LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The search for a new president for Georgia Regents University has drawn interest from numerous applicants, University System of Georgia officials said Wednesday.

President Ricardo Azziz has announced in January his resignation from the post, effective July 1 after about five years on the job. He will retain his faculty position.

The Board of Regents, meeting at Georgia Gwinnett College, got a brief status report behind closed doors Wednesday.

System spokesman Charles Sutlive said there was progress but no decisions yet.

Privately, board members say the strong response from across the country demonstrates the attraction of heading a major research university that has the board’s commitment to give it the resources to become one of the top 50 institutions of its kind in the country.

Although the university includes the Medical College of Georgia and recent presidents have typically been physicians, there is no policy that requires it. So, part of the search committee’s job is to decide if the new leader also needs to be a doctor following the merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

A committee of regents, alumni and community leaders is conducting the search. Georgia law allows it to keep the identity of applicants secret until three finalists have been selected.

In recent years, search committees have gotten around the disclosure requirement by only naming a single finalist so that those ultimately not selected will not risk embarrassing confrontation with their current employers.

The system is also in the midst of a search for the dean for GRU’s joint medical campus in Athens with the University of Georgia. The first dean, Dr. Barbara Schuster, announced in January that she was stepping down in May.


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