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Chancellor to speak at chamber breakfast

Posted: May 13, 2013 - 9:50am

The chancellor of the Georgia Board of Regents will be the speaker for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday, and organizers are hoping recent GRU controversies don’t overshadow his visit.

Henry “Hank” Huckaby, entering his second year as chancellor of the state’s 31 public colleges and universities, is instead expected to discuss issues of higher education relevant to the chamber’s business-minded members, said the chamber’s president and CEO, Tammy Shepherd.

Similar to previous formats for the chamber sessions, which precede and follow up all Georgia legislative sessions, Huckaby will be joined by members of the county’s legislative delegation, who are expected to deliver brief remarks regarding the recently ended legislative session.

Because Huckaby is the speaker, however, questions from the audience might be screened.

“The only thing we might do is take questions on note cards, and then go through them that way,” Shepherd said. “My biggest concern, with it being the chancellor, we don’t want it to turn into a bashing of anything or questions getting out of hand.”

The troublesome questions, she said, could be those regarding the controversial Georgia Regents University name for the merged campuses of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. Recent concerns also have been raised by the discovery that GRU spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations to President Ricardo Azziz’s university-owned home without first getting the required approval from the regents.

That’s not why Huckaby was invited to speak, Shepherd said.

“This is really about what can we expect for the economic development side or the impact the whole Georgia Regents University would have on Augusta, from both campuses,” Shepherd said. “What’s going on with other universities in our state, from growth and development. ... That’s the thing we think would be most important to our membership.”

Admission to the breakfast, which begins at 7 a.m., is free to chamber members, $20 to non-members. Reservations are needed by noon Monday, May 13, by calling (706) 651-0018.


What: Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Post-Legislative Breakfast

When: 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 15

Where: Savannah Rapids Pavilion

Cost: Free to chamber members, $20 to non-members

More: Reservations by noon Monday at (706) 651-0018.

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Comments (7)


"Because Huckaby is the

"Because Huckaby is the speaker, however, questions from the audience might be screened"

How convenient for him. Seems if he is big enough to lead this pack, he should be able to answer a few questions...... questions that he SHOULD have answered long before now.

Sweet son

Thanks my.voice!

I had the same question and would have hoped that our local media could/would ask some challenging questions about our local "university" and it's leadership! Step up News Times!
The Board of Regents should not expect any holidays in this area!


If they don't want questions

If they don't want questions about issues that matter to local folks, then I encourage local folks to not attend. That would send the appropriate message to the Chancellor and the local Chamber management.


I would ask him about the

I would ask him about the overall leadership of Dr. Azziz. If Mr. Shepherd doesn't want to embarrass Mr. Huckaby he can say it pretty please with cream on top or however he wants to. To take questions from the audience and not use the most asked questions would be dishonest.

Sweet son


“The only thing we might do is take questions on note cards, and then go through them that way,” Shepherd said.


Protest Tomorrow Morning

This would be an ideal time to have a protest. If we could round up enough people to show up the Savannah Rapids Pavilion tomorrow morning, it would be fantastic. I'm sure some of those already attending the breakfast would be happy to join our little protest. It would make great press. Embarrassing him is the idea, not something to be avoided.

I notice reservations to the breakfast were over just after this article was posted online. They want a small, handpicked, acquiescent audience.

Barry Paschal

No protesters

No protesters were there, not even a stray "Save the A" sign posted on the road.