The reassignment of R. Bryan Ginn Jr., vice president for external affairs, is part of a change to his unit and is not related to a recent Augusta Chronicle report about a rapid increase in administrative salaries in the past five years, said Interim President James N. Thompson.
The Division of External Affairs is being dissolved and Ginn will join the Office of the President at MCG as an assistant for external relations.
"Bryan is a very valued individual and Dr. Azziz I know is looking forward to meeting with Bryan when he gets here," Thompson said.
Three staff positions in External Affairs and one in the Office of the President will be eliminated, but the school is trying to find them positions elsewhere, Thompson said. Others in the division who deal with alumni affairs and special events are being transferred to University Development.
"It's the positions that are being terminated and hopefully not the individuals," Thompson said.
Ginn will work with Annie Hunt Burriss, who is also a special assistant to the president, and with Julie Kerlin, assistant vice president for government relations, as a "highly integrated external affairs team reporting directly to the president," Thompson wrote in an e-mail.
In an interview, Thompson said he had been thinking about making the change for a while and that it was unrelated to The Chronicle 's analysis of administrative salaries, which increased 53 percent over five years.
Ginn had the fourth-highest increase among administrators The Chronicle examined, jumping from $110,004 to $203,802, an 85 percent increase, according to records provided under the Georgia Open Records Act.
The Chronicle has asked for records to see whether Ginn's salary will change as well but those records had not been provided as of Thursday afternoon.
Azziz was informed of the change but Thompson said it was the current administration's decision. Azziz will become president July 1. Thompson said he did not foresee any other changes prior to Azziz's arrival.
Azziz, however, told The Chronicle earlier this month that he would investigate the increase and a seeming proliferation of vice presidents and vice deans at the school.
"I know he will review the administrative structure, he'll review compensation, he'll review everything, as a new president should," Thompson said. "And I know that he will."