AUGUSTA, Ga. - On a quiet college campus in Augusta, you can hear the change coming. The finger pointing has ended. The final bell has rung. Georgia Regents University is changing its name to Augusta University.
Students, like Summer Asbury, find it a bit crazy. “In a sense,” Asbury says, “you're wasting money a little bit.”
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to change the name in September.
If the name change sounds familiar, it should.
MORE: Click here to view the name survey (PDF)
Three years ago, this university was called Augusta State University. The Board of Regents decided to merge Augusta State with the state's medical college. So, the Regents commissioned a nearly $50,000 study to pick the best name for the new research institute.
The top two choices were Augusta University and University of Augusta. The winner: Georgia Regents University. That's right, seems the Regents liked the name Regents.
A Regents spokesperson told us via email that it was actually the former University president who "strongly recommended" the name to "gain national and international stature."
The taxpayer’s cost to make all the changes from Augusta State University to Georgia Regents University was some four million dollars.
Associate professor, Andrew Kemp, said it was a nightmare: “We had to change letter heads, business cards, signs on the highway, every document we have, including our email.”
Until September of this year, with a new Augusta born university president, Dr. Brooks Keel, leading the charge, the Board of Regents reversed its decision.
Georgia Regents University is out. The new name is Augusta University. “Augusta University is not new,” says Keel, “it had widespread support two years ago.”
But, the new name change could cost taxpayers another four million dollars. Debbie Dooley, of Georgia Tea Party Patriots, thinks it is all a crazy, colossal waste of taxpayers' money.
“It should make everyone mad,” says Dooley. “It is ridiculous what they are doing. This should infuriate everyone, every taxpayer in Georgia should be angry about this.”
Dooley suggest the money should come from private donors and alumni.
“They act as if it is monopoly money,” says Ms. Dooley. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to spend a dime on this.”