Only on 12: Local newspaper publisher calls Georgia Regents University name a 'stroke of genius'

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Renderings of proposed cancer center location in blue. Education Commons in yellow. (WRDW-TV)

Renderings of proposed cancer center location in blue. Education Commons in yellow. (WRDW-TV)

You have an opportunity to weigh in on the name at a community forum this Thursday at noon at ASU. There is a 3 p.m. forum at GHSU. Radio host Austin Rhodes is hosting a protest next Monday on the campus of ASU.

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The new name for Augusta's "New U" is being called a "stroke of genius" as the dollars continue pouring in for campus improvements.

We got our hands on new renderings that show a new research cancer center that will change the face of the busy 15th Street. It includes a crosswalk to the new cancer building.

This comes as a local newspaper publisher announces his support of Georgia Regents University.

Your comments about the soon-to-be-merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University's new name, Georgia Regents University, have been blistering. It forced school president Dr. Ricardo Azziz to pen a blog in defense of the Board of Regent's decision.

"I think it is a stroke of genius on Dr. Azziz's behalf to get them to buy into naming it after them," said local Urban Pro Weekly Publisher Ben Hasan.

Hasan says it was not long ago when questions about the school's future in Augusta made headlines.

"And at this point in time, he has gotten them to turn the page and write a whole new chapter with them governing Georgia Regents University," Hasan said. "I think it is a stroke of genius."

Hasan points to the recent $10 million donation toward naming rights for the new Education Commons buildings and recommendations from the regents to funnel $45 million towards a new $100 million Cancer Research building for Georgia Regents University.

"I'm not in love with the name," Hasan said, "but I understand he did it with people who have the purse strings."

However, the naming process leaves a lot to be desired. A $45,000 survey revealed respondents in Georgia and around the country looked most favorably on "University of Augusta."

"You spend money on a survey. The survey gives you the results. Is it smart to just ignore the results?" we asked David Brond who is in charge of marketing the new name that he says received a "neutral" response from those surveyed.

"That allows us to actually build a brand," said Brond, who is preparing for the 'New U' name to be officially unveiled in January. "The decision has been made. Given the time frame that we have, we can't afford to wait."

Hasan insists the Board of Regents now has a stake in making sure the university prospers.

"At the end of the day, money runs the ship, and you must have the resources," Hasan said. "The Board of Regents is immediately committing the resources to make that happen."

You have an opportunity to weigh in on the name at a community forum this Thursday at noon at ASU. There is a 3 p.m. forum at GHSU. Radio host Austin Rhodes is hosting a protest next Monday on the campus of ASU.

Here are some documents from the naming process:
-Committing Naming Votes (PDF)
-Literature Reviewed (PDF)
-Naming Survey Analysis and Community Recommendations (PDF)
-Categorized Naming Survey Analysis and Community Recommendations 2 (PDF)
-Ranking Worksheet (PDF)
-Top National U with City in Name (PDF)
-University Name Working File (PDF)
-Wave 1 and 2 Results (PDF)
-Wave 1 Faculty Peer Results (PDF)
-Wave 1 Community Naming Survey Analysis Preliminary (PDF)
-Wave 1 Community Naming Survey Analysis Final (PDF)
-Wave 3 Results (PDF)
-What's in a Name Summary Analysis (PDF)


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