Management symposium addresses how Olympic Games will affect campus business

If the turnout at a recent Management Symposium is any indication, the Olympics is a hot topic on the Emory campus. More than 240 people attended the symposium, sponsored by Human Resources, to discuss the University's planning for the Olympic Games.

Although the University will not serve as an athletic venue for any of the competitions, the campus will be bustling with activity. Approximately 1,900 beds have been reserved by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG); those spaces will be filled by 1,250 international competition officials and 490 members of the international print press. More than 45 different countries will be represented in the groups staying on campus.

In addition to beds reserved by ACOG, 500 students will be housed on campus this summer, as well as alumni, who will be housed in the University Towers during the Olympic Games. Cox Newspapers, the publisher of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, also has contracted for space on campus for their reporters from all around the country.

Director of University Conferences Karen Salisbury said that while the majority of summer conference programs have been rescheduled for June, the Summer Scholars, the Hughes Biology Program, the Youth Theology Institute and a Taiwanese nurses group will be operating under their normal schedules.

Secured areas on campus will include the P.E. Center, which will be a practice site for synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, baseball and some track and field events. The contract for the P.E. Center, according to Salisbury, runs from July 6-Aug. 7. "There may be some play in that schedule to accomodate security," she said.

Cox Ballroom, also to be a restricted area, will serve as a press subcenter for international press on a 24-hour basis from July 14-Aug. 5.

Oxford College, located close to the site for equestrian competition in Conyers, also has contracted with ACOG to house Olympic personnel. That campus will house approximately 100 French translators, as well as equestrian judges and technicians, ACOG volunteers, AT&T technicians and modern pentathlon volunteers and judges.

Housing and practice will not be the only Olympic-related activities on campus. According to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bill Fox, there will be a number of other events, including the Cultural Olympiad exhibition in the Carlos Museum featuring the work of artist Thornton Dial titled "Remembering the Road." The museum also is collaborating with the city of Atlanta on "Souls Grown Deep: African-American Vernacular Art of the South," an exhibit of more than 300 artworks by more than 40 contemporary artists of the Southeast, to be installed at Atlanta's City Hall East on Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Prince Albert of Monoco will be hosting an event at the museum, and a variety of other Olympic-related events will be staged on campus, according to Fox. Charles R. Hatcher Jr., vice president for health affairs, will serve as honorary chair of all medical services, and Crawford Long Hospital will be a major center for medical care of athletes, Fox said.

Even with the influx of Olympic visitors to campus and to Atlanta, there will be adequate parking for employees on campus, assured Executive Director of Community Services Erick Gaither. "There will be parking at Emory, if you can get here," he said. Community service officers will be on duty at the decks and at visitor parking to make sure that parking is available for employees, he said.

Bob Ethridge, associate vice president for Equal Opportunity Programs, outlined an intercultural communication training session to be offered in the months prior to the Olympics to "facilitate employees' abilities to interact positively" with international visitors on campus.

Michael Dziak, president of InteleWorks Inc., provided symposium participants with an overview of telecommuting--setting up a program, benefits, and examples of companies that have begun programs.

The University has yet to finalize a policy concerning telecommuting and other alternate scheduling options, but Fox said that a general set of reommendations will be coming from Emory's Olympic Committee.

Alice Miller, associate vice president for Human Resources, is encouraging managers to begin thinking about their operations during the Olympics and said that departments will have a lot of latitude in determining what will work best for their situation. "Emory, by its very nature, is decentralized," she said. "Human Resources would like to serve as a clearing house for information." Greg Jones, director of administrative services in Human Resources, is taking input and suggestions from departments concerning telecommuting; managers are encouraged to let him know departmental plans as soon as possible.

-- Nancy M. Spitler