What’s in a Name?

Memo to the Board of Regents: What’s in a name? A lot of things.

A few days ago, the Board of Regents pushed forward with a bold plan; merge eight schools into four and cut administrative costs. The plan makes sense. By merging schools, the Board effectively eliminated a number of administrators while still providing the same services (and perhaps more degree options in some areas.) But some will undoubtedly raise questions about future mergers, if any occur.  For example, how do we justify not merging Albany State and Darton?

The Board will have to deal with that subject at a later date. Right now the immediate issue involves the names of these newly merged schools. The Medical College of Georgia spent a great deal of time and money changing it’s name to Georgia Health Sciences University, however the school is now being merged with Augusta State. And what are students of GHSU concerned about? The name. All of that time and money will be for naught  now, as the school won’t be able to maintain it’s current name while merging with Augusta State.

But there are other things to be lost. Middle Georgia College was one of the oldest two-year colleges in the country. Just one glance at the Cochran campus will leave one realizing that the school is full of history. Macon State, on the other hand, is a very modern looking school and began it’s life in the 1960s. One has to wonder how the culture and design of these two schools will fit together. The Board made it clear that Macon State would be running the show, or so the President of Middle Georgia believes.

Consider this a plea to the Board of Regents, and these new university administrations; don’t throw away a name. If Macon State is to become the university for central Georgia, then bless it with the name Middle Georgia College. Which name is more fitting? A name that describes the region that the school serves? Or a name that the school will share with a prison? Likewise, and no offense to the folks down in Waycross, why name that school anything other than “South Georgia College?”

I’ve found two constants in my career after undergrad; no matter where I have gone, everyone has been able to figure out where Middle Georgia College and where Georgia Southwestern State University are located. Not the precise cities, but the generalized location. Perhaps those names just make sense.


  1. Bridget says:

    I’m a Southern Poly grad and hit the roof when there were rumors of merging with Kennesaw State. Most folks have a lot of pride in their alma maters; a name means a lot to me too. Southern Poly is an engineering school, which is why I went there. Kennesaw State has its merits, but the student culture is COMPLETELY different. A Southern Poly degree means something in my industry. Kennesaw State? Not so much.

    What is the trade off between lower administrative costs versus lower ‘worth’ of the degree to alumni ?

    • CobbGOPer says:

      So my degree is worth less than yours because Southern Tech is an engineering school? Because while it may not be known in your industry (because we aren’t an engineering school… yet), KSU is known on a much wider scale. My degree, while worthless in your field, is beneficial enough to me elsewhere.

      And honestly, I’ve lived here all my life and I can’t name one person I’ve ever known or met who went to Southern Tech. No offense.

  2. Engineer says:

    I still don’t understand why they couldn’t merge the same city universities/colleges first?

    While I am no student of Waycross College, I did grow up in the county above it, so I think I may be able to give a bit of insight on why the Waycross College bunch is so vocal. The main reason there was a lot of complaints regarding the Waycross College merger is since it is a smaller school, it is a more personal school and a lot of folks didn’t want to lose that. Then of course there is town pride, but that is another issue altogether.

    Truth be told, I was more surprised that they didn’t try to merge Coastal Georgia Community College with Waycross College and some other college into ABAC.

    In regards to Georgia Southwestern State University, I know that feel. I’ve had so many times that people seem to think GSW is in Statesboro (It seems that most people in the state lack a basic grasp of geography.). Usually I just end up saying that it is in the same county Jimmy Carter is from, or that it is north of Albany, usually then they go, “ohhhhhh”.

  3. drjay says:

    i fear my alma mater is going to get screwed over royally by the forces of nature now swirling around it, au revoir mcg, you had a good run, sorry to see it end…

    • Charlie says:

      While I can understand the apprehension, I’d also try to look at it this way. With UGA getting a Med School, it was fast on the path to gettting screwed over anyway. By combining with Augusta State, there’s now a school with both size and degree pedigree/importance that it can compete with the big dogs (pun somewhat intended) when sitting at the BOR’s funding table.

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