Issues in Progress

University Senate

Although some acts of intolerance have occurred on campus this fall, Vice President and Dean for Campus Life Frances Lucas-Tauchar said the campus racial climate has improved vastly since last spring. Lucas-Tauchar addressed the Senate at its Nov. 26 meeting.

Last year, Lucas-Tauchar said, was one of the most difficult in Emory's history in the arena of race relations. She said the difficulty was prompted both by incidents on campus as well as national events, including the O.J. Simpson trial and the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. "This fall has been very mellow in comparison to last year," she said. "We have had some difficult incidents, but I think we've handled them better than we did last year. People are talking more openly and more kindly with each other."

"I don't think many mistakes were made last year," said President Bill Chace in support of Lucas-Tauchar and her staff. "No campus is free of these tensions. I am never happy when these kinds of incidents occur, but I am never surprised," because of the country's long history of racism. Chace said he believes Emory does a good job of acknowledging and addressing such incidents, and then moving forward.

Other topics Lucas-Tauchar discussed include:

* A new day care center: Funding has been approved for a new facility, which has tentatively been sited at the University Apartments. Lucas-Tauchar said the site also must be approved by the firm conducting the new campus master plan.

* Faculty/student interaction: Campus Life has been studying the faculty residence programs of some other universities to see if such a program could work at Emory. Lucas-Tauchar said she has not yet gotten a sense of how Emory faculty feel about participating in a residence program in which some faculty would live on campus. She said existing opportunities for interaction include the Emory Bookstores' faculty advisory group and the Barkley Forum.

* Graduate student housing: While the University Apartments Tower is a quality facility, Lucas-Tauchar said the surrounding garden apartments are in bad shape. She said the issue of replacing those units will be addressed in the University's Strategic Plan. She said that improved graduate housing is a pressing need that she would like to see addressed in a five-year time frame.

* EmoryCard: Lucas-Tauchar said the EmoryCard is used primarily by students for food service, parking deck and P.E. Center access. She said the uses of the EmoryCard will expand even more in the near future, and that one of those uses likely will be a photocopy card that would be accepted University-wide.

In other business, President Bill Chace asked Senate members to send him nominations for the position of interim provost. Chace said he hopes to make a decision on the post before winter break begins. Provost Billy Frye has announced that he will retire in June, at which time he will become chancellor of the University.

Senate Past-President Rick Letz announced that a survey design of the EmoryCare health insurance program has been pilot tested, but results are not yet available. Letz said that a School of Public Health class on survey design conducted the pilot testing, and that once the results are available, the next step will be design of the actual survey, which should be implemented by the spring. Glenn Maberly of the public health faculty is overseeing the project.

The Senate will not meet in December. The group's next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28. Representatives of the firm that will conduct Emory's new campus master plan will attend that meeting.

President's Commission on the Status of Minorities

Commission members discussed at their Nov. 25 meeting the possibility of altering the group's Minority Conference Travel Fund to allow students to receive funding for travel to professional/academic conferences.

The Commission's bylaws allow funds to be awarded to faculty and staff for travel to conferences at which they are presenting their work or participating as panelists. The possibility of expanding the fund to include students has been raised over the past few years, but no action has been taken on those suggestions. Commission Chair Bob Lee asked a small group of members to write a proposal to expand the fund to include students.

In addition, Lee asked Commission members to think about the idea of having chairs serve for two or two-and-a-half year terms, instead of the current one-year terms. Lee said the change would provide much-needed continuity to the Commission's work. He also said the Commission should always have a sitting chair-elect; the group currently has no chair-elect.

--Dan Treadaway

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