Aproposed organizational chart is out for the merging Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, and it looks a lot like the one for GHSU, only longer.
As with GHSU, the new chart envisions a complex academic hierarchy joined with a complex clinic administration with a lot of shared services in between, under the leadership of GHSU President Ricardo Azziz. That integration was Azziz’s first mission when he became president and chairman of the boards overseeing the clinical system and it needs to remain, said Dr. Gretchen Caughman, GHSU’a provost.
“We are creating (the new administration) against the backdrop of the new university still having the health system affiliated with it in the same way,” she said.
That integration will go forward “yet also integrating with a very robust academic portfolio with ASU as we become new U,” Caughman said.
The academic side will be operated as a single unit under the provost, which Caughman confirmed will be her. Earlier talk had been of having two provosts, one operating each campus, but that model did not fit, she said.
“There was really a conscious effort in this, a decision made, that we did not want to set up in the new university any idea of there being differences in equality,” she said. For instance, on the organizational chart, the deans of all eight colleges in the new university are together.
“It was going to be important that all of the deans of those colleges were equal,” Caughman said. The organizational chart was submitted jointly by Azziz and ASU President William A. Bloodworth Jr. to the Consolidation Working Group of officials from both schools working on the merger. It will be shared with the University System of Georgia staff overseeing the consolidation of eight universities and colleges in Georgia not so much for approval as to get their comments and blessing, Caughman said. After that occurs, which could be within a week, positions will start to be solidified, Caughman said. The chart is 10 pages long but has no names attached yet.
“Dr. Azziz and Dr. Bloodworth have people penciled in,” Caughman said, and those choices will likely be revealed soon.
Some new positions are created in the new administration. Caughman said she wasn’t sure how many and there was no move to eliminate people.
“We were very intent, in this initial iteration, on making sure that pretty much there was a seat for everybody,” she said. “We have lots of things that we will need to do.”
The location of combined functions, such as Admissions and the Registrar’s office, is still being discussed. Combined functions don’t necessarily need to be housed on one campus or the other, and in some cases there might be two offices, but others will be on one, she said.
“There is a cost to having things on different campuses, even if you’re only less than three miles away, in terms of efficiencies,” Caughman said.