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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 11:00am

Medical School Hiring Could Surge

Georgia Health Sciences University president Ricardo Azziz has more big plans for the school that just last week changed its name from The Medical College of Georgia.

The president of Georgia’s only public medical school wants to hire 500 new faculty members by 2018.

Azziz told the Board of Regents Tuesday that adding more researchers and clinicians to the staff will make the school more competitive on a national level.

"As you have greater number of faculty you have greater number of grants, greater opportunities for partnerships, greater discoveries and really greater probability that you are going to be contributing positively to society," Azziz says.

With 25 percent in cuts to the school’s state funding on the way, Azziz says growing his faculty from 900 to 1400 members in only seven years won’t be easy. But, he insists, it’s the only option.

"If we do not begin to grow and grow quickly we will become eventually irrelevant," says Azziz.

State money accounts for about 18 percent of the school’s billion dollar budget.

Azziz says the university is still developing plans on how to pay for the new faculty.

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