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UNLV prez candidate a walking s***storm magnet

On Monday, UNLV announced that it had narrowed its selections for a new president down to three.

One of them is Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Regents University – which makes me wonder if the search committee, headed by a consultant who was paid $150,000, has ever heard of Google.  Because a quick Google search turned up a story out of Georgia headlined, “Dr. Azziz dodges questions about recent controversy.”

You’d think a story headline such as that might have raised a few red flags, no?

In my Google search, I also found these headlines…

  • Azziz Says GRU “Messed Up” In Altered Photos Controversy
  • Gov. Deal addresses Azziz controversy
  • Azziz is tone-deaf in naming controversy
  • Former Augusta State president tells Azziz: ‘It’s not about you’
  • Azziz weekend wedding raises eyebrows
  • Garage addition at home of Azziz planned without state approval
  • Azziz under fire over plan to expand garage with GRU money
  • Dr. Azziz’s new garage might not happen this fiscal year
  • Azziz to reimburse GRU for resources used at private wedding
  • Azziz Issues Statement On Use Of University Resources Controversy
  • Emails reveal new “tricked out” car for Dr. Azziz
  • University patrol car picked up Azziz’s children from school
  • GRU security officer brought Azziz’s children home from school

First, let me acknowledge that there are, indeed, two sides to every story. And it’s only fair to hear Dr. Azziz’s side of these controversies.  But that’s part of the problem.  When questioned by the media after a speech in April 2013, he stonewalled.

Azziz was asked about the wedding controversy. “We’re actually not going to answer that,” Azziz replied.  “Those questions I’m not going to answer today.”

The media wanted answers about “plans (that) were made but not approved for a $75,000 update to the president’s garage.” Azziz replied, “We’re talking about today’s talk. Any other discussion?”

What about “why school resources were used to pick up your children”?

Azziz again ducked. “Anything else?”

Yes, “whose idea was it to erase ASU’s logo from the pamphlet (school brochure)?”

“Any other questions about today’s talk?” Azziz said, refusing to answer.

Great. Just what UNLV needs. A new president with a controversial past who feels he’s above question and owes explanations to no one for his actions.

How’d this guy ever make it to the Final Three?