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Augusta decline was among young people, GRU clarifies

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 8:33 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 2:02 AM
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When Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz referred to a population decline in Augusta, he was talking about young people and not total residents, a senior official said Friday. He should have made that distinction but did not, the official conceded.

Comments on population start at 3:32

Azziz touched off a firestorm earlier this week when he was updating the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and said Augusta’s population “has decreased by 10 percent” while noting a 70 percent increase in the Atlanta area. Azziz went on to say that is a reason GRU needs an Atlanta presence.

In total population, Augusta has actually increased nearly 6 percent since 1990, figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

What Azziz was referring to was a decline among those from birth to age 17 and from ages 5 to 17 between 2000 and 2010, said David L. Brond, senior vice president of communications and marketing at GRU. The number of children ages birth to 17 in Richmond County declined by 8 percent over that period and those ages 5-17 declined by 12.5 percent, Brond said. The Augusta Chronicle verified those numbers independently using Census data, which was the source of the GRU data as well.

Those age categories are “the future lifeline for a university,” Brond said. “That’s really a population that a university cares about.”

Azziz just failed to mention that the decline referred to younger people, Brond said.

“He just didn’t express that,” he said. “He’s giving a (28-minute) presentation, it was at the very end. He didn’t have specific talking points, a speech in front of him.”

It was data pulled by the university’s Division of Institutional Effectiveness that Azziz had probably seen earlier and was recalling, Brond said.

“He gets a lot of information and he pores over it,” he said. “He has a lot of this data in his head and he knew about the population trends. So he knew about that.”

The reference to population trends refers to future growth, Brond said.

“We need to not only attract local students but we need to be effectively reaching out across the state to attract from more populous areas,” he said.

That does not mean he was lobbying for an Atlanta campus, Brond said.

“I don’t recall him saying the word ‘campus’ after he said the word ‘Atlanta’ but Atlanta is important because of the percentage of the population that lives there, of course,” he said. The university already draws almost 20 percent of its students from the Atlanta area and 25 percent of its alumni that live in Georgia live in the Atlanta area, Brond said.

“It’s important for us to have a presence in Atlanta and relationships and associations with organizations in Atlanta,” he said. The university already is advertising in Atlanta malls for some of its programs, for instance.

Trying to create an Atlanta campus would require “a lot of conversations with the University System of Georgia” and would have to look at the impact on other university system institutions in Atlanta, Brond said.

Staff writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this report.

By the numbers

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of people in Richmond County under the age of 17 declined between 2000 and 2010.

 20002010% change
Birth to 1753,60849,305-8%
5-1739,36434,454-12.5%
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galaxygrl
1197
Points
galaxygrl 11/16/13 - 01:10 am
3
7
College

Hmm, if I could go to any school outside of Augusta and they would pay for my school and put me in a thriving environment with large city stimulation or challenges that got me accepted into the top grad schools, why would I want to go to GRU. My child got accepted at NYU, UVA, Emory, UGA and Elon. Why would she want to stay in podunk with a bunch of friends whose parents wanted them to stay home the first year? GRU is a joke when it comes to that and public schools just can't offer the scholarships that private schools can, that's a fact. Perhaps the trend can be changed but it looks like Azziz has already thrown in the towel from where I am standing, and it's not Atlanta,seems to be for him though.

nocnoc
42411
Points
nocnoc 11/16/13 - 07:57 am
6
1
Here is a good example of Credibility & Politics

Was the original statement correct and this is Political spin recovery?

OR

Is this version with "expanded" details of his comment correct?

One thing for sure the US Census Reports are frequently updated,
not just every 10 years, so the whole truth will be known soon.

RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 11/16/13 - 08:17 am
5
2
Big Name School vs, GRU

galaxygrl, the colleges you mentioned might be better than GRU in some ways, however, that does not mean the quality of education at GRU is any less, nor that your daughter will be any better off than those graduating from GRU. Stop butting down GRU, it's students, and the folks that works there. If you down like GRU, Azziz, thats fine, however, most in Augusta like the fact we have a local college our children can attend and support. Even at 54 I find the courses they offer for continuing education to be great for me.

nocnoc
42411
Points
nocnoc 11/16/13 - 08:37 am
3
2
Remember If Augusta really mattered to the Gold Dome

in Atlanta.

Augusta would have OFFICIALLY still been in the name.

Augusta seems to have lost its political clout in the last 10 years or so.

What happen... any answers ARC?

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 11/16/13 - 08:51 am
6
4
Once Again Faulty Reasoning

So is the inference he wants an Atlanta presence and will offer classes there without a branch campus? That will still mean a facility of some kind and instructors and staff. How in the world will that benefit ASU Augusta? Is that supposed to make us feel better? They are not going to take a couple of years there and finish here.

Realize his whole premise of fewer younger people in Richmond County neglects the fact it borders booming, affluent Columbia County where new schools have been constructed to handle the increasing number of young people. It has more than offset losses by Richmond County. Most colleges reach out to suburban communities surrounding them and offer classes THERE, NOT 150 miles away. For instance, The College of Charleston opened a branch in North Charleston.

This Atlanta foray with all the colleges already there is asinine. There is simply no other way to put it. If there is anything beneficial from this last short circuit by Azziz it is he showed the BOR just how shallow he is and has his staff scrambling to spin excuses.

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 11/16/13 - 08:48 am
7
6
GalaxyGrl

GalaxyGrl just wanted to brag on her kid. Maybe once her daughter is educated she can point out to her mom how such statements slamming a public college are rude.

grinder48
1945
Points
grinder48 11/16/13 - 09:04 am
0
0
Incompetent
Unpublished

If the statement "Azziz just failed to mention that the decline referred to younger people, Brond said" is accurate, it shows azziz is either incompetent or intentionally skewing details, one or the other. Given the history of the GRU debacle, I don't believe a word azziz or the "senior vice president of communications and marketing at GRU" say. Brond's job is to cover for azziz ...

seenitB4
86692
Points
seenitB4 11/16/13 - 09:19 am
5
3
Richmond county births

Of course the births are declining....they are getting old & not many reproduce after 55 years old.....you are running the younguns away...but, they aren't going very far ....check the next counties.....there ya go.

Riverman1
83470
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Riverman1 11/16/13 - 10:17 am
7
3
Countyman should be throwing

Countyman should be throwing his "facts" at Azziz instead of taking up for him.

deestafford
27412
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deestafford 11/16/13 - 10:37 am
4
4
"If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it. Period!"

"Well, that's not what I meant. I meant you can keep your healthcare plan if it fits all my mandates. Don't you idiot, uncool people understand anything I'm hiding and thinking?"...President Obama

Now, we are having the Azziz version of " I said that but that's not what I meant and you uncool people should know what I mean when I don't say it."

GalaxyGrl, Call 1-800-221-1212. That's Delta Airlines reservations. They told me they are ready when you are. So, that gives you the chance to leave this "podunk" town

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 11/16/13 - 10:47 am
7
2
GalaxyGirl you confuse

GalaxyGirl you confuse universities with an education. It doesn't matter where you get your degree-or postdoc for that matter. In my old department the least productive faculty were ivy leaguers and the most productive with largest grants from "podunk" schools. It's what you do with your education. The Harvard grads were the worse. I have many friends who spent a bunch of money on their kids education at the best schools and they lament their kids can't find a job or some can't keep a job.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 11/16/13 - 10:48 am
2
4
Augusta must be like the

Augusta must be like the "subpar" health insurance Obama laments-by whose standards-obviously a progressive. Some people liked their subpar insurance.

countyman
20009
Points
countyman 11/16/13 - 11:43 am
1
5
The amount of new younger

The amount of new younger people in Columbia County didn't offset the amount of senior citizens moving into the county because the percentages of younger people in Columbia County is lower.

0-4 Years old
2000 to 2010
6.94% to 6.69%

5 to 17 years old
2000 to 2010
22.66% to 20.56%

The 2012 estimate for Columbia County 0-4 years old is now 6.4%

uga1988
63
Points
uga1988 11/16/13 - 11:52 am
4
1
The statistics still don't make sense

Somebody from GRU found a population to match Azziz's statistic, but it doesn't correlate with the other numbers that he tossed out regarding Atlanta, N GA and S GA. Obviously just a cover his behind statistical find, but it just doesn't make sense. I just don't understand what a 10 percent decline in the population of those <17 has to do with creating a GRU presence in Atlanta or elsewhere in GA.

MCG had credibility across the state and the southeastern US. If GRU can't get a toe-hold in Atlanta they (it - he) has bigger troubles than we all know.

The GRU-UGA Medical Partnership will do more to establish GRU's medical/physician acumen than anything in Atlanta could ever do.

Unfortunately though, Azziz seems to prefer to chase the bright shiny objects rather than focusing on what works.

countyman
20009
Points
countyman 11/16/13 - 11:53 am
1
4
The population of Richmond

The population of Richmond County ages 0-4 did increase in both percentage and raw number..

7.13% in 2000
7.41% in 2010

I still don't understand how the 18-21 age group wasn't mentioned when their very important to the future of the university.

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 11/16/13 - 12:05 pm
1
2
I thought Azziz's goal was to

I thought Azziz's goal was to make GRU world renown, attracting students from all over the world. Thats why he could not have Augusta in the name. What has changed?

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 11/16/13 - 03:21 pm
1
2
Summarizing for Azziz and Brond

Let’s summarize what we are trying to get across to Azziz and Brond.

Between 2000 to 2010 David Brond said, “The number of children ages birth to 17 in Richmond County declined by 8 percent over that period and those ages 5-17 declined by 12.5 percent."

The Augusta Chronicle verified those numbers independently using Census data.

So the raw number of young people from 5-17 actually decreased by 12.5 percent in Richmond County.

My point is Columbia County, one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, had an actual increase of young people by a good percentage. The raw number of young people gained in Columbia County more than offsets the actual number of young people lost by Richmond County.

Since Columbia County is less than ten miles from ASU, it should be considered in calculations of the future of ASU. Make the school better and you will capture more of the Columbia County young people.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 11/16/13 - 03:01 pm
0
0
azziz
Unpublished

has a good teacher----- obama.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 11/16/13 - 04:00 pm
1
0
Columbia county or Clarke

Columbia county or Clarke County are both growing. What about Chatham county? The Atlanta area is saturated with colleges and universities.

galaxygrl
1197
Points
galaxygrl 11/16/13 - 04:03 pm
1
3
Hating

I see there are haters here. I was simply saying I think it is important to see the world from different places and not from a one town view. Some graduate programs wouldn't even have looked at her for the field she wants to pursue if she had gone to ASU. I am not bragging, she worked hard to get into the schools she got accepted at and she is getting a good education. I also haven't spent money on her education she got scholarships. She worked hard and got rewarded, isn't that how it works in the real world?

galaxygrl
1197
Points
galaxygrl 11/16/13 - 04:04 pm
1
3
deestafford

I would leave but I am taking care of two sets of elderly parents. I was taught the importance of values.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 11/16/13 - 04:34 pm
1
2
"She worked hard and got

"She worked hard and got rewarded, isn't that how it works in the real world?" Sorry galaxy girl but progressives find that mentality abhorrent, greedy, and unfair. I agree with you though-she plays the game fair and square and succeeds then I won't demonize her. Just Obama and progressives.

corgimom
32141
Points
corgimom 11/16/13 - 06:14 pm
0
0
"I still don't understand how

"I still don't understand how the 18-21 age group wasn't mentioned when their very important to the future of the university."

1) Because that is not broken down in the census figures

2) GRU has always skewed older than the "typical" college student of 18-21, last time I checked, a couple of years ago, the average age of an then-ASU student was 27.

3) It skews like that because it has such an abysmal graduation rate on the old ASU campus and because it's a commuter school

Gage Creed
17103
Points
Gage Creed 11/16/13 - 07:48 pm
1
2
The population of

The population of left-handed males of Aleutian ancestry that reside in north richmond has declined immensely over the last census

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 11/16/13 - 11:34 pm
0
1
Cage likely the whale blubber

Cage likely the whale blubber in their diet.

dreTT
211
Points
dreTT 11/18/13 - 01:41 pm
0
0
Recruit & Retain

It doesn't matter if Augusta had a population of Zero. It doesn't preclude the university from bringing in students through appropriate recruitment and retention efforts. Clemson, and Ga. Southern sit in relatively small towns, and yet have a huge student population.

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