7 No. 2
urges a new "discipline" of planning
job is to make sure that the academic focus of the institution is
always front and center.
Lewis, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
we’re going to be rigid, operating in the nineteenth century
and resisting change, then we’ll go the way of the Light Brigade.
Thorpe, Woodruff Professor of Health Policy and Management
Planning Steering Committee
Or, Sipping champagne from a fire hydrant
Knauft, Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology
and Executive Director,
The Institute for Comparative and International Studies
the Bible Green?
Israelite and early Christian perspectives
on the natural world
A. Newsom, Professor of Old Testament
Mind and the Machine
Review of Digital People by Sidney Perkowitz
Neill, Professor of Psychology
Exchange: What is your understanding of the role faculty
are playing in this process?
Earl Lewis: I think the faculty are playing roles
at several levels. There’s faculty representation on the steering
committee, and they are bringing their perspectives as faculty who
can look at the entire campus from particular niches. They are asking,
are there broad, cross-cutting themes and activities that can unite
the university in exciting new ways?
It’s also happening at the school and college level. Each
school and other units have been pulling together faculty and asking,
What do you want to do? What are the themes that would drive you?
How do we get better? I have seen reports that have been generated
not by the deans alone but by deans in partnership with their faculty.
That piece is exciting for us.
The third way it’s happening is with faculty involvement in
these task forces on cross-cutting themes that have already started
to emerge. Internationalization was the first one out of the chute,
but there will be others as well, and a lot of that will have to
AE: Are you seeing some chief areas of focus
EL: With the environmental scans, we have gotten
at some structural issues: we need more space, we need more faculty,
we need more money, and so forth. We now have the foundation in
place. Now we need to start assembling some of the scaffolding to
put the frame on the building. We do that by asking, What are the
intellectual drivers that are going to make this a place that faculty,
students, and staff all want be a part of? We’ve begun to
see some of this. Clearly internationalization is there; community
and diversity show up in different kinds of ways—is that something
that will allow Emory to claim some distinction? A whole range of
policy issues—public policy, health policy—has begun
to surface. Do we create something that deals with international
policy in one form or another? We’re sorting those things
out, winnowing the list down to something manageable.
AE: In the environmental assessments, health
care stands next to scholarship, research, teaching, and service
as a major area of categorical assessment. Is healthcare expected
to become central to the mission of every unit of the university?
EL: If we’re thinking about healthcare and
delivery systems there is the possibility for broad-ranging academic
content. Look at literature and the subfield of disability studies,
for example. Literature has an element of healthcare in it that
has never actually been brought out. What would happen if all of
a sudden we created a new curriculum on health in the aging population?
Could we do it in such a way that you had English professors teaching
in public health?
And there is the business side of health care. Whether the federal
government gets around to it or not, healthcare costs are growing
at a rate that’s pushing more and more people to be responsible
for a larger share of their healthcare dollars. What was the number
I heard the other day? That 44 million Americans are uninsured—a
total of the populations of 24 states. Could we train a cohort of
college students who will think about these questions?
AE: I think that question partly comes out
from a concern that Emory is going to become “Hopkins-ized”—or
dominated by the health sciences.
EL: My goal was not to come here and make Emory
into Hopkins. And I will say that Mike Johns doesn’t have
any desire to make Emory into Hopkins. He understands the institutions
are very distinctive. One of the things I think we all will have
to do is ask questions of one another if we have those concerns.
For those who are worried about it, let’s talk about it: are
there features of Hopkins that are worth replicating? I think Mike
would say in certain areas of the health sciences that absolutely
is the case. Are there parts of Hopkins that we would never want
at Emory? Yes, absolutely.
I suspect part of what’s going on is the relative momentum
of the health sciences compared to other parts of the campus over
the last ten years or so. That part of campus is moving at a faster
pace, when you look at the number of research dollars that are brought
in, the growth of new buildings. It magnifies the sense that this
place is becoming more like Hopkins. I haven’t seen it, but
I’m mindful of it. I also come from a place that had a huge
medical complex with two billion dollars in reserves in their health
system, which drove the difference between health and the academic
side of the institution. But with the right leadership in place,
it won’t happen in a way that people fear. My job is to make
sure that the academic focus of the institution is always front
and center And I know I have a real partner in Mike Johns; we both
want the final plan to help produce a great, great university.