Just how powerful is Azziz?

It might be worthwhile to have a formal investigation into all of the decisions involving Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz.


This man was brought to Augusta for the purpose of leading the then-Medical College of Georgia. It’s beginning to look as if he came here with the authority to run GHSU, Augusta State University, Augusta-Richmond County and various other areas and entities.

It has been reported that when the combining of ASU and GHSU is completed, Dr. Azziz will be in charge of that new entity. Why do Georgia’s educational leaders and elected officials seem so ready to acquiesce to Dr. Azziz?

At this point, Dr. Azziz is president of GHSU, but there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis on increasing the quality of patient care. Two great predecessors of Dr. Azziz – Drs. Jesse Steinfeldt and Francis Tedesco – had patient care and physician training on the top of their lists of responsibility, while at the same time carefully preparing MCG for an improved future involving research and other patient-care and physician-training endeavors.

How did Dr. Azziz manage to insert himself into how the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame land was to be used? Again, our elected officials should answer a simple question: Who actually decided to deny Augusta this property with the potential for enormous tax revenues?

Dr. Azziz is considering student housing on this valuable site, ignoring two facts: housing could go up on existing GHSU property; and student housing on the river would require travel time for individual students instead of walking to class and clinic assignments.

Student housing aside, Dr. Azziz met with a group, including Cal Ripken, that seems unable to give up on making millions on the backs of our local taxpayers with an unwanted ballpark on the river. Of course it’s probably safe to assume Ripken’s sidekick, Mayor Deke Copenhaver, was at the meeting as well. Copenhaver seems to be having a hard time accepting the fact that the folks who enjoy baseball are very content with the ballpark as it is, with easy access and parking.

Most importantly, the citizenry must question Dr. Azziz’s bursting onto the local scene, and in such a short time assuming (or being given) the mantle of a self-aggrandized autocrat.

Gene Rickaby




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