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Former Georgia Southern VP Russell Keen is nominated to succeed Brooks Keel at Augusta Univ.
Russell Keen
Russell Keen

AUGUSTA — A current Augusta University administrator who worked at Georgia Southern University for 13 years is positioned to become the school's next president.

Regents of the University System of Georgia voted Thursday to name Russell T. Keen as the sole finalist for the presidency of the 10,000-student public university, which includes the Medical College of Georgia.

Keen is currently executive vice president for administration and chief of staff to the president at Augusta University.

Being named a sole finalist is typically a prelude to being named president of a public college or university in Georgia. Under state law, regents must wait at least five days before confirming Keen's appointment.

Brooks Keel, the president of Augusta University since arriving from Georgia Southern University in 2015, announced last September that he will retire June 30.

Brooks Keel
Brooks Keel

Prior to Keel’s arrival, regents merged Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University in 2013 and named it Georgia Regents University. 

Shortly after Keel became president in 2015, regents handed over control of Augusta University's hospital to Wellstar Health System in an effort to improve the hospital’s financial position. 

Lawmakers this year agreed to create a freestanding medical school at the University of Georgia and a new dental school at Georgia Southern University, meaning Augusta University will no longer host Georgia's only public medical and dental schools.

Keen came to Augusta University in 2015 with Keel from Georgia Southern, where Keel had been president since 2010. Keen was an administrator at Georgia Southern for 13 years. Earlier, he was a fundraiser for the University of Georgia.

Keen earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in higher education administration from Georgia Southern. He earned a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Georgia.

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