Regents approve new name for MCG: Georgia Health Sciences University

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ATLANTA (AP) -- The state Board of Regents has changed the name of the Medical College of Georgia.

The board voted Wednesday to rename the state's only public medical school the Georgia Health Sciences University. Officials say the college's name should reflect that the Augusta college has become more of a statewide institution with campuses in multiple Georgia cities.

MCG officials also say the name is confusing because the college offers more than just medical degrees. It also has programs in nursing, dentistry, allied health and graduate studies.

Under the change, the College of Medicine becomes the Medical College of Georgia and the entire university gets the new name.

The change takes effect in February. Officials estimate it will cost about $3 million to change campus signs and other printed materials.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

News release from the University System of Georgia - Board of Regents

ATLANTA, Ga. -- What’s in a name? When it comes to telling the full story of the missions of its 35 colleges and universities, plenty, according to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG). The board approved today a request from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) to change its name to Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU).

“The new name more accurately reflects and encompasses the broad and growing health sciences teaching and research mission we have, not just in Augusta, but statewide,” said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr.

Board Chair Willis Potts said, “Georgia Health Sciences University truly indicates the institution’s status as a comprehensive health sciences university that benefits the citizens of this state and nation as a whole and the board’s approval is a testament to our commitment to its mission.” The name change will take effect February 1, 2011.

The regents’ action today, while changing the name of the broader institution, will allow MCG President Ricardo Azziz to retain the historic name Medical College of Georgia for the university’s School of Medicine. MCG’s other four schools will change their designations to colleges.

“Georgia Health Sciences University better defines our institution as what it is – a comprehensive health sciences university and a modern academic health center,” said Azziz. “In this competitive world of rankings and reputation, we believe the new change will allow us to achieve the national prominence and recognition that this university community so richly deserves.”

The name change will not affect the MCG Health System or MCG Health. Both entities will retain their names, a reflection of their strong connection to the university’s medical school.

The board’s action today follows three independent studies conducted since 2007, all of which supported the renaming. Earlier this year, the possibility of a name change resurfaced during a MCG Health System retreat. Azziz and other MCG officials have engaged the university’s many constituent groups, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, corporate and community leaders, in the dialogue leading up to today’s board approval.

Founded in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia, the university has been renamed five times in its 182-year history. It was first named Medical College of Georgia in 1833 and has been called MCG continuously since 1950.

A website featuring frequently asked questions is available at:

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  • by anonymous Location: athens on Sep 20, 2010 at 02:12 PM
    This is the most outrageous thing I have ever heard of. I am a student at MCG in athens and just last year we were worried that we might not even be able to graduate because they were threatening to close our school down due to budget cuts. But somehow they have come up with $3 million to change the name of the school. That is the most rediculous waste of $3 million that I have ever heard of! This is stupid!!! Furthermore, I will be graduating in May 2011 and I took classes at Medical College of Georiga...Not Georgia Health Sciences University!!!! My diploma better say Medical College of Georgia!!!
  • by TK3 on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM
    What a waste of 3 million dollars the sick will end up paying for.
  • by Misty Location: Augusta on Sep 16, 2010 at 07:10 AM
    As a student at MCG, I am not happy about the name change for several reasons. One, it does not exhibit the professional nature that MCG does, but rather sounds like one of those internet diploma mills. I'm not opposed to a name change, but wouldn't Medical University of Georgia have sounded better while still providing the appropriate designations of colleges within the university. Secondly, I don't understand how such a large sum was passed to be budgeted when MCG was just cutting the budget earlier this year and attempting to cut programs! I agree with Bev in that this money could be more well spent on research, grants, or scholarships for students, but alas, I'm sure MCG will do the opposite and RAISE tuition so students foot the bill for what is not already budgeted. I will be requesting that MCG be placed on my diploma when I graduate next year.
  • by Me2 Location: Augusta on Sep 16, 2010 at 03:53 AM
    What part of "medical" don't they get? It's all-encompasing and serves the purpose quite well. Who gives a hoot about changing the name from MCG-besides some of the top brass? Wasted money but, then they seem to have received some stout windfalls from the hand-out stimulus crap.
  • by Let Down Location: MCG on Sep 16, 2010 at 03:08 AM
    Most employees haven't had a rais in over 3 years, but Azziz is going to blow 3 million! I was hoping he was smarter than this...I guess not. Folks still call ASU - Augusta College, and I like many others will still call it MCG. No matter what the name is changed to.
  • by Bo Location: Augusta on Sep 15, 2010 at 08:20 PM
    No raises for three years (unless you are a select few VP's), budgets cut to the point you can barely operate, staff cut to the bone, insurance and benefits continue to cost more every year, and the best idea to come out of this crowd is to spend 3 mil to change the name. Nobody cares about the staff at MCG and they have proved it. Now watch the best people start retiring or just getting out.
  • by Bev Location: Hephzibah on Sep 15, 2010 at 03:24 PM
    As a College it already shows that it is diversified and being Medical makes it even better. You have a Medically diversified Colege that they should be using that money for grants for students that are in need or to update equipment.
  • by Mary Location: Augusta on Sep 15, 2010 at 03:19 PM
    This new name just sounds like a fancy name for any other hospital, and does not reflect that this is a State Medical School...that is very well know, not just here, but nationally. As a breast cancer survivor, I feel this 3 million dollars would be better served by putting it into research for cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes or a multitude of other debilitating diseases! The name is perfect as is. In this economy, just how long do you think it will take to recoup this money? I also feel the new president is moving extremely fast in making changes that don't need making, and it's not making him appealing to our community.
  • by Kenneth Location: Augusta on Sep 15, 2010 at 03:19 PM
    Is it just me or is spending 2.8 or what ever amount of money to change the name worth it in this economy? I think not with people out of work. What are they thinking MCG was known nation wide as good teaching hospital. This just goes to show medical companys are making too much money. They seem to forget who pays the bills I belive more people will now go to one of the other area hospitals, they don't have to pay for a name change.
  • by Anonymous Location: Augusta on Sep 15, 2010 at 03:17 PM
    I tink it is a move to pave the way for a stand alone medical school at the University of Georgia. Medical College of Georgia could be confused with the University of Georgia School of Medicine by those outside the system. Again Augusta is going to be left out in the cold due to politics at the Board of Regents level when UGA gets its own medical school.
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