By Alan Simpson
Little more than a week before the public learned of GPC’s budget shortfall, then-president Anthony Tricoli was campaigning to have the school’s name changed to Georgia Perimeter College and State University in anticipation of future approval of both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at the institution.
“Looking to the future, Georgia Perimeter is requesting a name change to Georgia Perimeter College and State University in hopes that we will be able to offer degree programs at the associate, bachelor and master’s levels,” read a document accompanying a Tricoli email to Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellors Steve Wrigley and David Morgan.
“I have been successful at having discussions and receiving approval,” said Tricoli in the email. He added, “In fact, all groups unanimously approve this name change.”
The accompanying document, entitled “Georgia Perimeter College and State University Proposal Talking Points,” argued that GPC could reduce the amount of time and scholarship money needed to achieve a master’s degree from an associate’s. It also asserted GPC would not duplicate any programs currently offered at any other institution of the University System of Georgia.
The response was swift and rather abrupt: “The issue of GPC becoming a university is not on the table,” stated Morgan in his reply to Tricoli. Morgan said the only change being considered was the addition of “state” to the current name, creating Georgia Perimeter State College.
Tricoli made one final plea, which was answered with an even shorter response from Wrigley.
One of Tricoli’s “Talking Points” made note of the expense associated with a name change. “We know that name changes are costly,” the document stated, “and one name change now would be most economical.” Yet in Morgan’s reply to the email containing this document, he offered Tricoli the chance to change the name without including the “university” portion. While Tricoli’s response contained his last plea for the “university” name, he added, “If you are sure that my request is not the best at this time, then please consider moving us forward as Georgia Perimeter State College.”
The Collegian’s David Schick reported that when interim President Rob Watts polled GPC faculty and staff in an email, a majority rejected the name change.