Council President Luther Smith said he wanted the council to discuss the matter partially because of a perception among some Emory faculty that The Carter Center "seems to have its own trajectory apart from that of Emory," a situation that Smith said is in the best interests of neither The Carter Center nor Emory.
Some of the suggestions for improving faculty and student interaction with The Carter Center include creating courses that focus on topics of immediate interest to students and usefulness to The Carter Center; creating an independent panel of advisers that includes Emory faculty to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of Carter Center programs on an ongoing basis; bringing the expertise of more faculty members to bear on new Carter Center initiatives as they evolve; having Carter Center program directors hold informal sessions with Emory faculty members to update them on the work of their programs; and making rental rates for Carter Center meeting space more affordable for Emory-sponsored meetings and events.
Creekmore, who was particularly enthusiastic about the idea of creating a panel of advisers, said he hopes the Faculty Council discussion is only the beginning of a dialogue between Emory and The Carter Center that will lead to closer working relationships between the two.
In other business, the Council voted to co-sponsor with the President's Office a newly created Distinguished Faculty Lecture to be given each year by an Emory faculty member. "The faculty need at least one significant intellectual occasion [per year] where one of their colleagues discusses his or her work and is recognized for that work," said Frank Lechner, immediate past-president of the University Senate and author of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture proposal.
President Bill Chace and Provost Billy Frye stressed the importance of a strong faculty commitment to the lecture in order for it to succeed.
A nominating committee will select a faculty speaker and extend an invitation to that person this spring to deliver the first lecture in the spring of 1996.
The Council currently has three representatives on the Senate: the president, president-elect and immediate past-president. If approved by the Senate, the Council's proposal would add to the Senate six staff members, all from the membership of the Employee Council and all representing specific areas of the University.
The idea for expanding the Senate's staff representation was brought to the Senate in November by Council President-Elect Kay Pendleton, who pointed out that the Senate has 17 faculty members and 11 student members, but only three staff members. Senate President Luther Smith invited Pendleton to submit a proposal to the Senate outlining how staff representation could be increased.
In addition, the Council voted to send a letter to President Bill Chace requesting an end to what several members termed a "disparity" between faculty and staff in the University's recently adopted criminal background check policy. The new policy calls for criminal background checks on all newly hired staff; the policy does not apply to newly hired faculty.
Options that were discussed included seminars to train current faculty with an interest in LGB studies so that they can develop specific courses, as well as encouraging College departments to invite Mellon Fellows with expertise in LGB studies.
The committee voted to reactivate its LGB Studies Subcommittee to study these and other possibilities.
The group also voted to form an Outreach Subcommittee to consider what activities the committee can undertake to raise awareness of LGB issues in the Emory community. Committee Co-chair Alan Cienki said that such opportunities for faculty and staff have been limited in the past. Co-chair Julie Abraham mentioned the possibility of an LGB-related training course being offered as part of Human Resources' Learning and Development series for faculty and staff. Cienki asked the subcommittee to consider "an array of options" for community outreach.