The new administration for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities will be heavily populated with current GHSU staffers, particularly at the highest levels, according to an analysis of the new organizational chart by The Augusta Chronicle.
Part of that is because GHSU had positions, particularly health and research-related, that ASU did not, said GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman, who will be the provost of the new university. In other areas, such as student services, current ASU people dominate, she said.
Still, of more than 80 filled positions on the chart, GHSU had more than twice as many people as ASU, according to The Chronicle’s analysis. In areas where there were shared services, it appears the GHSU employee got the superior position.
The new organizational chart was included with the application that was submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which will decide at its December meeting whether to approve the consolidation of the two universities.
The new university is headed by current GHSU President Ricardo Azziz and, of those who report directly to him, only Athletic Director Clint Bryant is from ASU (excluding a vacant senior vice president for administration and finance position). Some of that is because ASU doesn’t have a counterpart for someone such as Senior Vice President for Research Mark Hamrick, Caughman said.
In instances where there were similar positions, however, such as university fundraising and advancement, the GHSU person got the top job. In that particular instance, GHSU Chief Development Officer Susan Barcus had more experience on the kind of large campaigns envisioned for the future than her ASU counterpart, Caughman said.
“I have to acknowledge that it appears that in that shared service space, many of those certainly do fall onto previously GHSU employees,” she said. In other areas, there was almost a conscious effort to favor ASU, she said.
“When you get into the academic affairs and down into the student affairs, there is much broader distribution, sometimes leaning the opposite way (to favor ASU),” Caughman said.
Of those positions that were filled in which The Chronicle could identify the person with one university or the other, 56 were affiliated with GHSU and 25 for ASU.
What should help ease faculty concerns of favoritism in the new university is that all nine college deans are on equal footing and report directly to the same person, said Caughman, who is that person.
“We felt it was really important that everybody be at the table in the same way,” she said, adding that that doesn’t happen at some universities with health systems.
There are efforts to address concerns now and allay fears of what consolidation will bring and it will take a continuing effort, Caughman said.
“We surely can show that we intend to act with integrity and fairness and to really make this the best university we can,” she said.
Staff Writers Tracey McManus and Chris Gay contributed to this article.