Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dr. Azziz Leaving Augusta

ATLANTA, GA (PR) - Dr. Ricardo Azziz announced he will step down as president effective June 30, 2015. He was named president of the Medical College of Georgia in 2010 and was inaugurated just before the Board of Regents moved to consolidate the institution with Augusta State University. Azziz was selected by the Board to lead the newly consolidated institution that became Georgia Regents University (GRU).

He then led the successful implementation of the consolidation of the two Augusta institutions.

Under Azziz’s leadership, Georgia Regents University:

Increased graduation rates by more than six percent (from 2012 to 2014).

Received its largest gift ever for both GRU and the University System of Georgia with a $10 million gift from the family of J. Harold Harrison, M.D. to name the new Education Commons Building and $66 million to endow scholarships.

Closed Fiscal Year 2014 with the highest research funding ever for GRU at $106 million.

Board of Regents Chair Neil Pruitt highlighted Azziz’s contributions to the University System saying, “Dr. Azziz’s contributions to Georgia Regents University and Georgia Regents Health System will have lasting impact for the benefit of the students and patients served. I thank Dr. Azziz for his leadership and service to the University System and his steadfast support of our mission in public higher education.”

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby recognized Azziz’s leadership of Georgia Regents University saying, “Dr. Azziz has led the transformation of Georgia Regents University into a nationally recognized research institution. He outlined a vision for the new institution and positioned GRU for a bright future. He is a valued colleague. On behalf of the University System, I thank Dr. Azziz for all his contributions and we wish him and his family the very best in his future work.”

Board of Regents Chair Neil Pruitt and Chancellor Hank Huckaby will name a presidential search committee soon.


Azziz will leave the president’s office on June 30 and the following day begin 12 months of “education leave with pay” at a rate of $673,379 for the year, currently compensation. He isn’t leaving GRU, just the presidency, with a package worth more than $1.1 million, according to an agreement with the state university system authorities.

Dr. Azziz will continue at GRU teaching permanently as Regents Professor and probably he will be untouchable to be fired. The agreement would be terminated, though, if the academic decides to work full-time in another place, sources stated.

Since GRU is expanding with campuses in many parts of the state Azziz might be leaving Augusta but not the institution he helped to born.


Special Report by the Board of Regents

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