Portrait of Ricardo Azziz

Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, MBA

Academic Health & Hospital Affairs, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration; Principal, Azziz & Associates Consulting

With over 25 years of leadership experience, throughout his career Ricardo has been actively engaged in ensuring that institutions reach their greatest potential. Among his numerous executive positions, he led the merger that resulted in Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University), serving as founding President, and he 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 Scholar in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the Rossier School of Medicine, University of Southern California; as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools-Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); and as a senior executive within the State University of New York (SUNY) system administration, where he founded and directed the SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute.  

He is lead author of Mergers in Higher Education: A Proactive Strategy to a Better Future? published by the TIAA Institute (2017) and of Strategic Mergers in Higher Education, published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2019), and he also writes 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 (expected publication summer 2023) and Leading Mergers and Institutional Restructuring in Higher Education for Johns Hopkins University Press (expected publication summer 2024). His distinguished credits include writings for or citations in The Huffington Post, TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), The Atlanta Constitution, The Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Des Moines Register, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Higher Ed Dive, and University Business (UB) Magazine.   

Ricardo is on the faculties of the University at Albany, SUNY and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he is also a fellow of the Rockefeller Institute of Government. He is the founder of the non-profit Foundation for Research and Education Excellence (FREE Foundation) and founder and director of the Center for Higher Education Mergers & Acquisitions (CHEMA) at the FREE Foundation. He also serves as Principal, Strategic Partnerships in Higher Ed (SPH) Consulting Group.