Dishonesty is disgusting

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As a retired dean from Augusta State University I am really surprised at the level of dishonesty and “smoke and mirrors” activity that has been allowed to happen in the naming of two fine institutions as they are merged.

I witnessed administrators removed and/or replaced because of a lapse of professional honesty or for misrepresenting the facts in specific situations.

Under the honorable administration of ASU President William Bloodworth, this type of activity was not tolerated. What has happened as of Aug. 1, with the new administration? What has changed?

I cannot believe that the Board of Regents is not camped out in the Augusta area to get to the bottom of who distorted the truth, who misled the public and who overruled all of the promises made to everyone with regard to this name change. Where is the integrity? Where is the accountability? I am embarrassed for the Board of Regents. Do they not care?

I love both ASU and Georgia Health Sciences University, and have immediate family members with earned degrees from each institution. I served Augusta College and then Augusta State University for 37 years, and am proud of that fact. I am now just embarrassed that the leadership has taken this avenue.

I have been told by many colleagues that they have been “silenced” on these issues; and, have been told in meetings that “none of this conversation may leave this room.” Is this a public institution? Is this honor? I would have been fired very quickly if I had attempted to run the college that I was entrusted to lead in such a manner – and rightly so.

The silence of the faculty, administration and staff speaks volumes on this issue. The silence of the city leaders (most of them) also speaks volumes.

This is a scary situation when applied to the future of this administration.

I am very much afraid that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Richard Harrison

Martinez

(The writer was dean of Augusta State University’s College of Education.)

Comments (20) Add comment
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itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 08/23/12 - 09:10 am
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WOW!!

Very damning letter I must say!

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 08/23/12 - 09:17 am
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azziz
Unpublished

is not your friend, Augusta.

NancyCasto
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NancyCasto 08/23/12 - 10:01 am
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What has changed is we went

What has changed is we went from Bloodworth who cares about the community and the school to Azziz who only cares about himself and
what he can add to his resume when he leaves. He can't go soon enough for me.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 08/23/12 - 10:02 am
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Yeh.....I think the term

Yeh.....I think the term "merger" is a little misleading in this case. It appears to be more like a hostile takeover. And the word I would choose to describe the way it is being handled is "ruthless".

When a tyrant silences his staff you know his policies cannot stand up to scrutiny or criticism. If the staff indeed remains silent, you know they are paralyzed with fear. My guess is that GRU is not going to be a pleasant place to work. I would be looking for employment elsewhere. First ones to jump ship get the lifeboats.

Kathleen Smith
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Kathleen Smith 08/23/12 - 10:08 am
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Well said, Richard.

Well said, Richard.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 08/23/12 - 10:20 am
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Pretty sure...

...Azziz's tactics are a violation of the ASU Honor Code. Someone affiliated with the school should pursue that...

proud2bamerican
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proud2bamerican 08/23/12 - 10:32 am
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courage

Finally someone with enough courage, ethics, morals and simple decency is willing to put aside personal connections and speak the truth!!

Rob Pavey
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Rob Pavey 08/23/12 - 10:53 am
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thank you, Dr. Harrison

In this case, how it was done has the potential to overshadow what was done.

scamp1
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scamp1 08/23/12 - 01:54 pm
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Dishonesty is also Grusome

Thanks Richard. I also worked at Augusta College and ASU for 35 years. I have taught thousands of students and my daughter has a degree from MCG. This whole process has been unethical and dishonest since even before it was made public last December. Azziz is not the only culprit - the Chancellor had a strong hand in the secret dealings that started last summer. There are so many hidden agendas it's scarey - and yes, people at both institutions have been "silenced". There is also a "secret master plan" for the ASU campus that Summerville will hate. I supported the Governor, and I only hope he has also been taken in by Azziz and the Chancellor with promises of some kind of great research institution - promises they can't keep. Someone said something like, "Absolute power currupts absolutely". I think the behavior of Azziz and the Chancellor have shown this saying to be true.

The mission of ASU is "excellence in teaching and service to the community". ASU excelled at both. Bill Bloodworth often called ASU "Augusta's University". I hope everyone will realize that the dishonesty, the unethical behavior and the lack of planning for the whole hostile takeover is much more of a problem than just the name selection. ASU and MCG are being destroyed.

I hope the Chronicle can use open records to find out what the so called "merger" will, and already has, cost the taxpayers of Georgia. I also hope the Board of Regents and Governor's office will investigate Azziz and the whole so called"merger". Please, please, please . . . .

steelersrock
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steelersrock 08/23/12 - 02:27 pm
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fire azziz

The lies and lack of transparency during this whole process should warrant the call for the resignation of Ricky Azziz or to just fire him. He is not bulletproof. There should at least be a loss of confidence vote from the administration and faculty of both institutions.

MD2013
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MD2013 08/23/12 - 02:44 pm
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Well said

It's about time that someone with insight decided to speak up. It's amazing how dishonest Dr. Azziz has been with this issue and how disrespectful he has been with the community, faculty, and alumni of both institutions. As a soon to be alumni of the Medical College of Georgia I must admit that I feel deceived by both the administration and the Board of Regents. If they had their minds made up about a name they should have just said so from the beginning.

I can't believe that the President of MCG/GHSU mislead us from the beginning, stating that there was going to be a logical and methodical approach to selecting a name, that this name was going to be selected through national polling, and that ultimately this name would represent who we have been, and who we are going to become!

I feel as if this name was selected by a 10th grader that just learned what the word "regents" means. Horrible name. Horrible dishonestly. Horrible job at leading an institution with 10,000 students, 600+ faculty, 2400 acres of property, etc.. all the crap that he keeps saying over and over again.

Frenchified
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Frenchified 08/23/12 - 02:54 pm
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Dishonesty is GRUsome

Thanks, Richard and scamp. I also worked at AC/ASU for 35 years. It was presided over by honorable people, and we professors had a strong sense of pride in and loyalty to the institution. Students received an excellent education by faculty who were devoted to their students, their field, and their university. Now I see it falling apart. Its identity is being stripped, as is the identity of MCG. And it's being done by a person who has no history here, and seemingly does not care about the unique flavor of each of the 2 schools. People are being lied to, and money is being wasted. What will come next? The BoR needs to reconsider not only the new name, but the whole situation.

nnaugusta
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nnaugusta 08/23/12 - 03:26 pm
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Since he has apparently

Since he has apparently lied, deceived, or otherwise misled the school, the public, and the BOR, there is no telling how much of this same behavior is in his past. I am curious if anyone has dug into his education etc to make certain he is who he says he is. This is the behavior of an uneducated wannabe, IMO.

harrison0624
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harrison0624 08/23/12 - 04:32 pm
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Very well said!

I am very elated that someone has stated the obvious. This was very dishonoring. I am very pleased that someone has finally said something about the unethical method in which this has taken place.

saywhatagain
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saywhatagain 08/23/12 - 06:15 pm
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Herman Munster says

I'm proud of Eddie! He's come a long way since naming his pet dragon "Spot".

Benjamin Paine
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Benjamin Paine 08/23/12 - 09:14 pm
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Goodbye ASU?

Regent Hopkins (sp?) was just on the news. He was saying how they are investigation $150 million in GRU and that they are building a great "Health Center". Don't know if this was a slip or not but it is telling in that the investment is not to build a comprehensive university. Explains the lack of funding for the ASU projects. He might as well say goodbye ASU. It would be nice if they would be candid. Sad day.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/23/12 - 08:21 pm
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Shocking

This is a great letter from former-Dean Harrison. Thank you for opening my eyes. Austin Rhodes also had a good comment:

Pretty sure [that] Azziz's tactics are a violation of the ASU Honor Code. Someone affiliated with the school should pursue that.

Unfortunately, the ASU honor code will be a casualty of the consolidation. The interloper is not subject to the honor code.

lessthanperfect
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lessthanperfect 08/23/12 - 09:37 pm
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Another Day in A Town

Richard, Scamp1, couldn't agree more. This is so sad to see what we worked so hard for and for so long to be dismantled and we don't know why. I too dedicated 30+ years to ASU and retired without a clue this could happen. The consolidation and merging of the two Universities has been mentioned in the past many times and always, the leadership knew that it could not work. What makes people think it will work now? Would you pay "medical school tuition" to get an art or music degree? NO! There goes the Fine Arts Department. History? NO! There goes the History, Philosophy and Political Science Departments. So goes ASU! Sad, Sad day for Augusta. This is going to cost taxpayers a bundle!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/23/12 - 09:00 pm
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Prayer

There has been a prayer group established to pray for Gruzziz's continued power. Maybe a counter prayer group would be in order.

KSL
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KSL 08/23/12 - 09:15 pm
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Gruzziz has supporters? They

Gruzziz has supporters? They are a pretty quiet group.

abeecee
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abeecee 08/23/12 - 09:18 pm
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letters to Editors-AC,AJC

Scamp1. You have nailed the deeper issues. Please send your comments as Letter to the Editor/Opinion pages AC and AJC. Atlanta is beginning to pay attention. Not sure the Gov. is checking out this Facebook page. Hint for all.

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