need to get rid of the name Augusta State (with its individual colleges) or Medical College of Georgia (with same), but now as internal divisions of whatever the Regents have deigned to call the overarching thing, with that name residing in the background. This should be easy, because I doubt the two schools had much potential cross-traffic in students.

Unless it is more about will than anything else.

Augusta University

October 23rd, 2012
10:31 pm

Augusta University – concise and adaptable.

(”University of” should be reserved for “Georgia” school names.)


October 24th, 2012
12:00 am

So the new institution of higher learning doesn’t have a name. Well, many fine institutions of higher learning once didn’t have names, and they went on to become named institutions. But they had one thing that this new institution doesn’t have: A doctorate program of thinkology!

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

October 24th, 2012
12:26 am


I have lived in Augusta for 67 years and know whereof I write.

Buckhead Boy

October 24th, 2012
4:46 am

seabeau: “The Liberals idea that the meaning of the Constitution of the United States can be changed as time goes by means that in effect we have no Constitution to protect out liberties!”

I suppose then that Georgia must be very “Liberal” having had – what – ten constitutions with thousands of amendments?

John Jowers

October 24th, 2012
7:24 am

“Regents University” sounds like an online school – gunsmith license anyone? They should name the school “Medical College of Georgia.”

Frank Howell

October 24th, 2012
9:54 am

Dr. Spinks: you’ve given an editorial opinion as many if us have. I support your right to do so. You’ve waded into waters where your “Dr.” doesn’t count for much (I have one too…and worked at the USG Board Office). Now for my opinion..

The current situation is unworkable. Period. Whether he is another William Friday in the making or not, Dr Azziz has lost the mantle of leadership. Local communities ARE important for institutions of higher education…Ga Tech, clearly an international institution (I actually conducted their peer institution identification), would not do very well if either Mid-Town or Atlanta as a city did not support President Peterson or a tech as an institution. Many medical schools across the country are integrated into larger institutions with broad curriculum offerings. The MCG will survive…just like they will survive having an Athens campus.

Local Augusta folk have every right—as do their leaders—to voice their political beliefs about the GRU name. They pay taxes, yada yada yada. Ben Tarbutton and Nathan Deal are both from Sandersville and its not surprising that they might have a political alliance. So what? The Gov is right to get the parties to sit down and talk. While the name doesn’t matter on the one hand, the name does matter if it disrupts the expected support and leadership normally expected for institutions like this.

Drop the GRU; let Augusta have it’s name; let Dr. Azziz move along (send him to the Board Office and put him in charge of the Health Workforce Initiative); get a good leader that folks in Augusta, at the BOR, and the Nation can respect; and LET’S MOVE ON!


October 24th, 2012
3:25 pm

Augusta Medical and Polytechnic State University.