Georgia Regents University

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Georgia Regents University
Georgia Regents University
Former names
as Georgia Health Sciences University: Medical Academy of Georgia, Medical Institute of Georgia, Medical College of Georgia
as Augusta State University: Augusta Junior College, Augusta College
Established 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia
Type Public, Research university
Endowment $121.3 million[1]
President Ricardo Azziz
Academic staff
1,000+ full-time [2]
Administrative staff
Students 9,183[2]
Undergraduates 6,700+[2]
Postgraduates 892[3][3]
Other students
Location Augusta, Georgia, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Blue      and Gray     
Nickname Jaguars[4]

Georgia Regents University (GRU) is a public academic health center with its main campus located in Augusta, Georgia, United States. It is one of the four public research universities in the University System of Georgia (USG). GRU comprises nine colleges and schools: the College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Arts, Humanities, and Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, College of Education, College of Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, College of Science and Mathematics, the Hull College of Business, and the Medical College of Georgia.[5]

On January 8, 2012, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the merger of Georgia Health Sciences University with Augusta State University.[6] On August 7, 2012, the Georgia Board of Regents named the merged universities Georgia Regents University.[7] On October 25, 2012, the university added the city's name to the university name for marketing purposes, which is Georgia Regents University Augusta.[8]

In addition to the nine colleges, the university enterprise includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center, the Children's Hospital of Georgia,[9] outpatient clinics, classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, a student center, a wellness center and a medical education library. The entire complex has a full-time instructional faculty of 651, a volunteer clinical faculty of 1,795 and a staff of over 3,000, making it the second-largest employer in the region with an annual economic impact of $2 billion.[10]

The university receives over $99 million annually in total sponsored research funding.[11] It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which found all 39 Principles of Accreditation to be compliant at the school.[12]


Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU)[edit]

GHSU Presidents
G. Lombard Kelly, M.D. 1950–1953
Edgar R. Pund, M.D. 1953–1958
Harry B. O'Rear, M.D. 1958–1972
William H. Moretz, M.D. 1972–1983
Jesse L. Steinfeld, M.D. 1983–1987
Francis J. Tedesco, M.D. 1988–2001
Daniel W. Rahn, M.D. 2001–2010
Ricardo Azziz, M.D. 2010–2012
ASU Presidents[13]
George P. Butler 1925–1930
James L. Skinner 1930–1937
Eric W. Hardy 1937–1954
Anton P. Markert 1954–1958
Gerald B. Robbins 1958–1970
George A. Christenberry 1970–1986
Richard K. Wallace 1987–1991
Martha K. Farmer (interim) 1991–1993
William A. Bloodworth, Jr. 1993–2012
Shirley S. Kenny (interim)[14] 2012–2013

Augusta State University (ASU)[edit]

GHSU–ASU consolidation[edit]

On January 8, 2012, the Georgia Board of Regents unanimously approved the merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.[15] Ricardo Azziz was appointed president of the new institution.

Immediately, discussion turned to what the new name of the consolidated university would be – with suggestions coming from all aspects of the Augusta community.[16] A Consolidation Working Group, composed of leaders from both institutions, worked on market testing submitted names from the community as well as using data generated by local news[17] to whittle down the list of names. Eventually, they had a list of six – two based on geography, two aspirational, and two based on proper names.[18]

The list of revealed names generated mixed public opinion,[19][20] though the public was asked to vote on the proposed names via social media and a web site set up for the consolidation process.[21] A month later the group whittled the list down to two, with a new name added to the mix[22] for submission to the Board of Regents for their final decision.

The revealed names generated outrage in the entire Augusta area, as none of final three contained the city's name in it. Furthermore, news outlets reported that a marketing survey showed "University of Augusta" and "Augusta University" were the only two names on the list of six that generated highly positive remarks. But a report by The Augusta Chronicle showed that open-records requests revealed the GHSU President emailed the co-chair of the Consolidation Working Group, encouraging names without Augusta in it.[23] On August 7, the Georgia Board of Regents named the consolidated universities "Georgia Regents University."[17] Students and community members alike protested,[24] banding together in a "Save the A" campaign, which ultimately led to the city name being used "for marketing purposes only" but not in the official name.[25]

Regent University (based in Virginia) subsequently filed a lawsuit for a trademark infringement against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia over the name change in August 2012. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June 2013.[26][27][28][29] The Georgia Regents name has created controversy among students and alumni within the two predecessor institutions as well as the Augusta community at-large; those protesting against the name had supported the lawsuit in hopes that it would force the University System to consider a change.[30]

The university also added the city's name to the university name for marketing purposes, which is Georgia Regents University Augusta.[31]

While the name was the hot topic, other issues faced administrators as they sought to combine two university faculties and staffs into one, with the purpose of saving money. TIME magazine wrote that consolidation is "becoming increasingly common …" to help combat needs necessitated by lowering budgets for higher education, and focused on the ASU-GHSU consolidation as the prime example.[32]

In addition, Augusta State had been listed as one of the lowest in the nation in six-year graduation rates, in part because its mission was to be openly accessible to the greatest amount of students. Falling enrollment rates – partially blamed on demographics, which were heavily local students, and partially blamed on HOPE Scholarship cuts – were a primary issue from Augusta State.[33] But the recent consolidation of the health system and medical university at Georgia Health Sciences University, in addition to overlapping nursing courses with undergraduate-level offering at Augusta State, were also issues administrators faced.


The medical crest is displayed all over Georgia Regents University's campus.

GRU offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees through its nine colleges and schools.

College of Allied Health Sciences[edit]

The College of Allied Health Sciences offers master’s degree programs in medical illustration; medical laboratory, imaging and radiologic sciences; dental hygiene; health informatics; occupational therapy; physician assistant; physical therapy; and public health. Bachelor of Science programs include medical laboratory, imaging and radiologic sciences; dental hygiene; health informatics; and respiratory therapy. Established in 1968, the college enrolled 516 students in fall 2011.[34]

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences[edit]

Allgood Hall houses departments from two of GRU's colleges

Named in honor of philanthropist and alumna Katherine Reese Pamplin, the college houses seven departments with 17 undergraduate and one graduate degree programs:[35] Art; Communications; English and Foreign Languages, History, Anthropology, and Philosophy; Music; Political Science; and Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work. The college also boasts a certificate program in European Union Studies.

Accreditations include the Council on Social Work Education,[36] National Association of Schools of Art and Design,[37] National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration,[38] and the National Association of Schools of Music.[39]

The University’s Center for Public Service and Research is housed in the department of Political Science, as is Model United Nations.[40] Other extracurriculars include Model Arab League, a partnership with the GRU Cancer Center to offer art and music therapy to patients on the Health Sciences campus,[41] The Bell Ringer, an award-winning student newspaper,[42] among others.

James M. Hull College of Business[edit]

The James M. Hull College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB),[43] and has been since 1999. It was given its current name in 2006 after James M. Hull, who donated two million dollars to the college and university as a whole - the largest such gift in Augusta State school history. It offers undergraduate degrees in Accounting (from the Knox School of Accountancy), Computer Science, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Management Information Systems (MIS), and an MBA program for graduate students.[44]

The Summerville campus at Georgia Regents University includes an Amphitheatre and Science Hall, pictured here.

College of Dental Medicine[edit]

The College of Dental Medicine offers a four-year program leading to a doctor of dental medicine degree and is fully accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The curriculum covers oral biology, clinical sciences, behavioral sciences and management. A state-of-the-art building housing 10 departments, faculty and student clinical practice facilities and research laboratories opened in fall 2011. Enrollment is anticipated to increase to 400 by 2016.

A newly opened dental facility will enable the state's only dental college to increase its class size to 100 by 2016.[45] The GRU/University of Georgia partnership campus in Athens will enable the Medical College of Georgia to increase class size to 300 by 2020.

College of Education[edit]

The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE),[46] which found "no improvements needed" upon their last inspection completed in 2012.[47] The college offers undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Pre-K–12 Programs. Graduate students may pursue a Masters of Teaching (MAT), Masters of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), or Master of Science (MS).

College of Graduate Studies[edit]

The Graduate School offers programs leading to master, specialist in education, and doctoral degrees in the fields of education, business, biomedical science, biostatistics, allied health science, nursing, psychology, and public administration. It also hosts GRU's Graduate Research Day, as well as provides support for the Student Training and Research program, which provides research learning opportunities for students.[48]

Medical College of Georgia[edit]

The Medical College of Georgia's freshman class of 230 students is among the 10 largest medical school classes in the country and is expected to grow to 300 within 10 years. The college's expansion plan includes the Medical College of Georgia/University of Georgia Medical Partnership campus in Athens, clinical campuses in Albany, Rome and Savannah, and the Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick.[49] Enrollment in 2011–12 totaled 852.

College of Nursing[edit]

The Graduate Statue, which resides outside an entrance to Georgia Regents University's Greenblatt Library on its Health Sciences campus.

The college first opened in 1943 as the department of nursing education within the University of Georgia College of Education, with an Atlanta-based center to offer graduate courses. It relocated to the then-Medical College of Georgia in 1956 to become the MCG School of Nursing.[50]

The school was renamed the Georgia Health Sciences University College of Nursing in 2011, reflecting MCG’s name change. In 2013, the GHSU College of Nursing and ASU nursing department became the GRU College of Nursing.[51] It produces the most nurses in Georgia on a yearly basis.[52]

It offers BSN, MS, DNP, and Ph.D programs, and was ranked 44th in graduate nursing programs in the 2011 US News and Report.[53]

The college contains many programs, including the 10th Doctor of Nursing program, several nurse practitioner programs, a Master’s-entry Clinical Nurse Leader Program, as well as Georgia’s only nursing anesthesia program.[54][55] There are initiatives with East Central Regional Hospital,[56] Good Samaritan House,[57] Healthy Grandparents Program,[58] Costa-Layman’s Nursery,[59] and a partnership with Jjaghan University in China.[60]

The college has satellite campuses in Athens and Columbus.

The college is also home to the Beta Omicron chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

College of Science and Mathematics[edit]

The College of Science and Mathematics is made up of five departments: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics, Military Science, and Psychology. It offers 15 undergraduate degrees, a minor in Military Science which grants a graduate the rank of Second Lieutenant, and an M.S. Program in Psychology with three tracks.[61]


The Health Sciences Building hosts a variety of departments and classes

GRU's main campus in Augusta, Georgia, encompasses more than 200 acres and has four local campuses. It is made up of the former campuses between Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University, with additions from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.[62]

Health Sciences[edit]

The Health Sciences campus first began in 1913 as the college moved to the Newton building and expanded from there, with the Dugas Building in 1937 marking the earliest building currently on the campus. The first clinical facility opened as the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital in 1956.[63]

Located in Augusta's Medical District, the Health Sciences campus features all medical programs of the university, as well as the Health Sciences Building, Interdisciplinary Research Building, Wellness Center, Cancer Center, and College of Dental Medicine.

In addition, the Health Sciences campus also contains the Georgia Regents Medical Center, and Children's Hospital of Georgia.


GRU Summerville campus

The Summerville campus was originally used as a United States Army arsenal, established downtown in 1816 and relocated to the campus in 1827. By the turn of the twentieth century, the arsenal's prominence waned, beginning with the Spanish–American War in that the arsenal produced manufacturing equipment, seacoast targets, and was a repair station. In World War I, the station repaired rifles and small arms, but produced ordnance material and fire control operations for World War II.[64]

In 1955, the arsenal was closed, and two years later the land was given to the local Board of Education, which used it to open the Junior College of Augusta. In 1958, the name changed to Augusta College, and in 1996 to Augusta State University.

Located on Walton Way, the Summerville campus houses many of the undergraduate programs and the Jaguar Student Activities Center. The Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, the History Walk, the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, The Honors Program, and the Maxwell Alumni House are all found on this campus. In addition, the James M. Hull College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Mathematics, and Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences are located here.

The campus was formerly well known for the Arsenal Oak, a tree that contained wood believed to be 250–400 years old, until it was cut down in June 2004 because of disease.[65]

Forest Hills[edit]

A par 3 hole at Forest Hills

Then-Augusta State University opened a second campus in 1991 for athletics, complete with a 3,800-seat arena – Christenberry Fieldhouse, named in 2003 – and softball and baseball fields.[64] The J. Fleming Norvell Golf House was added in 2007 with an adjacent driving range, putting green, and chipping area.[66]

The campus contains Forest Hills Golf Club, home of the men's and women's golf teams and a public course available for play, and the 500-bed University Village student housing.


GRU has three satellite campuses for clinical study in Albany, Rome, and Savannah.

GRU is also in possession of the former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame & Gardens riverfront property in downtown Augusta for possible future development.


UGA–GRU medical partnership[edit]

The College of Nursing has a satellite campus in Athens, where GHSU's Medical College of Georgia operates a partnership campus with the University of Georgia. MCG also has clinical campuses in Albany and Savannah, with one planned to open in Rome soon.

In 2010, GRU partnered up with the University of Georgia to create the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership. The GRU/UGA Medical Partnership combines the experience of one of the nation’s first medical schools with the resources of the Georgia's most comprehensive research university. The result is an education that allows students to reach their full potential in a unique learning environment. [67]

In 2011, the University of Georgia acquired the former U.S. Navy Supply Corps School on the medical corridor of Prince Avenue near downtown Athens. The 56-acre Health Sciences Campus has an extensive landscaped green space, more than 400 trees and several historic buildings. In July 2012, the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership moved to the 58-acre UGA Health Sciences Campus near downtown Athens.

ECRH–GRU medical partnership[edit]

East Central Regional Hospital contains two locations in Augusta and Gracewood, was taken over by GRU for administrative purposes in 2009 after the facility was considered for closure. The university's College of Nursing is actively involved in the daily activities, including patient care. The hospital specializes in behavioral health and mental disabilities.[68]


The athletics squads continued to compete under the Augusta State name until the end of the 2012-13 athletic season.

GRU competes at the NCAA Division I level in women’s and men's golf and is a Division II participant in its 11 other sports (women’s and men’s cross country, volleyball, women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s tennis, softball, baseball and women’s and men’s outdoor track & field). The mascot is the Jaguar.

The men's golf program captured the school’s first NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championship on June 6, 2010 in Ooltewah, Tennessee, when the Jaguars defeated Oklahoma State University. The Jags then became the first Division I men’s golf program in 27 years to repeat as National Champions on June 5, 2011 when they defeated the University of Georgia at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.[69]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

Notable alumni and faculty of GRU's predecessor institutions include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011 (Table Revised and Updated on March 19, 2012)" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "GRU Facts". Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "GHSU IRIS: Facts and Figures". 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
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  7. ^ Regents pic name for university in Augusta. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last accessed 2012-08-08.
  8. ^ Augusta will be in consolidated university name, but not officially | The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  9. ^ Key, Randy. "Names of Clinical Entities Associated with Georgia Regents University Changing". 
  10. ^ About Us. Georgia Health Sciences Health System. Last accessed 2012-01-11.
  11. ^ About Us. Georgia Health Sciences University. Last accessed 2012-01-12.
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  13. ^ "Augusta State University Presidents". Augusta State University. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Dr. Shirley Kenny Named Interim President at Augusta State University". University System of Georgia. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Crawford, Steve (Jan 4, 2012). "GHSU, ASU Could Merge, Lawmaker Says". The Augusta Chronicle. 
  16. ^ Corwin, Tom (12 Jan 2012). "Readers offer more suggestions for ASU-GHSU merger name". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
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  36. ^ "Council of Social Work Education". 
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  38. ^ "National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration". 
  39. ^ "National Association of Schools of Music". 
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  41. ^ Corwin, Tom. "Art Aids Therapy at GRU Cancer Center". The Augusta Chronicle. 
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  66. ^ "ASU Press Release". 
  67. ^ "UGA-GHSU Partnership". UGA-GHSU Partnership. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  68. ^ "East Central Regional Hospital and Georgia Health Sciences University Partnership". 
  69. ^ Balicki, Ron. "Augusta St. tops Georgia, repeats as NCAA Champ". 
  70. ^ John Britton (doctor)
  71. ^ David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, additional text.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°28′18″N 81°59′20″W / 33.47170°N 81.98885°W / 33.47170; -81.98885