Tag Archives: Ricardo Azziz

Azziz receives proclamation from mayor

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Augusta commissioners joined Mayor Davis in recognizing Azziz and family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Ricardo Azziz received a proclamation from Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. on June 3rd, honoring both his leadership and continued contributions to the Augusta community. Azziz, who took over the presidency of the Medical College of Georgia in 2010, will step down as president of Georgia Regents University on June 30.

Employee Advisory Council presents Employee Awards

On a busy Friday that saw the groundbreaking of the new, 724-bed student housing complex, the State of the Medical College of Georgia address and the Presidential Farewell Ice Cream Social, the Employee Advisory Council held its inaugural Employee Awards Program.

The awards celebrate individuals, teams, and departments for their “outstanding and meritorious work.”

Vice President for Human Resources Susan Norton opened the two-hour program, followed by a welcome by President Ricardo Azziz.

The Teamwork Award, presented by Coach Clint Bryant, went to the ED Respiratory Therapy Team as well as the staff of the Child Care Center.

Norton presented the Service Excellence Award, which went to Alexis Rossi, Melissa Bold, Elizabeth D. Jones, Sandra Oglesy, and Victoria Worsham.

The Golden Pen Award, which recognizes staff that have reached a significant level of achievement and excellence in both their career and in their contributions to the growth and development of GRU, was presented by Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter Buckley.

Of the six nominees, Drs. Jack Chungkai Yu, Nhuan Nguyen, and Christina DeRemer received the award.

For photos of the winners, click here.

Presidential Farewell Ice Cream Social

It’s never easy to say goodbye, but it’s always a little better when you can say it with ice cream. So don’t miss this week’s Presidential Farewell Ice Cream Social.

The classic ice cream social will feature vanilla and chocolate ice cream along with a topping station and bottled water. The best part? Two locations.

The first event will occur at the Jaguar Student Activities Center inside the breezeway on the Summerville Campus from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29.

The second ice cream social will be held on the Wellness Center basketball court on the Health Sciences Campus from 1-2 p.m. on Friday, May 1.

Azziz reflects on accomplishments, future, at final State of the Enterprise

President Ricardo Azziz used his final State of the Enterprise address to remind the GRU community of some of the challenges it faced during his five years in office while celebrating some of the many successes.

“At the start of this journey, if somebody had told me that we would accomplish all that we have in such a short period of time, I would not have believed it was possible,” he told a packed Lee Auditorium and those watching remotely at Science Hall on the Summerville Campus.

The fact that the two locations belonged to totally separate institutions when he started his tenure in Augusta was, of course, lost on no one, nor was the fact that he was recruited to be an agent of transformation.

“But what I didn’t really realize was how absolutely extraordinary that period of transformation was going to be,” he said.

First charged with creating an integrated health system that would be aligned and partnered with the university while also expanding Georgia’s public academic health care center to better serve the state’s growing need for medical professionals and health care providers, Azziz was quickly put in charge of the consolidation process that created the state’s forth comprehensive research university, becoming GRU’s first president.

“When we started, we were proud of who we were and we were proud of where we were,” he said. “We were honored to be part of a 200-year history, but we also understood that we were at a crossroads – a crossroads in health care and a crossroads in higher education.”

Acknowledging that the journey wasn’t always easy, he concluded by emphasizing how well positioned the current leadership team is to help the new president lead the organization into the future.

“I do believe that we are at the end of the initial phase of this transformation, what some of you may say is the hardest phase of this transformation,” he said. “It is now time for a new leader to take the helm and lead GRU into its next chapter.”

Azziz announced earlier in the year that he would be stepping down on June 30. A presidential search committee was formed in February.

Azziz receives University Senate resolution, Visiting Scholar appointment

Outgoing President Ricardo Azziz received another pair of honors this month.

On April 1, Azziz learned he had been appointed as a Visiting Scholar for the 2015-16 academic year at the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

Nominated by Professors Bill Tierney and Adrianna Kezar, the appointment gives Azziz temporary visitor status, meaning he’ll have access to USC services as well as shared office space in the Pullias Center.

Then, on April 20, the University Senate adopted a resolution honoring him on behalf of the more than 1,500 faculty members of the university he helped create.

Among the partial list of accomplishments, the resolution acknowledged:

  • Raising graduation rates and dramatically increasing the number of new freshmen successfully completing 15+ credit hours per semester
  • Creating a closely aligned, integrated, and successful health system to be part of Georgia’s only public academic health center
  • Earning the highest research funding in the institution’s history during the worst funding environment in decades
  • Moving the GRU Cancer Center toward NCI designation
  • Nearly tripling yearly philanthropic contributions, achieving the largest donation to a capital project in the university’s history, and also, separately, the largest philanthropic gift ever given to a public institution in Georgia
  • Obtaining funding and support for the construction of more than $200 million in new building space

Azziz, who earlier this year announced plans to step down on June 30, held his final State of the Enterprise address at noon on Wednesday, April 22.

Azziz represents GRU at two prestigious conferences

Early April saw President Ricardo Azziz representing Georgia Regents University at two major conferences.

On Thursday, April 2, Azziz spoke about GRU’s diversity and inclusivity strategies at the Harvard Medical School 2014-15 Leadership Forum, and a week later, he also appeared in Panama City, Panama, where he was invited to participate in the First Forum for University Presidents, which was held in conjunction with the Summit of the Americas.

The Summit of the Americas, a high-level conference that brings together leaders of North and South America to discuss important issues impacting both continents, made headlines for several reasons this year, most notably the historic handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

The trips represent a continuation of Azziz’s long commitment to increasing the visibility of GRU though elite speaking engagements and high profile outreach. They also came just weeks before his final State of the Enterprise address on April 22.

Earlier this year, Azziz announced that he would be stepping down on June 30. A national search is currently underway to name a replacement.

Azziz to give his final State of the Enterprise April 22

Dr. Azziz’s final State of the Enterprise address is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22 at 12pm in Lee Auditorium (BC-1040). Lunch will be provided.

There will also be an overflow room located in the Small Auditorium (BC-1400).

Summerville will have a viewing location set up in the Science Building, SCI-W1002, lunch will be provided at this location as well.

For those of you coming from the Summerville Campus, it is suggested you utilize the shuttle service, red route. The schedule can be found here:http://www.gru.edu/parking/shuttles.php. In addition to the regular shuttle, we will have an additional shuttle running with the following route:

Summerville, main entrance circle at University Hall, pickup/drop off on the hour
Health Sciences, West Entrance (faces Public Safety), pickup/drop off on the ½ hour
Health Sciences, Kelly Building, pickup/drop off on the quarter hour (15 and 45 minutes after the hour).

For those unable to attend, you may still watch it live at gru.edu/stream.

Save the Date – Dr. Azziz’s State of Enterprise Address

Dr. Azziz’s final State of the Enterprise address is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22 at 12pm in Lee Auditorium (BC-1040). Lunch will be provided.
There will also be an overflow room located in the Small Auditorium, (BC-1400).

Summerville will have a viewing location set up in the Science Building, SCI-W1002, lunch will be provided at this location as well.

For those of you coming from the Summerville Campus, it is suggested you utilize the shuttle service, red route. The schedule can be found here:http://www.gru.edu/parking/shuttles.php. In addition to the regular shuttle, we will have an additional shuttle running with the following route:

Summerville, main entrance circle at University Hall, pickup/drop off on the hour
Health Sciences, West Entrance (faces Public Safety), pickup/drop off on the ½ hour
Health Sciences, Kelly Building, pickup/drop off on the quarter hour (15 and 45 minutes after the hour).

Azziz resigns, speaks to GRU community

After submitting his resignation to the Board of Regents, Dr. Ricardo Azziz, President of Georgia Regents University and CEO of Georgia Regents Health System, spoke with the GReport in order to directly address faculty, staff, and students of the combined institution he created.

_DSC5184“I consider myself to be lucky and honored,” he said Thursday. “How often does a person come in and not only get to create a whole new university – and a university with a grand vision, not just a university with ho-hum vision – but also to create a health system, which we didn’t have? That’s just extraordinary.”

Azziz was named president of the Medical College of Georgia in 2010 and was inaugurated just before the Board of Regents moved to consolidate the institution with Augusta State University. He then led the successful implementation of the consolidation of the two Augusta institutions.

Given the school’s achievements and the ties he and his family have built, the decision to resign wasn’t easy, he said, but he felt the time was right.

“It’s important to know that you can’t be the forever president, that each president has a mission and when you accomplish those things, you need to decide if it’s better for somebody else to carry it to the next level,” he said. “I’d rather be the person who’s accomplished a lot, transformed the institution into a much better place and set the stage for the next thing, and leave on top.”

_DSC5225Acknowledging the criticism that followed him throughout the consolidation process and beyond, he remained positive about his treatment by the community.

“There are always people who will disagree, detractors if you will, and that’s normal when you’re creating a health system that didn’t exist, or creating a new university that didn’t exist, or you’re just pushing the boundary or demanding excellence,” he said. “But this has been a great community. The people are really charming and wonderful and hospitable, and we have many, many friends here.”

Board of Regents Chair Neil Pruitt highlighted Azziz’s contributions to the University System saying, “Dr. Azziz’s contributions to Georgia Regents University and Georgia Regents Health System will have lasting impact for the benefit of the students and patients served. I thank Dr. Azziz for his leadership and service to the University System and his steadfast support of our mission in public higher education.”

University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby recognized Azziz’s leadership of Georgia Regents University saying, “Dr. Azziz has led the transformation of Georgia Regents University into a nationally recognized research institution. He outlined a vision for the new institution and positioned GRU for a bright future. He is a valued colleague. On behalf of the University System, I thank Dr. Azziz for all his contributions and we wish him and his family the very best in his future work.”

_DSC5232Though the list of successes is long, Azziz said he was most proud of the increase in student success.

“The fact that we’re improving graduation rates, the fact that we’re improving retention rates, the fact that we’re improving the student experience – that’s what matters,” he said.

His message to the GRU community was succinct and heartfelt.

“First: my whole-hearted thanks,” he said. “I really, truly mean that. You cannot achieve what we have achieved without everybody going in the same direction at the same time and everybody believing in the future.

“Second: Stay on course. Believe in your greatness, because we are a great institution.”

Azziz said that while he will be stepping away from his administrative duties effective June 30, he plans to remain at the university as a professor.

“I haven’t had any time off to reengage with my academics in 35 years, so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “And then we’ll see what the future holds.”

 

 

Azziz named to Georgia Trend list of 100 most influential Georgians

Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz has been named to Georgia Trend’s list of “100 Most Influential Georgians” for a fifth consecutive year.

Included in this month’s issue of the magazine, the 2015 list includes individuals from Georgia’s government, education, and business sectors, and is based on leadership, power, and influence criteria.

Other area leaders include Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Augusta Economic Development Authority Executive Director Walter Sprouse, Jr., who were both named to the magazine’s 2015 list of “Notable Georgians.”

“I am honored to be included among the state’s most influential leaders – those who work year round to make a positive impact on the lives of Georgians across the state,” Azziz said. “I would also like to congratulate Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Augusta Economic Development Authority Director Walter Sprouse, two city leaders who have exhibited a continued commitment to move Augusta forward.”

Also on the cover is “Georgian of the Year” University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby who was named for his strong, steady, and principled leadership of Georgia’s University System.

According to the magazine’s editorial staff, “Some of the notables wield their influence in the limelight; others work behind the scenes. But all of them impact the daily lives of Georgians everywhere.”

To see the full list, click here.