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Azziz looks for even bigger statewide consolidated university by 2030

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 3:56 PM
Last updated Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 1:48 AM
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While acknowledging deep cuts in state support and a challenging consolidation with Augusta State University, Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz nonetheless launched far-reaching goals for the university to more than double its current student body and sprout eight regional campuses across Georgia, including Atlanta.

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Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz delivers his annual address in Lee Auditorium. "I believe that the best way to predict and control our future is to create it," he said.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz delivers his annual address in Lee Auditorium. "I believe that the best way to predict and control our future is to create it," he said.

During his annual State of the Enterprise address Thursday, Azziz ticked off a number of challenges identified early in his administration, including lack of a comprehensive university that “limited our ability to benefit from other disciplines, such as business, the humanities and liberal arts” and limiting “pipeline” programs to funnel promising students. It also “limited our ability to leverage student growth and numbers, on behalf of all students,” Azziz said.

One of the challenges was also the lack of presence in the metro Atlanta area, where half the state’s population resides and “where the state’s business is conducted,” Azziz said.

In fact, the vision for 2030 goes far beyond that, Azziz said. By then, he sees 20,000 students enrolled, while currently fewer than 10,000 total attend both universities. Program offerings will be expanded, including “an extensive online and mobile portfolio of educational offerings and formalized educational partnerships with our active military and our veterans,” he said. That will be offered on 800 acres of campus within Augusta as well as eight regional campuses “including a well-situated, well-recognized, and diverse Atlanta campus,” Azziz said. The six-year graduation rate will exceed 75 percent, he said, where ASU’s six-year rate in 2010 was 25 percent.

And the new university by then will have “Division I sports and a new sports complex,” Azziz said, where currently only the ASU men’s and women’s golf teams compete in Division I.

This growth will be funded through “lean management, operational reductions and efficiencies in those same operations,” and by “rallying our philanthropic community and finding alternative revenues through discovery and technology transfer and through improved health system performance.”

The university will have to rely less on state funding, which has been cut by $53 million since fiscal year 2010 and now comprises about 23 percent of overall support, Azziz said.

He seemed to acknowledge critics of the consolidation, particularly those who were miffed by the decision to name the new university Georgia Regents University and not University of Augusta. A compromise was reached last week to use the brand name Georgia Regents University Augusta on all materials, shirts, cups and in the logo.

“Some in our community are not yet ready or prepared to embrace and accept a strong and growing university in their midst,” Azziz said. “Nor do they fully comprehend that their success and future, and that of the city, is intimately tied to how well the university does. But I know that with time and continued education and engagement, those who oppose our progress and change will soon embrace the vision of this great American university.”

Acknowledging that change is painful, he said it was unavoidable.

“I believe that the best way to predict and control our future is to create it,” Azziz said, “which is what we are doing today. Deliberately and methodically reinventing tomorrow’s university for the citizens of our region and for the peoples of the world.”

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jamc1103
141
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jamc1103 11/01/12 - 03:30 pm
3
1
regional campuses?!?!

So they do want to move the University out of Augusta? I think UGA does just fine and it does not have a campus in ATL that I know of. Why not have it all centralized/located here? Build student housing so that out of town students have a place to live, instead of building campuses all over the state.

Cynical old woman
1111
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Cynical old woman 11/01/12 - 03:32 pm
7
1
Azziz launched a speech.

Wish he was being launched....to outer space!

thauch12
6980
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thauch12 11/01/12 - 04:01 pm
2
1
UGA does have a campus in

UGA does have a campus in Atlanta, as do many other (non-Atlanta) schools like SCAD and Mercer to name a few. Mercer also has campuses in Savannah and Columbus. Georgia Tech has a campus in Savannah as well as in Lorraine, France. This idea certainly is not unheard of.

Personally, I think Azziz's plans are bold...almost to the point of being unrealistic. Say what you will about the man, but MCG/GHSU/ASU/GRU/GRUA will never be the same (for better or worse). Only time will tell...

seenitB4
93731
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seenitB4 11/01/12 - 04:32 pm
4
1
Lack of presense?

That is strange because we have colleges going in the tank right now in Atlanta....so we need MORE in Atlanta.....

WalterBradfordCannon
1490
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WalterBradfordCannon 11/01/12 - 05:07 pm
2
2
State of the Enterprise`

Presumably President Azziz is being inclusive in referring to GHSU as an enterprise because it also includes the hospital (which has a yearly budget equal to the rest of the GHSU campus). However, you have to see this for what it is. It would be unprecedented for any campus to exhibit this type of growth without steady and substantial state support. Right now, state support is waning year by year, budgets are shrinking year by year, and enrollment is decreasing year by year, and there are no signs of any of these trends slowing or reversing. It is a political myth that one can increase the efficiency of the budgets and harness philanthropy and tech transfer. The ship is sinking, and Ricardo is playing the role of the Iraq Minister of Information.

Shaky Main
50
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Shaky Main 11/01/12 - 05:19 pm
3
1
Atlanta Campus?

I wonder which current university in Atlanta Dr. Azziz plans to assimilate in order to create “... a well-situated, well-recognized, and diverse Atlanta campus?”

twentieth century man
102
Points
twentieth century man 11/01/12 - 06:12 pm
3
1
business plan?

Expanding the physical campuses to Atlanta may not be the best idea. Currently the educational enterprise is challenged by the economy and many question its ultimate value because higher educational costs outstrip inflation. Recently an attempt was made to replace the University of Virginia president because she was not expanding on-line education. Possibly the new comprehensive university should expand more in cyberspace than in physical space.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/01/12 - 06:16 pm
7
2
CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 11/01/12 - 06:27 pm
3
4
MCG in Atlanta?

The Atlanta idear stinks.. Real bad! No Football program future... Cancer research... A berry big blackhole money pit...!!! Walk away while you can, time to get behind Pain College in making it Augusta's mane College...!!!

harley_52
25117
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harley_52 11/01/12 - 06:48 pm
6
2
“Some in our community....

....are not yet ready or prepared to embrace and accept a strong and growing university in their midst,” Azziz said. “Nor do they fully comprehend that their success and future, and that of the city, is intimately tied to how well the university does. But I know that with time and continued education and engagement, those who oppose our progress and change will soon embrace the vision of this great American university.”

More arrogance and condescension from the man who has become famous for both.

Yes, the "uncool" slobs who reside in Augusta just don't "get it," but with Azziz's brilliant guidance, just maybe they can be educated.

Please save us from ourselves, oh great one.

KSL
140380
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KSL 11/01/12 - 06:58 pm
5
3
I have known a lot of

I have known a lot of students from GT who used their degree from GT for pre-med.

I hope he doesn't have designs on GT. I should say I hope for his sake, because it won't be happening.

I am beginning to suspect Azziz has a bigger ego than Obama.

harley_52
25117
Points
harley_52 11/01/12 - 07:06 pm
4
1
KSL...

Have you ever known anybody that was bi-polar?

prov227
3349
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prov227 11/01/12 - 07:42 pm
5
2
Is there a difference between vision ...

and megalomania? This man does not know how to build bridges in his own adopted community.

GRU Augusta, GRU Rome, GRU Savannah, GRU Columbus, GRU Dublin, GRU Albany, GRU Valdosta ... I can't wait. Let's cross state lines too.

Jake
33400
Points
Jake 11/01/12 - 08:00 pm
1
2
Here is hoping

That Augusta can feature a university as envisioned by Dr Azziz. It is going to take a lot of money, work and support. If it does pan out then Augusta will be better for it. If not, well........I guess there will be a lot of "I told you so".

Little Lamb
47979
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Little Lamb 11/01/12 - 08:37 pm
3
1
Discernment

Karen Handel, if she were governor, would see through this phony because of the emptiness within him. Shame, shame, shame on governor Deal.

willie7
1047
Points
willie7 11/01/12 - 08:37 pm
1
10
Dr. Azziz has a wonderful
Unpublished

Dr. Azziz has a wonderful vision for GRU and some of us are too small to support his mission.
I think he is the greatest and we need to appreciate him. This man is trying to make Augusta the home of an outstanding learing and research center

harley_52
25117
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harley_52 11/01/12 - 08:39 pm
5
1
Jake...

I think everybody hopes for the greatest possible success for the new (combined) University. I haven't heard anybody who wishes its growth and expansion fails, or that it doesn't grow in stature and respect.

Some people (me included) wonder if the path to such success necessarily requires the citizenry of Augusta be ignored, demeaned, berated, lied to, and insulted.

I know Azziz is from California and is therefore one of the "enlightened" and cool kids, but I think his personal behavior has done more to jeopardize the success of the new University than has any other single factor.

People don't appreciate being abused, especially when they're paying the bills.

Gage Creed
18896
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Gage Creed 11/01/12 - 08:40 pm
6
0
"How all this growth will be

"How all this growth will be funded will be done through “lean management, operational reductions and efficiencies in those same operations,” and by “rallying our philanthropic community and finding alternative revenues through discovery and technology transfer and through improved health system performance.”"

You might want to buckle your chinstrap Ricky....you may be in for some tough sledding with the philanthropic community....

picadilly
24
Points
picadilly 11/01/12 - 08:55 pm
6
2
Why?

I personally like Augusta State University and the Medical College of Georgia. I believe they are fine institutions. I like the fact that they are home grown institutions best of all. I am very proud of the fact that my husband graduated from Augusta College cum laude and that my son graduated from Augusta State University summa cum laude. I deeply resent the fact that Dr. Azziz has come to our town from another part of the country and wants to rip the very best part of what we are from us and fling it to the far reaches of the state. If we wanted to have satellite campuses in Georgia, I'm sure we could have done it previously. What point is there in having something unique, in offering something unique, if you want it to be watered down else where? I suppose all things must change, and maybe it's time for us to change a bit as well, but my word -- would a softer hand and a bit of tact be too much to ask for? General Sherman and his army marched through the South with more decorum than this man from Cedars Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles. I've tried to see things from Dr. Azziz's point of view, but I find that I just can't like the man. He's abrasive and unlikable. He's definitely not a good fit for our community. Mercy, I've never commented on anything, and I finally broke down and commented on this. That's how frustrating and irritating I find Dr. Azziz and all his infernal "plans"!

I think the real idea is to move everything out of Augusta and into Atlanta. Dr. Azziz doesn't find Augusta to his liking anymore than we find him to our liking. If cancer research or the children's hospital or whatever else gets left in the lurch, well, we're just a little ol' backwater (that also happens to be the second largest city in Georgia, but let's not confuse the issue with facts). What does it matter to him anyhow? I guess the next thing I'll have to ask, and wonder, is there anyone out there who can stop this and is there anyone out there looking out for the best interests of our community or are all of us just whistling in the breeze for kicks and giggles?

my.voice
5092
Points
my.voice 11/01/12 - 09:04 pm
7
2
What's absolutely missed by

What's absolutely missed by the media is the fact that Azziz first changed the name of MCG, the oldest medial institution in the country, to give it a more medically respectable name. NOW the name has nothing to do whatsoever with medicine. Azziz is here to cut and bleed out both institutions to a watered down community college and a research lab to slave for Athens.

You do the math.

Little Lamb
47979
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Little Lamb 11/01/12 - 09:07 pm
6
0
Thank you, Picadilly!

That is one of the most well thought out and well written posts in the history of posting here. Is Augusta to be a mountain in Georgia's university system, or merely a hub with many satellites?

bentman
466
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bentman 11/01/12 - 09:17 pm
3
1
You got it right prove.

You got it right prove. Megalomania is a disease that makes everyone sick except the person who has it.

Jake
33400
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Jake 11/01/12 - 10:05 pm
3
1
harley....

Have you done any research as to where Dr Azziz is from and what his background is? You seem fond of using the word "enlightened" in reference to him being from California. He is not "from" California as you state. He did spend some time here but he was born in Uruguay. He then graduated from the Univ of Puerto Rico and got his medical degree from Penn State in Hershey, PA. He then did internship & residency at Georgetown Univ Hosp in Wash DC and then was at John Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. Then it was a Masters Degree in public health & BA from Univ of Alabama, where he taught from 1987-2002. In 2002 he went to UCLA.
To try to label him as a "California, enlightened, cool" is really absurd and so far from the truth of the man. Criticize him but at least be truthful and aware of his background before you do.

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 11/01/12 - 10:33 pm
1
4
Vision of ASU-MCG thirty years from now!

As long as there are jobs to be had at MCG and ASU Ozzie fells like he can string Augusta, Athens, Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Columbus, and the rest of the stat of Georgia along with his deadens vision for a great University with no school sprit....! Something that is a major part of the college experience. What Ozzie has envisioned is something only an NEARD could love (a.k.a. COOL KIDS) It would only work of mr Ozzy was successful in being a San Francisco community lifestyle to Augusta and not the transplanted Atlantans with money stolen from other hard working Georgians...!!!

shrimp for breakfast
5503
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shrimp for breakfast 11/02/12 - 12:11 am
5
0
Ain't gonna happen

Pipe dream Azziz.

Riverman1
90634
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Riverman1 11/02/12 - 02:03 am
2
1
Atlanta???

Another branch medical school in Atlanta is what he's talking about. If someone can tell me where the money for THREE medical schools is going to come from, I'd appreciate it.

Dr. Azziz is trying to educate us on the economics and demographics of our state. The GRU Augusta, GRU Athens, GRU Atlanta theme is starting to unfold. Realize the entire state budget will soon be going to fund state retirees and their health care, yet he wants more, more, more.

Riverman1
90634
Points
Riverman1 11/02/12 - 02:21 am
4
1
If you are interested in the

If you are interested in the capabilities of someone pay very close attention to their conversations. Azziz has said things more than once that indicate a degree of being uninformed and unable to grasp the essence of a subject. Once such incident was when he remarked he had thought Florida International University was an off-shore school.

Here I detect it with his "sports complex" idea. Christenberry Field House is not that old and more than adequate for D-1 basketball. If he is talking football, small colleges rarely draw as many fans as high school games do. It's the little things that give Azziz away and make others cautious around him and his "visions."

An Atlanta medical school when MCG Augusta and MCG Athens can't find adequate funding?

By the way, I just realized how it is impractical to use the GRU names. UGA branch campus of GRU Medical School will soon enough change their name to UGA Medical School. Wait and see. We are in some kind of surrealistic Azziz painting where things are moving closer to absurdism.

peggyandrick
169
Points
peggyandrick 11/02/12 - 07:12 am
2
1
Azziz'z Slight of Hand

Now it becomes clear. GRUsome U cannot have the name Augusta (except as a satellite name) because in Azziz's megalomania, he is not creating a new university based in Augusta. He is creating a new university system in which Augusta is one of many regional campuses.

Little Lamb
47979
Points
Little Lamb 11/02/12 - 07:46 am
1
0
GRU Athens

Riverman posted:

By the way, I just realized how it is impractical to use the GRU names. UGA branch campus of GRU Medical School will soon enough change their name to UGA Medical School. Wait and see. We are in some kind of surrealistic Azziz painting where things are moving closer to absurdism.

Good call. The medical college in Athens is presently called a partnership between GHSU and UGA (I posted a link to their web site below). I seriously doubt that it will become GRU Athens come January 1. The GRU brand will be too much for Dr. Adams to swallow, and instead he will opt to name it Health Sciences College under the University of Georgia umbrella.

Medical Partnership

Little Lamb
47979
Points
Little Lamb 11/02/12 - 07:55 am
0
0
Funny

Hey, I just discovered something on the Medical Partnership web site. If you follow the link I posted above to the Medical Partnership page, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see three circles (which are the seals of the involved schools). The little circle on the left is the seal of UGA. The big circle in the middle is the seal of the Board of Regents. The little circle on the right is the seal of GHSU. If you hover your mouse over the seals you will see that they are hyperlinks.

I encourage you to hover your mouse over the GHSU seal and then click your mouse button. What do you get?

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