Azziz at home: ‘New U’ president gives himself B+ on handling of controversial school merger

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Dr. Ricardo Azziz (WRDW-TV)

Dr. Ricardo Azziz (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at Midday / Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He has been at the center of a firestorm surrounding two major local institutions. Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University will soon merge, but many people are not happy about the new name.

School President Dr. Ricardo Azziz allowed only our cameras into his home for a one-on-one interview about the naming controversy.

"It has been toughest on my family," Azziz said. “They have had a father who hasn't been around very much. They have had to obviously be in the middle of certain controversies that they didn't ask to be."

There have been protests and formal campaigns against the new name for Augusta’s "New U."

The "Save the A" group recently blanketed his home with signs in protest of the Georgia Regents University name. Regent University in Virginia is taking legal action against the name. With all the push back and controversy, we wondered how the president grades the job he has done so far.

“I’m a professor, but I have been an eternal student. I’m always focused on the grade. I say I would give myself a B+," he said. “I think we have achieved a large number of things that we needed to do. We haven’t achieved all of them. So that's what I would give myself.“

“Why not an A?” we asked.

“I rarely give A's to any of my students," replied Dr. Azziz with a smile.

The formal name, Georgia Regents University, goes before the Board of Regents in January. Azziz says they will have the final say on the name.

To see all of the clips from the interview, click here to view the playlist:

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