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Azziz statement on Augusta's population decreasing called into question

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 7:41 PM
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 6:43 PM
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ATLANTA — In a progress report to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz told members Wednesday that Augusta’s population has decreased by 10 percent, a figure not supported by the last U.S. census count.

The regents also selected a Michigan firm to do a critical $2.5 million master facilities plan that could determine whether the university utilizes renovated textile mills that Augusta city leaders are pushing.

In terms of population, Richmond County actually grew by 10,830 residents from 1990 to 2010, an increase of nearly 6 percent. Census figures showed the population was 189,719 in 1990 and 200,549 in 2010.

Azziz made the statement as he talked about how a population shift from Augusta supports the need of a GRU campus in Atlanta. He listed the absence of an Atlanta campus among seven challenges facing administrators, along with federal spending cuts, health reform and the costs of information technology and building maintenance.

“The population of Augusta has decreased by 10 percent,” he said at the Board of Regents meeting. “The reality is there are major changes in demographics in the state of Georgia, and we as a university are the only comprehensive university that does not have a campus or a place in Atlanta. And that is where the students are.”

Azziz was more accurate in his account of the growth of Atlanta’s metro area.

“For the last 20 years, the population of Atlanta has increased by 70 percent. The population of North Georgia has increased by 50 percent,” he said. “The population of South Georgia has decreased by 20 percent.”

According to data in a 2012 report by the Atlanta Regional Commission, the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area, the metro area grew by 61 percent from 1990 to 2010.

While she could not address the specific numbers, university spokeswoman Christen Carter said that Azziz meant to refer to the rate of change difference between Atlanta and other areas of Georgia, such as Augusta.

“The rate of change for those areas was less than Atlanta,” she said.

As far as the Atlanta presence, “That was more relationship building” among institutions, donors and alumni, Carter said.

To do the GRU master facilities plan, the regents selected SmithGroupJJR of Ann Arbor, Mich., to produce a master plan for the merged schools. It will have a $2.5 million budget to work with. On their team are the Georgia firms of Stevens & Wilkinson, Brailsford and Dunlavey, Cranston Engineering, and Costing Services. The team was the winner among 10 firms bidding for the job.

The plan will cover all 670 acres and 6.5 million square feet of existing space for the university, the health system and the physicians group.

The planners will assess existing buildings and infrastructure as well as developing a plan for historic preservation on campus.

A key early question in the process will be assessing whether a plan Augusta is exploring of using renovated textile mills as expansion space for the university will be feasible, officials have said.

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Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 11/13/13 - 08:58 pm
21
1
He's Actually Saying Atlanta?

Please someone tell me he's not actually saying this. He wants to build a branch of GRU in Atlanta? Heck, I thought he wanted to move ASU from Summerville to Frog Hollow. Now he wants part of the school in Atlanta? No wonder he didn't want Augusta in the name.

Gage Creed
15631
Points
Gage Creed 11/13/13 - 09:04 pm
12
1
GRU researchers discover rare

GRU researchers discover rare D'Azziz

Erroneous report at 11:00

raul
4105
Points
raul 11/13/13 - 09:19 pm
13
1
I think this is driven due

I think this is driven due to
the reaction of the public toward his handling of the name change to GRU and the consolidation. I think he can be vindictive. I don't see how he got the numbers so wrong. He knew the numbers he was giving out would be vetted.

Fiat_Lux
14830
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/15/13 - 12:43 pm
13
6
Azziz is the ObummerCare of MCG.

Truth.

(Later observation: I can't decide if the 6 or so thumbs down are because they like Azziz or they like ObummerCare and hate having Azziz paired up with it for disdain.)

GnipGnop
11460
Points
GnipGnop 11/13/13 - 09:49 pm
12
1
Just because the population grows...

doesn't mean the income levels did....I would be curious to see the income difference in the last 20 years and the poverty level increases or decreases. I am in no way defending Azziz...he should have been run out of town on a rail when he changed the name....

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 11/13/13 - 09:58 pm
15
1
ASU Not Needed In Atlanta

GnipGnop, I posted that info the other day about the almost $900 million Richmond County lost in adjusted gross income from IRS data for the period 1992 to 2010, but realize it was largely matched by increases in Columbia County and Aiken County. ASU is a college for the entire CSRA. So I don't think the loss of income in Richmond Cty is important because it was balanced by increases in other parts of the CSRA.

As Azziz admits, all the other universities have a presence in Atlanta. ASU is not needed there.

countyman
19068
Points
countyman 11/13/13 - 10:17 pm
3
7
Income

The American Community Survey(Census) 2007-2011 average of Richmond County median income($39,909) and per capita($20,393) are both higher compared to 2000.

KSL
121095
Points
KSL 11/13/13 - 10:32 pm
11
4
What a horrible choice he

What a horrible choice he was.

studmuffin1533
259
Points
studmuffin1533 11/14/13 - 06:43 am
10
1
Forsooth!

A false statement from the most disliked man in Augusta??? Why, oh why, did we run Don Snell out???

GnipGnop
11460
Points
GnipGnop 11/13/13 - 11:10 pm
7
3
how much higher?

How many on public assistance? Poverty level increase or decrease?

GnipGnop
11460
Points
GnipGnop 11/13/13 - 11:24 pm
4
2
BTW this is from Augusta.gov website

Richmond County’s population growth, and by extension the city of Augusta’s, is relatively
low in comparison to the other counties in the Augusta MSA and the state of Georgia. Table
P-2 shows that between 1990 and the year 2000, Richmond County’s population growth rate
was lower than the other counties, the MSA, and the state of Georgia. A similar trend was
evident in earlier decades. Census Bureau estimates, included in the same table, reveal that
since the year 2000, Richmond County’s population has actually declined by an estimated
2.69 percent. The population in the other MSA counties continued to increase, with
Columbia County leading the way with an estimated 19.1% increase in population.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/13/13 - 11:33 pm
3
1
Wait a minute

Tom Corwin disputes Azziz'z assertion that the population dropped by ten percent and then Corwin lifts up two numbers: population in 1990 and population in 2010.

Well, perhaps Azziz was using 2000 as the baseline. Was there indeed a decrease in population between those two censuses?

I'm sure Countyman can supply the numbers. Hopefully they will be official numbers from the U.S. Census web site.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/13/13 - 11:53 pm
11
2
Census

Okay, from official U.S. Census department websites, we have this:

Richmond County, GA
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1990 . . . . . . 189,719
2000 . . . . . . 199,775
2010 . . . . . . 200,719
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Doesn't look like a decrease to me.

Azziz lied, people died. Isn't that what they said about Bush?

Dr. Azziz is trying to set up his end game. He wants a university presidential mansion in Northwest Atlanta somewhere near the Governor's Mansion out on West Paces Ferry Rd. He will do everything possible to denigrate Augusta from now on.

Little Lamb
43819
Points
Little Lamb 11/14/13 - 12:00 am
9
2
MCG

Have you noticed that whenever there is a trauma case anywhere in the CSRA (traffic crash, gunshot wound, factory explosion, etc.), that the victims are taken to MCG Medical Center for treatment? The statistics Azziz should be talking about are for the entire CSRA — that would be Aiken County, Edgefield County, Columbia County, Richmond County, and Burke County.

When Azziz talks to the Board of Regents about Augusta, he is trying to put a false picture into the minds of the Regents (oh, how I hate to capitalize that word!) that to Azziz, Augusta is merely this "Disgusta" hick town that is failing.

deestafford
23519
Points
deestafford 11/14/13 - 12:44 am
8
2
Why am I not surprised...

An imbecile briefing idiots. Or at least that's what it appears when one sees the results.

countyman
19068
Points
countyman 11/14/13 - 01:28 am
5
5
Sad

''since the year 2000, Richmond County’s population has actually declined by an estimated 2.69 percent''

Why do the same few people have to go out of their way in order to portray Augusta in an certain light?

The study created by the city of Augusta is from around 2006 I believe and they were using the 2006 estimates for their predictions. They also made sure to include those numbers you're referring to only pertained to the years between 2000-2006.

The census shows Richmond County is growing and the recent large commercial developments(Whole Foods, movie theater, & Cabela's) indicate the growth is picking up steam.

The amount of biased towards Richmond County sometimes on here is ridiculous. Somebody even tried to portray the income of zip code 30909 is the best metric to determine the income of West Augusta. They didn't even mentioned that West Augusta includes 30907 and zip code 30909 includes multiple older parts of South Augusta and the newer middle class Southwest Augusta..

How could anyone think including the homes on Milledgeville rd or Old Muduffie road in South Augusta(zip code 30909)are the best way to determine the income of West Augusta?
https://www.google.com/#q=Augusta+ga+Milledgeville+road+30909
https://www.google.com/#q=Augusta+ga+Old+Mcduffie+road+30909

thauch12
6138
Points
thauch12 11/14/13 - 01:23 am
6
1
Admittedly, this was a really

Admittedly, this was a really stupid thing for Azziz to say because it's not true. Interestingly enough, most of the first year GRU class is from Columbia County anyway so Augusta's population growth (whatever it may be) isn't all that relevant when you consider the CSRA overall is growing.

That being said, I hope he meant he wanted to open up a clinical campus in Atlanta (much like those MCG campuses already open in Albany, Athens, Savannah/Brunswick and most recently Rome) but that's of course giving him the benefit of the doubt...

Riverman1
79196
Points
Riverman1 11/14/13 - 05:33 am
9
1
He Said This Before

Thinking about this, I can recall him making similar statements about needing an Atlanta presence a good while back. Mercer and its branch campus in Atlanta was mentioned. He is talking about the undergrad program. It could have been the reason for the GRU name. It would be hard to call a branch campus Augusta University at Atlanta. But the whole concept is misguided with all the colleges around Atlanta. GRU is dependent on the CSRA which is growing tremendously even if Richmond County isn't. What a completely misguided person to be president of GRU. Possibly this asinine idea will out his lack of ability to the Regents...finally. Isn't it about time to think about the next president?

ColCo
555
Points
ColCo 11/14/13 - 07:10 am
8
2
Little Lamb's numbers

According the these numbers, between 1990 and 2010 Augusta's population has grown by 11,000. That averages to 550 people a year, and is nothing to crow about. The fact is the birth rate is barely keeping up with the death rate, and as long as Augusta's leadership is so deeply divided, nothing will change. Please wake up and work together.

csrareader
1283
Points
csrareader 11/14/13 - 07:54 am
9
1
The Grand Poobah has spoken

How rude of us peasants to dispute his statements with fact.

agustinian
671
Points
agustinian 11/14/13 - 08:00 am
5
1
'Splain, Ricky, 'Splain

Oh, Ricky, 'splain your numbers.

jrbfromga
429
Points
jrbfromga 11/14/13 - 08:16 am
1
0
How can we fire this charlatan?
Unpublished

Azziz is the worst thing that has ever happened to ASU and MCG. We need to get rid of this California foreigner and get these institutes (yes, I still regard the schools as separate) of higher education back under local direction.

curly123053
4206
Points
curly123053 11/14/13 - 08:45 am
9
1
???

This man can do no wrong according to the BOR. We will see how long before MCG AKA GRU starts scaling down operations in Augusta. He was and still is a bad thing for Augusta.

Brad Owens
4098
Points
Brad Owens 11/14/13 - 08:52 am
10
1
Well, who DIDN'T see this coming?

This is what happens when you play hardball politics for many years and then lose all your power under the Gold Dome. Speaker Pro Tempore Jack Connell fought to get ASU expanded and updated, Senator Walker and Senator Cheeks got millions for MCG and protected us against exporting the asset outside of Augusta, but then Sonny Purdue was elected and Augusta paid the price since then.

We have NO power on the State level. Where is Senator Davis on this? Where in Senator Jackson on this? Where is our State Reps on this? Why in hades are they not screaming about this? Because it's a done deal that's why.

Now we lose ASU and the entire ball of wax.

The Regents should be reigned in by the Legislature..

I want AC back!

Brad

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 11/14/13 - 09:13 am
6
2
Riverman1 said, 'Isn't it
Unpublished

Riverman1 said, 'Isn't it about time to think about the next president?'
What does it take to get rid of that idiot?

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 11/14/13 - 09:16 am
3
2
'Senator Walker and Senator
Unpublished

'Senator Walker and Senator Cheeks got millions for MCG and protected us against exporting the asset outside of August'
Brad, I see you are still a fan of Walker. When does he get out of jail?

...point to ponder
711
Points
...point to ponder 11/14/13 - 09:24 am
6
1
Choking with distrust....

Just astonishing that the Board of Regents didn't correct Azziz right on the spot.
Still amazed that they spend millions on the Athen's campus....*there was no need ....the expansion and increased class size can be performed in Augusta.

Now for him to even utter the word "Atlanta" in his statement is over the top.

What's really scary is that the Board of Regents probably like idea as much as they liked putting a campus in Athens along with (*i stated this before) MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars!

Augusta deserves better.

seenitB4
81158
Points
seenitB4 11/14/13 - 09:29 am
2
2
No Augusta in name

It is beginning to fall into place.....funny thing though...Atlanta is changing as fast as Augusta.....moving north my friends..nothing really stays the same....we need more power in the big house....the biiiig house..

RMSHEFF
13785
Points
RMSHEFF 11/14/13 - 09:30 am
5
2
Honesty is no longer a

Honesty is no longer a requirement for government leadership. The end justifies the means . Sounds familiar.......a page out of Obama's play book.

He should be fired for dishonesty but instead he will be promoted.

Brad Owens
4098
Points
Brad Owens 11/14/13 - 09:34 am
3
2
teaparty...

I am a fan of reps that protect our community and help get our tax dollars injected back into our area.

I am not sure when he gets out, but I want to take him out to dinner when he does and tell him just how much our community suffered since he went to jail for inflating his circulation numbers.

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