Rahn's exit timetable questioned

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Medical College of Georgia President Daniel W. Rahn will be leaving Augusta to take a similar post with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. But when that will happen is unclear and a concern to some.

Dr. Daniel W. Rahn is leaving his post as Medical College of Georgia president this year. The exact date has not been set, which is causing concern.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Dr. Daniel W. Rahn is leaving his post as Medical College of Georgia president this year. The exact date has not been set, which is causing concern.

Dr. Rahn was approved in a unanimous vote Tuesday by the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees to become the next chancellor of the Little Rock school.

"In my judgment, we're getting somebody who has strong leadership abilities," said university system President B. Alan Sugg. "He's got excellent communication skills. I think he will represent the university very well with the external public, with the Legislature, with support groups."

Dr. Rahn, who has been president of MCG since 2001, was identified by the executive search firm looking for a successor to retiring Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson.

When Dr. Rahn will become a chancellor is still an open question. He said Arkansas officials have assured him that they will be flexible and that it could be any time between July 1 and the end of the year. There are many projects at MCG, such as finalizing funding for the new building for the School of Dentistry and firming up plans for new student housing, that he wants to complete.

"There are a number of things that I really want to see through to finish well in my current position," Dr. Rahn said, "and then have a smooth transition as the search goes forward for the next president at MCG."

It is for those same reasons, however, that state Sen. Ed. Tarver, D-Augusta, would like a shorter process. Mr. Tarver said he didn't know whether "in this instance a long goodbye is in the best interests of MCG, with the number of extremely important decisions that are being made regarding the future of MCG both in Augusta and statewide. It raises the question of whether or not moving forward as quickly as possible to select new leadership would be a better strategy in this case."

Mr. Tarver said that he expressed his concerns to University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. and that ultimately it will be up to the Board of Regents. That issue might be dealt with at the board's next meeting, April 14-15.

"I would like to see the search started as quickly as possible," Mr. Tarver said. "And that a new leader be identified for the Medical College of Georgia at the earliest possible date. And if necessary that the institution move as quickly as possible to identify an interim while their search is ongoing."

Mr. Davis released a statement saying no timeline for a search has been set.

"Dr. Rahn's departure will be a tremendous loss for the people of Georgia and for MCG," Mr. Davis said in the statement.

Dr. Rahn said he is also trying to be fair to the needs of the school in Little Rock, where he and wife, Lana, have yet to begin house-hunting.

"I'm feeling very good," he said. "Lana and I are very excited about this new challenge. I'm also very bullish on the future for MCG. But we're very excited about this new opportunity."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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augusta49
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augusta49 03/25/09 - 07:37 am
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who cares?? just glad to see

who cares?? just glad to see him go. i'm sure that they have plenty of money to get any house that they want to.

jackrabbit5491
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jackrabbit5491 03/25/09 - 08:13 am
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Dr Rahn should leave MCG

Dr Rahn should leave MCG ASAP. Mr Tarver is correct! The longer he stays, the closer MCG will come to being dismantled. He will make politically unpopular decisions (in Augusta) as the President of MCG, not an interim or acting. Possibly, his staying at MCG for a prolonged time will undermine the rule of law. Recruitment of a new, dynamic leader for MCG will be hindered. The only question the new leader will have to answer is how much to enlarge the dental branch.

Why ME
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Why ME 03/25/09 - 08:13 am
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What better time to put it

What better time to put it under UGA, since that is most likely where it is headed.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/09 - 09:31 am
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I know Dr. Rahn felt betrayed

I know Dr. Rahn felt betrayed by Adams and UGA when it came time to appoint someone to run the Athens medical school. They went off their own way against his wishes. Well, son of a gun, welcome to Survivor and alliance building backstabbing. I also know that Rahn was an integral part of the decision to start the new school. That decision is going to end up costing the state hundreds of millions and decrease funding for MCG Augusta over time. There is simply no getting around those facts. Sen. Ed Tarver has been the one seeing clearly from the beginning when it was apparent Rahn was wearing the rose colored glasses. Well, he has learned and is moving on it appears. WhyME, you do realize MCG and all other public colleges and univeristies have always been under the Board of Regents of the University Sytem of Georiga.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/25/09 - 09:38 am
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I agree with Sen. Tarver. If

I agree with Sen. Tarver. If Dr. Rahn feels this new opportunity is so great, he should e given a week to clean his office out and turn in his keys. He wants to leave MCG for a specific reason not known to us. If this such a great time for MCG, why does he want to jump ship now when all these accomplishments could be added to his resume for even greater opportunities in the future.I have said from the start that there is something in this pudding thatthe public does not know.

recoveringliberal
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recoveringliberal 03/25/09 - 10:02 am
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Great pic. He's wearing that

Great pic. He's wearing that "boy, have I got a deal for you", used car salesman smile. The exit timing is indeed peculiar but not for the reasons Sen. Tarver mentions. This is a time of change for MCG. The issue of the Athens campus and MCG's future, the current building program at the Augusta campus, not to mention the financial issues and funding which are assuming ever increasing importance. In fact, it would be hard to think of a worse time for a captain to abandon ship. Most peculiar. I'd be tempted to say that 18 years in Augusta is enough but he's going to Arkansas, fer gawds sake!! At least we have a decent golf tournament once a year! This smells of a hasty "get out of Dodge" quickly maneuver. By the way, did y'all know the difference between a tornado and a divorced woman in Arkansas? Nothing! In the end, they both get the trailer home.

AjavaCafe
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AjavaCafe 03/25/09 - 11:07 am
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Reading the comments posted

Reading the comments posted by some to this story and others in the past weeks, brings to mind a saying a wise old man once told me. "You should keep your mouth closed and let people believe you are a fool, then open your mouth and remove all doubt." I say this because it is obvious most of you have no idea what you are talking about. Sadly, I suspect most of you don't care. This forum is not about facts, or truth. Dr Rahn and his wife are two of the classiest and honorable people you would ever have the privilege of meeting or getting to know. Dr Rahn, you and Lana will truly be missed. You leave with your honor and integrity in tact and your head held high. God Bless and good luck.

kiddspur
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kiddspur 03/25/09 - 11:32 am
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Hey the man is leaving, wish

Hey the man is leaving, wish him good luck at his next job and hope his replacement can be found in a reasonable amount of time.....He aw an opportunity for advancement and took it -- that is how the business world swirls......

jackrabbit5491
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jackrabbit5491 03/25/09 - 11:35 am
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The idea of medical school

The idea of medical school expansion in these tough financial times is flawed. Possibly the best description for expansion would be "Mike & Errol's (& Sonny's) Bogus Adventure." Apparently the University of North Carolina is, at least temporarily, abandoning it's medical school expansion. Maybe, UNC's fox knows something that Dr Adams' hedgehog doesn't. I believe it would be a sin to have a lame duck President put the nail into MCG's coffin while overstaying his welcome. Who knows, if we lose MCG, the Augusta National might move to Pebble Beach or Maui. Maybe a good project for these recessionary times would be the rerouting of the Savannah River to the south, so that, possibly, we could become part of South Carolina.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 03/25/09 - 12:06 pm
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One parasite gone!(almost) A

One parasite gone!(almost) A big smile on the backs of the old and sick who cannot afford the clinic's outrageous fees that he put into place.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/09 - 02:35 pm
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Ajavacafe, you created a

Ajavacafe, you created a screenname for this I see. Hey, I understand you may feel loyalty and there is nothing wrong with that. He was apparently a great communicator and some liked him although it is becoming increasingly apparent he made some bad decisions, especially concerning Augusta. Who was his choice to lead the new Athens school that UGA didn't approve, by the way?

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