Who is Dr. Ricardo Azziz? - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Who is Dr. Ricardo Azziz?

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A man you may know as the president of Georgia Regents University but who is Dr. Ricardo Azziz?

FOX54's Elizabeth Rawlins caught up with the president and took a glimpse into his life.  

"Since we officially consolidated the eighth of January, things have really been marching really well," said Dr. Azziz.  

Dr. Ricardo Azziz is pleased with the outcome of a merger that all started a year ago when the Board of Regents unanimously approved the consolidation between Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University, a change that many disapproved of.

Prior to the controversy Dr. Azziz worked out in Los Angeles at Cedars Sinai Medical Center until he assumed the role as President of Georgia Health Sciences back in 2010. A move, he said, that was not as extreme as seems.

"Well you know, you have to remember that I spent fifteen years most of my career in the South, in Birmingham and my wife is from Birmingham, my brother and sister live in Atlanta, my in-laws are in Birmingham," said Dr. Azziz. "So the south isn't foreign me."  

He said returning to the South was not just for him to take a job at the university but a move he wanted for his family.

"We came back here on purpose because we wanted to raise our kids in the South so it's not quite as strange as you would think," said Dr. Azziz.  

A move, that makes him think about his own childhood.

"I am having great fun because you have to realize, I grew up on a university campus more than I grew up off of it," said Dr. Azziz.  "When I was younger, my parents were both professors at a university so this is the kind of environment I am accustomed too."

An education environment, prior to the merger, was one that was primarily focused on the health sciences and medicine.

However, when Augusta State, a liberal arts school was combining with Georgia Health Sciences, he did not think twice about it because even though he has a degree in medicine, he has a passion for the arts.

"I really enjoy creativity, I enjoy the arts, I enjoy music, I enjoy writing, and in fact, I do some of that myself, no music of course," said Dr. Azziz.  

It's what he said he uses as a release; his favorite type of art, traditional surrealism.

"It's a traditional type of art but very traditional to the turn of the century, you know 1920's type of art," said Dr. Azziz.  

Like Dr. Azziz who combines both science and art into his life, he said combining these two universities will make education that much stronger.

"Our job is to create individuals who have positions that contribute to society to help create better citizens and I can tell you that a liberal arts background and a back ground centered in many different ways of thinking produces better citizens and it also produces better scientists and better health professionals," said Dr. Azziz.  

A fruition he is looking forward to.

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