Georgia Regents president Azziz submits resignation letter

Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz has submitted his letter of resignation from the university, officials with the state’s university system confirmed.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss his resignation.

Azziz was named president of the Medical College of Georgia in 2010. He led the merger of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities in 2012, which created GRU, the University System of Georgia’s fourth research university. He also serves as chief executive officer of the Georgia Regents Health System.

He was one of three finalists last year to lead the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but was not selected for the position. He was also a candidate early last year to lead the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, but decided not to pursue that post. Azziz was also one of 36 nominees to replace University of Florida President Bernie Machem in 2012.

During his tenure at GRU, Azziz was criticized for supporting the name of the consolidated university, which inflamed some residents because the word “Augusta” was not included. He was also criticized for questionable spending decisions, including having a $75,000 carport built on to the president’s home and using a university bus and driver for a relative’s wedding.