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A government watchdog organization in Georgia has published a newsletter highlighting the leadership success of the former president of Georgia Perimeter College, Dr. Anthony Tricoli.

After doing a stellar job as president, and winning both state and national awards for his numerous accomplishments, it is alleged in a well-documented lawsuit that the University System of Georgia resorted to fraud to destroy the career and reputation of Dr. Tricoli.

The Attorney General of Georgia and the trial court have taken extraordinary measures to protect the state officials who retaliated against Dr. Tricoli for cutting pet projects out of the budget and exposing waste and misappropriation of state funds.  Georgia Watchdog wrote a detailed article in their newsletter about how sovereign immunity laws in Georgia have been used as a defense by the State of Georgia in many other lawsuits to allow public officials accused of criminal acts to be shielded from accountability. It substantiates why the Center for Public Integrity ranked Georgia dead last in ethics and transparency out of all 50 states.

I encourage you to open this attachment and read about the accomplishments that were gained during the six year tenure of Dr. Tricoli, then ask yourself……When will we finally stand together and stop the unethical and corrupt actions of the USG Chancellor and the Board of Regents so this does not happen to other leaders who are not part of Georgia’s good ‘ol boy system.

Below is a letter from the state director of Georgia Watchdogs addressing this issue.

Please also click this link to read the newsletter outlining the specifics of the Tricoli case.



Good Afternoon:

You might wonder why a government watchdog organization is publishing a newletter about the former president of Georgia Perimeter College, Dr. Anthony Tricoli.

After doing a stellar job as president, and winning both state and national awards for his numerous accomplishments, it is alleged in a well-documented lawsuit that the University System of Georgia resorted to fraud to destroy the career and reputation of Dr. Tricoli.

The Attorney General of Georgia and the trial court have taken extraordinary measures to protect the state officials who retaliated against Dr. Tricoli for cutting pet projects out of the budget and exposing waste and misappropriation of state funds. (Go to and enter “sovereign immunity” in the search box to view a previous newsletter about how sovereign immunity laws in Georgia have been used as a defense by the State of Georgia in many other lawsuits to allow public officials accused of criminal acts to be shielded from accountability. It substantiates why the Center for Public Integrity ranked Georgia dead last in ethics and transparency out of all 50 states.)

The supporting documentation for this lawsuit should sound alarm bells for every taxpayer in Georgia. The lawsuit alleges that 300 jobs were lost, almost 10,000 fewer students per semester are gaining access to higher education, and somewhere between $9.5 million and $18.5 million remains missing and unaccounted for to this day, according to Georgia Perimeter College’s own self-audit.

The long-term overall negative economic impact is far worse than that. The Attorney General is alleged to be perversely distorting the law to protect the wrongdoers who destroyed Dr. Tricoli’s career and put an end to his positive reforms at Georgia Perimeter College.

After the Attorney General was sanctioned by the judge in the Ethics Commission whistleblower lawsuit for withholding evidence, the taxpayerswere forced to pay the fine for his violation of the law. When the Ethics Commission lawsuits were settled, it cost taxpayers over $3 million.

Now, once again, taxpayers are being forced to face the probability of paying millions of dollars as a result of the alleged wrongdoing of state officials who retaliated against Dr. Tricoli. Taxpayers are also suffering from the negative impact that all of this has had on a once vibrant and successful public educational institution, Georgia Perimeter College.

Although he promised to investigate the $9.5 million to $18.5 million that remains unaccounted for at GPC, Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens has instead focused his efforts on defending those who now claim sovereign immunity for their efforts to destroy Dr. Tricoli’s career. This is EXACTLY the same tactic that Attorney General Olens used in the open records lawsuit I filed to enforce Georgia’s Open Records Act. (Go and enter “Sam Olens” in the search box to view a previous newsletter and link to an embarrassing videotape of Georgia’s Attorney General lying about his actions in that case.)

Georgia taxpayers deserve better than this. Not only are our open records laws and sovereign immunity laws being perverted, but innocent people are being destroyed and taxpayers are being forced to pay for it.

Georgia’s Attorney General owes taxpayers an explanation for his actions.

As always, I welcome your comments.
Best Regards,
Sabrina Smith
Statewide Chairman
Georgia Watchdogs
Email: [email protected]
Georgia Watchdogs Tipline: 770-492-4298

By Alan Wood

Musings of an unabashed and unapologetic liberal deep in the heart of a Red State. Crusader against obscurantism. Optimistic curmudgeon, snark jockey, lovably opinionated purveyor of wisdom and truth. Multi-lingual world traveler and part-time irreverent philosopher who dabbles in writing, political analysis, and social commentary. Attempting to provide some sanity and clarity to complex issues with a dash of sardonic wit and humor. Thanks for visiting!

22 thoughts on “Anthony Tricoli Lauded for Leadership and Accomplishment”
  1. This recognition of Dr. Tricoli’s leadership is well deserved. As a faculty member who served at the college during his tenure I can attest that he is bot a good leader, he is a great leader. He did so much for GPC, opened our doors to thousands of new students, created programs that helped those students to complete college and to transfer easily, he gave us faculty members a voice, and showed us that he cared for all – faculty, staff and students. We could never have asked for a better leader. He is a good man with strong ethics and morals. He talked about the importance of good communication and collaboration, and he walked his talk every day that he was our president. I feel so fortunate to have worked for him. I believe so strongly in this man that I would follow him to his next college. He has earned my loyalty.

    1. Dr. Tricoli was a great president during his tenure at WHCC. He took time to talk with students about their concerns and always showed concern for both staff and faculty. Dr. Tricoli was one of the best presidents I have ever worked with. He was never too busy to talk with anyone that need his advise. Unfortunately, there will be chancellors/ board members and others that just can’t deal with an honest individual such as Dr. Tricoli . That is why those people have to use media and stoop so low to discredit an honest individual.

  2. I was a student at GPC when Dr. Tricoli was President, and I loved him. He is friendly, goes out of his way to make time to talk with us students, shared lunch with us, and even invited 40 of the student leaders to his home to have dinner with he and his wife. Those two people are a great couple and wonderful mentors to students. He certainly deserves this honor, like I said he was an awesome college president.

  3. Dear Alan,

    I have been teaching at GPC for over 30 years, and during that time I have worked for 4 permanent presidents (and three interim presidents – all Rob Watts). Without a question, the most reliable, trusted, and supportive of these people was Dr. Anthony Tricoli. He came to GPC at a time when enrollment was waning and layoffs were certain, and he created a plan that pulled the faculty and staff together and we grew 9 thousand new students in less than one year. Nobody lost their job, student access increased tremendously, and the faculty found in Anthony to be a man who would listen, who was accessible, and who would take appropriate action. Too, he was held fondly by our students. I would’t say Anthony was liked by the students, I would say he was loved by our students. And why not? He opened his door, his ears, the living room in his personal home, and his heart to help our students achieve their goals and dreams. When we lost Anthony, it was like we lost our heart and soul, and our greatest cheerleader with the University System. The loss of Anthony and the placement of our current interim president at the helm of our college spelled our doom. And that fear of ours has come to be our sad reality. Never did I anticipate the value of a true leader, one who could be trusted as one of our own. But now I know it is true. Anthony brought us hope in 2006, and steadily built our college and our morale, he listened to us, and trusted us because we were all part of the same team. I am so sad and so angry that we have lost our way, and that the University System was so short sighted in their quick action to find blame with anyone but themselves, because that is exactly where the blame belongs with the USG. Our hearts are with Anthony. This is a very sad ending for a college that just reached 50 years of service to Georgians.

  4. Dr. Anthony Tricoli deserves to be recognized in this way. As the former president of Kennesaw State University (Dr. Betty Segal) said, “Dr. Tricoli is a true educational visionary.” He is a dynamic and accomplished leader who nurtures and creates teamwork and then inspires that team to achieve the big picture mission by diving into details, always being innovative and entrepreneurial, giving credit to others for their work, and for working tirelessly to gain wins for the organization. He is an honest and respectable man, who I have seen work effectively in a highly matrixed and relationship driven culture. He is a leader of leaders.

    He has my admiration and my respect.

    1. Dr. Tricoli was one of the best cc presidents in the country in 2012. I agree with the previous poster, he is a visionary and an entrepreneur, He will be a great college president once again, and the college that gets him will have an inclusive president and a very good man as their leader.

  5. The vast number of exemplary accomplishments of former USG president, Dr. Anthony Tricoli, are, by far, the “exception rather than the rule.” As a former employee in the Office of a USG college president for fifteen years, and now, a fellow “warrior” seeking truth and justice in our state’s higher education system, I know. Dr. Tricoli’s strong record of success – both personally and professionally – was evident throughout the campus he led. The Board of Regents’ relentless quest to destroy his brilliant career represents the story of hundreds, if not thousands of USG faculty, staff, and students whose lives and careers have literally been destroyed by Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens and his defendants, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Ronald Reagan said, in part, “It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” The hope of an increasing number of Georgians is Dr. Tricoli’s story will be the foundation to which accountability by the Board of Regents of the USG – lost for years – will be built and from which integrity and truth in our state’s higher education system is restored for current and future generations. A legacy Dr. Tricoli has both earned and deserves!

  6. I know exactly what happened at GPC because I was there, in the conference rooms where decsions were being made; and I was part of the history making success that GPC enjoyed during Dr. Tricoli’s tenure.

    I was a member of the Enrollment Management, Recruitment, Admissions Team at GPC from 2006-2012. I feel fortunate to have been part of the team that gained some great successes under Dr. Tricoli’s leadership. It was a great place to work at that time, exciting!

    In the years before Dr. Tricoli’s presidency, the college recruited an average of 5,000 new students each fall semester, in 2007-2011 under Dr. Tricoli’s leadership we recruited up to 16,000 new students each semester!

    In the fall of 2006 when Dr. Tricoli first arrive as GPC’s new president, he met with then entire college faculty and staff and explained the enrollment dilemma the college would face in the upcoming fall of 2007 (that of losing 7,000 students with the closing of our Lawrenceville Campus – per the decision of the former interim president Watts).

    However, together we developed a plan that would exceed all expectations of the USG. Dr. Tricoli was our Captain, and we were his trusted crew mates (equals in all regards) and together we worked side by side to pull off a miracle. Over the next ten months we recruited over 9,000 new students to GPC. He asked that all ideas (even the crazy sounding ones) be placed on the table for consideration. Our team easily met the challenge by increasing the enrollment from 13,000 students to 20,500 students from fall to fall!

    With each following semester (fall to spring and spring to fall) the enrollment continued to grow, from 20,500 to 22k, to 23.5K, to 25K, to 26.5K to over 27,000 students. Even the Online program grew from 1,000 to over 10,000 students in just 4 years!

    Then in 2012, Dr. Tricoli, Dr. Jackson, and Dr. Fowler negotiated a training program with Fort Gordon military base that was going to bring an additional 6,500 students to GPC in the fall of 2012. Our enrollment was expected to be “at least” 33,000-34,000 students in the fall of 2012. Unfortunately, everything fell to pieces when Dr. Tricoli left the college and the enrollment has since dropped to 19,000 students.

    Many people left when Dr. Tricoli’s contract was not renewed, we knew the great success we had enjoyed was over. I’m no longer with the college, as GPC is nothing but of a shadow of what it was under Dr. Tricoli’s leadership. I will always cherish 2006-2011 as the best years of my working life, thanks to Dr. Tricoli. And as I told Dr. Tricoli recently, if he gets another job as college president I will come and work with him again.

  7. I did not know Dr. Tricoli as a college president, but I do know him as the President/CEO of our local non-profit organization which helps children here in East Tennessee. He is a smart and kind gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor.

    The greatest problem the organization had before Dr. Tricoli arrived was with the budget, it was constantly in the red, always on the brink of closing or not being able to make its payroll. In the past three years, Dr. Tricoli has made many improvements to the budget and to the organization in general. He has very strong budgeting skills. I like that he holds himself accountable for his work, and the employees for their work outcomes too. The budget is now in wonderful shape thanks to Dr. Tricoli.

    He supports team-work and encourages all employees to work together. In terms of the budget, he has done wonders, he’s reduced the organization’s expenditures, increased the income, and improved its processes and business image. As a result of his leadership the organization now operates lean and smoother than ever before. The staff members are working as a well oiled team. He is also a great fundraiser and has excellent skills in writing and in community relations.

    You should also know that Dr. Tricoli cares deeply about his staff. He even permanently reduced his own salary by several thousands of dollars in order to provide raises for staff members using his own salary. He is a good man, and we’re glad he’s here in Monroe County to help our children and our community.

    I am glad he has been recognized by the Georgia Watchdogs for his leadership work. I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s recognized for his positive impact here in Tennessee too.

    1. sr. Tricoli easily and smoothly moved from higher education to the world of non-profits. He is very successful fund raiser and community builder. I am happy to see that he is being recognized for his outstanding leadership.

  8. I am pleased and encouraged the Georgia Watchdogs organization is doing such good work and has stood up in support of former Georgia Perimeter College President Anthony Tricoli as it shows their courage and mission to do the right thing. It is hard to fight against a gang when you are by yourself, and it seems this is what Anthony has been up against for several years in spite of the Attorney General admitting the official budget reports used against Anthony were in fact falsified by college and system staff.

    Any normal, reasonable and just person in the AG’s position would have fought to reinstate Anthony Tricoli as GPC President and then pursue charges against those who falsified the reports; that is unless he has something to gain or people to protect or both.

    With this example we know that not all criminals wear orange jump suits and reside in prisons but many walk among us wearing expensive suits and work in high rise buildings. We must change our mental image of the criminal to include people in tailored suits who are well spoken, as it is often there terrific command of language and exceptional cold cognition that allows them to attack and hurt others simply for sport or to cover up their own wrong doing or that of their friends in hopes of a favor to be returned later.

    These criminals often walk the hallways of government buildings with positions of power and authority. We’ve all heard the old saying “Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely” and this is why all positions need to be checked by organizations like the Georgia Watchdogs. I commend the Georgia Watchdogs for checking and making public the corrupt acts of the Georgia Government.

    We as a society need to change our thinking to see white collar crime as every bit as destructive as other crime, oftentimes even much more destructive as it affects many more people in the majority of cases.

    I met Anthony Tricoli 15 years ago and since that time I have had the opportunity to see him in several capacities including successful college president to wronged victim of a personal and professional assault by his colleagues – those he should have been able to trust in Georgia. What a terrible crime was done to this man.

    Through it all, and for 15 years, I have only known one Anthony, a man of principle, and values, and integrity, a kind soul who cares for others and lifts up those who most need help. It is difficult to imagine that this intelligent and thoughtful man will no longer be helping students because of the criminal acts of a few corrupt men. In this I am sure, that Anthony could walk into the President’s office at GPC tomorrow and pull the team back together and start growing the institution, enabling more and more student’s access to success in higher education. For all of these reasons and many others, I stand behind Anthony, and I am proud to call him my friend. He is certainly deserving of this recognition by the Georgia Watchdogs.

  9. After doing a stellar job as president, and winning both state and national awards for his numerous accomplishments, it is alleged in a well-documented lawsuit that the University System of Georgia resorted to fraud to destroy the career and reputation of Dr. Tricoli.” – That statement says it all. It is unconscionable the damage that has been inflicted on such a great leader in higher education.

    1. I agree 100%. He should be the Chancellor of our System right now. He is trustworthy and carries a set of values that we need in the person leading our System. We lost the best college president in our state when Dr. Tricoli left Georgia.

  10. Dr. T was president when I attended GPC, and he was a great leader of the college, a caring person, and an authentic and wonderful college president for students and employees of the college. To say he was beloved by nearly all would not be an overstatement.

  11. As a former employee of GPC I came to love that man for who he is and what he stood for. I, like many others who worked during his tenure at GPC would follow him anywhere. He is a great president and leader.

    1. I enjoyed Dr. Tricoli’s regular Open Forum discussions. He was not afraid to tackle tough topics. His leadership on the issue of shared governance and the topic of diversity were earth shattering for all of us at the college. A very inclusive and refreshing president who I miss greatly.

  12. Dr. Tricoli has been consulting with our college for the past three years. His understanding of the issues can best be described as in-depth to say the least. His work in enrollment management has helped us to gain a huge increase of new students and to retain those we recruit. He also shared some great ideas with us about fundraising and accreditation, and also on the development of new programs and the in the assessment of existing programs. I like his no nonsense straight talk approach to the issues that are important to us.

  13. It is good to see the truth come out after all of this time about what really happened at GPC. How is it that the USG can continue to get away with destroying the careers of all of these former USG employees, and yet the law takes no action against them? What is the connection between the Attorney General’s Office and the USG? We know that several high ranking USG employees have committed crimes against their own staff, that fact has been acknowledged by the AG’s Office, yet they have all received Sovereign Immunity from prosecution by the judges in those cases. This is corruption of our goverment at its worst. We need a total shake down of our goverment in Georgia. I take my hat off to the few brave souls who are willing to stand up and fight against corruption in Georgia.

  14. I know Dr. Tricoli very well, and the things said about him here are accurate. On the national scene he is a highly regarded leader. Locally, his faculty had very positive remarks about his leadership. His work to develop programs which support student success and retention have been in the top 1% of his colleagues across the country. He is respected and known as one of the few leaders who walks his talk. I enjoyed my work with him, and I respect him tremendously.

  15. I am a student who studied under Dr. Tricoli’s leadership at GPC. He created a program that enabled me and thousands of other students in Georgia to earn an AA and a BA in four years. I give this man a lot of credit for being a trail blazer and an innovator in higher education and always putting the needs of students first. Thank you Dr. T for supporting us students!

  16. This is a great article which accurately reflects the work accomplished by Dr. Tricoli, one of the thought leaders of our time in higher education and in the community college movement. Tricoli is one of the most innovative men I have ever known. He is intuitive, knows how to listen, builds team in all he does, and he is likeable guy who knows how to get things done. He won’t ever ask you to do anything that he isn’t willing to do, or hasn’t already done himself.

    1. I agree with most of what’s been said here about Anthony Tricoli. He is definitely intuitive, I think it comes with many years doing this type of work. Authentic, honest, accessible and always thinking are the words and phrases that I feel best describe him. I’d be happy to work at any college he leads. I learned a lot under his leadership. Those were the best years of my professional career.

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