Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz is on a long list of people nominated to be the next president of the University of Florida but he has no interest in the job and will not pursue it, a university official said Wednesday.
According to a list provided by the University of Florida, Azziz is among three dozen names submitted so far, which also includes former Florida and current University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier.
“Anyone can nominate anyone else for consideration during the search,” Director of Public Affairs Janine Sikes said in an email. It could be as simple as sending a name to the general presidential email address or the search firm or having a conversation with one of the search committee members, she wrote.
“Being on the list does not indicate the person has expressed interest in the position,” Sikes wrote. “And people on the list should not be considered candidates since they have not applied for the job. The process has only just begun and is likely to take months. It could be at least that long before we have candidates/applicants for the position.”
Azziz does not know who nominated him but he does have colleagues in Florida and he recently spoke at a white coat ceremony at one of Florida’s medical schools, said David Brond, senior vice president of communications and marketing at GHSU.
“He’s honored a colleague would think to nominate him,” he said. “He has expressed no interest in wanting the position and he’s not intending to pursue the opportunity.”
Some in Augusta have openly questioned whether Azziz, who arrived in July 2010, had been brought in to make major changes like the current consolidation of GHSU and Augusta State University before then moving onto another opportunity. But Brond said a look at Azziz’s career shows that is not the case at all.
“He stays at places. He’s a finisher,” Brond said. “He’s still got work to do here. He is in the midst of a major consolidation that is going to do something that has not been done in many places before.”