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Ricardo Azziz, Director

Ricardo Azziz


With over 25 years of leadership experience, throughout his career Ricardo Azziz has been actively engaged in ensuring institutions reach their greatest potential. Among numerous executive positions that he has held, he led the merger that resulted in Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University), serving as founding president, and previously served as president of Georgia Health Sciences University, leading the merger and alignment of various clinical entities to create the state’s only public academic health system (now Augusta University Health System). He has also served as senior executive within the State University of New York (SUNY) system administration and as member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools-Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

He is co-author of ‘Mergers in Higher Education: A Proactive Strategy to a Better Future?’ published by the TIAA Institute (2017) and ‘Strategic Mergers in Higher Education’, published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2019), and authors a regular column in Higher Ed Dive, ‘Merger Watch’. He is completing ‘Leading Big Scary Change: Major Institutional Restructuring in Higher Education’ for the TIAA Institute (exp. pub. spring 2023) and ‘Leading Mergers and Institutional Restructuring in Higher Education’ for Johns Hopkins University Press (exp. pub. summer 2024). Dr. Azziz is a prolific writer with more than 200 articles, blogs, and op-eds in the higher ed space (in addition to over 400 publications in the biomedical sciences).

Dr. Azziz is on the faculties of the University at Albany, SUNY and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a fellow of the Rockefeller institute of Government, studying change management, mergers & consolidations, strategic planning, leadership development, and diversity, equity & inclusion in higher education. He is the founder of the non-profit Foundation for Research and Education Excellence.

Janice Bielmyer, Executive Administrator

Janice Bielmyer

Executive Administrator  

​Janice is an administrative professional with over 25 years of experience driving operational efficiencies by implementing cutting-edge systems, maximizing performance, and developing professional communications and exceptional customer service. Previously, Janice provided oversight for the Dean’s Office at the Clemson University College of Business. She also organized college-wide events and administered the Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment process for the faculty of the Business College. She also served as Associate Director of Administration with the University of Central Florida (UCF), as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and as Executive Assistant to the President of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. Janice received her B.S. In General Business Administration & Management from Limestone College.