As a proud member of the first graduating class of Augusta College as a four-year institution, I am saddened by the current mess that is Georgia Regents University.
The Board of Regents lost sight of the main opportunity that Augusta State University affords all of us in the CSRA – an affordable way to further our education and thus enrich our lives in so many ways. When I went to AC in the 1960s, my parents could not afford to send me away to college, so I stayed here, lived at home, worked part-time jobs and earned a degree that has enabled me to support myself all my life. As a high-school teacher, I have seen my students who were in the same situation get degrees at Augusta State, and fellow educators have gotten advanced degrees without having to drive to Athens, Statesboro, etc. Why are we losing sight of this?
We should bear in mind what Interim ASU President Shirley Strum Kenny states in her letter: “I don’t know if you or your team are aware of how important the undergraduate program is to the university.”
GRU President Ricardo Azziz has made it very clear in his meetings with ASU professors and staff what he thinks of them and what his goal is. He has demoted them, insulted them and made them fear for their livelihoods. For what? Everyone knows why: so GHSU can acquire the real estate that ASU holds, and Dr. A can put on his resume that he is head of a prestigious research university.
Everyone should read Dr. Kenny’s entire letter available online on The Augusta Chronicle’s website. She has really wonderful ideas and even suggests faculty and staff can help accomplish the goals she sets forth.
It seems to me from her letter that we should have kept Dr. Kenny and fired Dr. Azziz.