Brigham talks 'obligation' to include Augusta in name of 'New U'

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tabled, but not off the table. That's the state of a formal commission resolution to include Augusta in the New U's name.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham wants commissioners to approve the resolution and send it to the Board of Regents in Atlanta as they try to settle on a new name for the soon-to-be-merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University. School leaders call the move premature.

Juanita Burney is one of many talking about the new name.

"You have to understand, I graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1972," Burney said. "I'm an MCG product. it will always be MCG to me."

You might call it school pride. That may behind Brigham's push to include Augusta in the new name.

"I hold no malice against the university. They can name it whatever they want to," Brigham said. "But I think we as a public body have an obligation to request that Augusta be included in the name."

GHSU leaders are less than pleased.

"Having resolutions from well-intended individuals won't be of much help today," said GHSU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz. "It will simply demonstrate that we Augustans don't seem to be able to communicate well."

Brigham says he decided to table the resolution to give all commissioners time to review the document. He says he will call for a vote at the next commission meeting in June.

"We simply don't support that resolution," said Bryan Ginn with GHSU. "We think if they take action tonight, it will be premature. We have reached out to the author of the resolution and asked that he hold that resolution until a future date."

"To be fair, we have not made any decisions," Azziz said. "We have to get good data."

School leaders are holding open forums on Wednesday. The first forum is at noon at the GHSU Auditoria Center. The second event is at 3 p.m. at the ASU Student Activities Center Ballroom. There will be a public meeting at the Children's Medical Center conference room at 5 p.m.


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