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Ricardo Azziz pushes for growth statewide, overseas for consolidated Augusta university

Friday, Aug 24, 2012 3:23 PM
Last updated 8:36 PM
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The consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities need to attract more students from outside, improve historically low graduation rates at ASU and forge new partnerships such as potential relationships with universities in China, GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said Friday.

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Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz speaks at an Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon.   ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz speaks at an Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Speaking to the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Azziz gave a wide-ranging talk on the economic benefits of the current and future universities and mentioned the consolidated university name, Georgia Regents University, only once. During a brief question-and-answer period, nobody in the crowd of about 200 asked him about it. Azziz said he was not surprised.

“We’re moving on,” he said.

A threatened lawsuit over trademark infringement from Regent University of Virginia won’t impede progress, Azziz said. “That’s a (University System of Georgia) issue.”

Not only the consolidated university but also the Augusta community must seize the opportunities present now, Azziz said.

“We are at a crossroads, ladies and gentlemen, a once-in-a-century crossroads,” he said.

Part of that is building up the program offerings at what will be Georgia Regents, where there are only 44 nonhealth science degree programs compared with 487 at the University of Georgia, Azziz said.

“We must make our community attractive to students from outside the area,” he said.

The consolidated university also must turn around graduation rates at ASU that hovered at the bottom of the university system at 20 percent to 30 percent.

“We are among the worst institutions for success in Georgia and have been for a decade,” Azziz said.

Officials are still studying the problem but are going to take it on by “ensuring the students who enter our university succeed,” he said.

He is planning a trip soon to China to meet with five universities to talk about collaborations, putting a more formal take on what had been piecemeal arrangements with institutions there.

He also called on Augusta’s hospitals to continue working together to make Augusta a “health care destination” and bring in more patients from outside the metro area.

“We must grow the pie bigger, not fight over the scraps of the pie,” Azziz said.

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jasper1
91
Points
jasper1 08/24/12 - 03:32 pm
13
0
Trip

Wonder how much his little trip to China will cost??

Little Lamb
45275
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Little Lamb 08/24/12 - 03:40 pm
13
1
Graduation Rate

You can improve the graduation rate dramatically by raising the entrance standards. ASU takes in practically any graduate of a CSRA high school; and most of them are not college material. Just do away with the whole remedial education staff and admit only college-ready students.

Of course, the basketball program will suffer.

shelby547
255
Points
shelby547 08/24/12 - 03:45 pm
7
1
problem

Part of the problem as well is the students go to ASU then transfer. If the Chinese universities want to forge partnerships, that could open up a lot of possibilities. The name is something I don't care for but he has some great ideas and his partnership with University Hospital is helping keeping more residencies in state

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/24/12 - 03:49 pm
5
1
Please add a Recreation Mgmt

Please add a Recreation Mgmt program and school of Law. Thanks

Staler172
282
Points
Staler172 08/24/12 - 03:58 pm
4
16
Finally, constructive movement

I'm so sick of everyone up in arms about the name change. Look at the graduation rate, it's atrocious, that should be the concern of the community not the name. People hate Azziz over the name change but I feel he's a forward thinker and has some great plans. Let’s not forget that this merger was the best thing to happen to ASU Academically. I might upset some people but it’s the truth…

kiwiinamerica
934
Points
kiwiinamerica 08/24/12 - 04:06 pm
0
2
Some nice factoids there
Unpublished

Some nice factoids there about ASU and its lousy academic success rate.

Now do some of you see why we do not want the state medical college named after a school which signs up retards?

blues550
374
Points
blues550 08/24/12 - 04:12 pm
1
1
Moving Forward
Unpublished

We do need to move forward. With a new president.

NrthAugustaSam
473
Points
NrthAugustaSam 08/24/12 - 04:18 pm
15
1
Keep Him

Maybe they will keep Azziz in China. Now there is some justice.

Gage Creed
16704
Points
Gage Creed 08/24/12 - 04:23 pm
10
2
""“We are among the worst

""“We are among the worst institutions for success in Georgia and have been for a decade,”"" And your plan to fix this is a new name? Really?

shelby547
255
Points
shelby547 08/24/12 - 04:33 pm
3
15
huh

The name isn't about his improvements. He wants to add 100's of degree programs compared to the 40 or so ASU has now. Look past yhe name for two seconds. He has great ideas.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 08/24/12 - 04:38 pm
10
1
Petition to remove Azziz

I know I sound like a scratched record but would someone with "social media" savvy please create an online petition to remove Ricardo Azziz from office? Thank you, thank you, thank you.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 08/24/12 - 04:42 pm
12
1
No questions asked?

Am I alone in finding it odd that none of the 200 attendees of the chamber meeting mentioned above asked about the name change? This feeds into Azziz's profound arrogance. If anyone attending this meeting is reading this, my question to you is this. Were the 200 members asked to refrain from asking questions about the name issue? Just curious.

Tom Corwin
9193
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Tom Corwin 08/24/12 - 05:05 pm
3
0
Question about questions

SemperParatus (you must be a fan of the U.S. Coast Guard),

As far as I know there were no restrictions on what Azziz could be asked, other than it was limited to about five minutes at the end, which is fairly typical for these kinds of presentations. Dr. Azziz did go around and shake hands for five or 10 minutes beforehand and he seemed to be getting a warm reception from the people he was chatting up. And there was a lot of joking around afterward. I did not see anyone accost him or confront him about the Georgia Regents name.

KSL
126121
Points
KSL 08/24/12 - 05:07 pm
10
0
Good question. Azziz seems to

Good question. Azziz seems to want to ram his ideas down the throats of people who don't agree with him. He keeps speaking of moving forward. He wants the co-operation of all. But since when has co-operation been such a one way street?

Riverman1
82158
Points
Riverman1 08/24/12 - 05:11 pm
4
2
He had nothing to do with the

He had nothing to do with the resident programs at University. That's been an off and on deal for decades.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 08/24/12 - 05:12 pm
3
1
SemperParatus-as stated

SemperParatus-as stated before, The BOR and Azziz are currently in a jam as they cannot figure whose nose is up who's you know what. And since they are all in this together, to jerk one nose out now would cause a terrible odor. Azziz is here to stay. Augusta does not have the culture for the kind of university he envisions.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 08/24/12 - 05:55 pm
0
0
None of the
Unpublished

200 brought up the name change. Sounds like an obama press conference. Only sycophants allowed.

Benjamin Paine
233
Points
Benjamin Paine 08/24/12 - 06:04 pm
6
1
ASU Graduation Rates

I do not believe that the numbers Azziz quoted tell the whole story. ASU is a commuter campus and the students disproportionately work and have family responsibilities as compared to the more traditional campuses by which this comparison is made. I seem to recall that ASU has a much higher graduation rate when one extends the timeline out beyond six years. However, this does not make for as good of a headline or story as they are performing dismally. I would think that the president of the university would know the complete story and be able to communicate the results and the reasoning. Not to say the rates can't be improved. As other have said, raise the admission standards, build dorms and move to a traditional student body etc. However, is that the goal of higher education- select only the best and brightest and graduate them quickly so the numbers look good? Admit only female, non-minority students from affluent families with a history of prior family members attending college (since we all know they have better graduation rates)? Educate students from other states and countries and close the doors to local residents?

Gage Creed
16704
Points
Gage Creed 08/24/12 - 06:51 pm
6
0
I will stick by my earlier

I will stick by my earlier statement...If Azziz and his co-conspirators are confident that they can implement their plans without community support, then by all means, carry on.
However, if community buy-in and support are desired, there seems to be a need to rethink the plan of attack.
Deke surely seems infatuated in the photo that accompanies the article!

happychimer
16818
Points
happychimer 08/24/12 - 07:07 pm
7
0
Another source reported that

Another source reported that one condition to go into the meeting was not to ask Azziz about the name change, but one did anyway.

Riverman1
82158
Points
Riverman1 08/24/12 - 07:25 pm
3
0
Another Azziz Blunder

Understand what’s happened again with Dr. Azziz and his unfamiliarity with Augusta and its history. He is talking about a mega school mainly at the Walton Way campus with students from all over the world. The Hill area has persistently battled such development for a long time. Matter of fact, in response to protests, Dr. Bloodworth promised the last development at the campus would be it.

I’m not necessarily opposed to dorms on the campus for freshmen, but the historic fragility of the Hill area has to be recognized. I propose some development there, but then the hopscotch method towards the downtown area. The influential Hill people will rise up powerfully to protect their gem.

KSL
126121
Points
KSL 08/24/12 - 07:21 pm
2
0
Thanks, Happy for that info.

Thanks, Happy for that info. It is to be expected that demands be made but not tolerated for much longer.

cnoelg
21
Points
cnoelg 08/24/12 - 07:29 pm
1
11
Give the man a chance!

Honestly, it just seems that there are so many people in Augusta that are happy with mediocrity. This man is trying to build a world-class university, and possibly bring some much-needed revenue and acolades to the area. What's wrong with that?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/24/12 - 07:35 pm
5
0
Translation

Azziz: If you're a local student who wants to attend the local university, give up on that dream real quick like.

Parents, start saving now because you will need to ship your kids off to the boondocks if you want them to go to college.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/24/12 - 07:43 pm
8
0
Irony

According to MCG's Web site, Tariq Azziz attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Hmmmm... If having a city in a university's name was good enough for Tariq, shouldn't it be good enough for us?

Is he criticizing his own alma mater?

shelby547
255
Points
shelby547 08/24/12 - 07:45 pm
0
2
no stipulations

This was not an Azziz event. There were no rules to any questions. I have talked to three people who went and all said it was a regular chamber event. Networking....eat...speaker... None were told what they could or couldnt ask

CryoCyberTronics
392
Points
CryoCyberTronics 08/24/12 - 07:53 pm
2
0
A university for the people and not for just more medical jobs

Great more full scholarship offers for the CSRA scholars to attain the newly renamed consolidated university for non-medical and medical degree students. Only problem is that Dr. Ozy the Misfit Wizard of GRU doesn't think much of the CSRA Region High School Grads or the local hospitals (University Hospital, The VA Hospitals uptown and downtown, Trinity Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Aiken Regional Hospital, or Eisenhower Army Hospital at Fort Gordon). Dr. Ozzy has made it very clear He dose not want any thing to do with this area, and only prefers to bring in outsiders such as the likes of himself. At the expense of Georgia and American taxpayers. But if you have any monetary gifts to offer the University well the good Dr, Ozy the Misfit Wizard At GRU is not one of whom to look a gift horse in the mouth if you know what I mean. With that being said, it!s about time the school get school a new joint news paper started and call it i.g. the ASU/MCG JAG TIMES. 

What the UGA is to Athens Ga is what we want the university here in Augusta to be for the CSRA. Not just medical...!!!

KSL
126121
Points
KSL 08/24/12 - 07:57 pm
3
0
The mission of state

The mission of state supported schools cannot inherently equal that of highly prestigious and heavily endowed private schools. The early mission and ongoing mission should be to educate the students of the state who seriously want to be educated. There should be no remedial classes for students attending the top state schools. Those with lower requirements should provide a means for students whose "lamp of learning finally got lit" to transfer to a better school or be accepted to grad school.

Any time a state supported school turns away a qualified state student in favor of a student able to pay higher tuition, it's just wrong.

I guess this situation speaks in part to the 40th plus year of affirmitive action, a self perpetuating problem for the people it was supposed to help until equality of opportunity was achieved.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 08/24/12 - 08:03 pm
2
1
Chamber of Commerce meetings

Chamber of Commerce meetings are typically very warm and fuzzy; proper etiquette required. Calling Dr. Azziz out would have made the caller a social outcast.

Sweet son
10037
Points
Sweet son 08/24/12 - 08:05 pm
3
0
@ Tom Corwin

Check the use of State airplanes in the last two or three month with flights coming into and going out of Daniel Field. I can't remember when the Governor has been to Augusta. Maybe we the taxpayer are paying for a lot of Azziz'a courting of Regents and others. It is called Freedom of Information and you can figure out how to send the request to the State Aviation Authority! Any way you cut it we are paying for government officials to fly around in twin engine turbo prop King Air airplanes.

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