University officials are reaching out to the community to choose a name for the newly-consolidated schools. (WRDW-TV / June 15, 2012)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Our cameras were the only ones rolling as the Board of Regents ratified Georgia Regents University as the new name for Augusta's "New U." Many local people are planning for protests and petitions.
But what options do local people have? We went straight to the top with some of your comments.
"It's a stupid name," said Troy Mcneill on our WRDW Facebook page.
"Sounds like the name of one of those online schools where you get a worthless diploma," said Clinton Ryan on Facebook.
You are not pulling any punches about the new name for the soon-to-be-merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University.
"It is a bit sad," said GHSU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz. "I'm a bit disappointed, but we are moving forward to the future."
Azziz spoke exclusively to News 12 as the chorus of boos grows louder here at home.
"Is there anything that can be done? Will you change your mind?" we asked Benjamin Tarbutton, chairman of the Board of Regents. " I think it is pretty much settled. We have the final say-so on that."
A special committee on consolidation considered three names, including Georgia Regents University.
"I was really happy about that. They actually chose from the three names that we submitted. They could have chosen any name," Azziz said. "I think that the community of Augusta needs to embrace and move forward. We have got a great future ahead of us."
Tarbutton echoes that sentiment.
"When the dust settles, I know that the people in Augusta will support the school like they always have," Tarbutton said.
Meanwhile, local radio host Austin Rhodes is planning a protest at Doug Barnard Amphitheater on Monday, Aug. 20.
"They have a right to express themselves as long as they do it professionally," Azziz said. "As long as they do it in a courteous manner, as long as they do it safely."
There is a public forum next Thursday at Augusta State starting at noon. The forum starts at 3 p.m. at GHSU.