Kharobah Dreaming

Musings about academe in haphazard fashion.

ASU and GRU–What’s in a name?

Part of me is irritated that so much time and energy has been wasted on the “Save the A” campaign, even before it had coalesced into a cohesive effort with lawn sign postings.  I had never heard of Augusta State University until the job hit the Chronicle of Higher Education and folks from back home in New England assumed that it was a university in Augusta Maine.  Many times in my first year at Augusta State I mistakenly input “www.asu.edu” instead of “www.aug.edu” and ended up in Arizona State University.  I  do not think that it is a poor choice to consider leaving Augusta State University behind as the university consolidates with the former Medical College of Georgia.

Having said that, I did not select Georgia Regents University, either.  When the surveys were sent to faculty and staff, I had other choices ahead of Arsenal (which sounded like a military school), Georgia Regents (which sounded like a glorification of the Board of Regents and simply a kiss-backside way of getting in someone’s good graces), and some of the other historic names.

While having “Augusta” in the name is logical here in the South, I think folks are forgetting that there is a capital city in Maine.  While ASU is a catchy acronym, Arizona State University is a school with much greater student population and national recognition than the CSRA’s ASU.  And, folks are really not considering the fact that there are still some sore wounds not even healed at the change from the Medical College of Georgia to Georgia Health Sciences University.  A third and dramatic change for the medical school to Augusta State University or Augusta University, obviously would not sit well with those faculty, staff and students down the hill who, understandably, do not want to feel as though they have been absorbed into a new institution and then dissolved into nothing.

While Georgia Regents University is not in my top three favorite choices and even though we are being sued by Regent’s University in an out-of-state lawsuit,  GRU does not have any relation to either ASU or GHSU and can be considered a “new” name for a “new” university.  So, I am not wasting my energy, my breath, and any sort of fight against the name change.  Realistically, whoever makes the ultimate decision in Atlanta will most likely never meet me, nor I them…I’m too low on the status scale to have any effect on the Board of Regents.  Whatever they choose, I just hope that it happens quickly, so we can get on to the new “U”, new job duties (and perks), new (and more qualified) students, and, hopefully, a “new” raise for the first time since I arrived in 2007.

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One comment on “ASU and GRU–What’s in a name?

  1. Meg
    October 9, 2012

    While I agree with you 98% (don’t tell Ms. Barbara), I think that it’s not so much the name itself that people hate. I honestly believe that most people could learn to be neutral about “GRU,” (because let’s be honest, who could really like much less love “GRU?”); however, it’s the money and time that was wasted in surveys that implied some sort of public input.

    I usually liken it to the most recent Christopher Nolan Batman villain–Bane. When describing his dastardly plan, Bane is quoted as saying: “I will feed its people hope to poison their souls.” Not that Dr. Aziz intended to “poison [the] souls” of Augusta, but it’s the same premise. People are so angry because they were given hope that their feedback would be taken into consideration when they filled out all of those surveys.

    Other than that, spot on.

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2012 by in Academe.

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