Chace addresses campus issues at Council Town Hall

President Bill Chace outlined some of his thoughts and concerns about Emory and answered questions from the audience at an Oct. 15 Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Employee Council.

Chace delineated several of the issues he has been working with and reflecting on recently: campus planning, the future of health sciences at Emory, the future of The Carter Center and the funding of Emory's rapid expansion in all areas.

Chace said that campus planning means different things to different people, but overall "there are a great many concerns about how the campus looks. "My colleagues and I have concluded that what we need is an entire master plan for the whole University," Chace said. He said this plan is in progress, and a national firm will be selected to bring it to fruition. Chace stressed the need for "radical solutions" to some of the problems with Emory's campus and cited the need for a MARTA rail station to alleviate several of these problems.

On the future of the health sciences, Chace stressed Emory's massive contributions over the years and mentioned that more than two-thirds of Emory's entire budget goes to health sciences. However, "we are vulnerable to shifts in the federal government," Chace said, and "strong leadership is needed to determine how Emory in the health sciences will be maintained with greater strength. Emory's fate and fortune are inevitably linked with the future of health sciences in America."

Concerning The Carter Center, Chace said "at some point the Carters will no longer be active members. Their absence would provide an interesting challenge." He emphasized that he wanted to honor former President Jimmy Carter's ideals for The Carter Center, and since he and Carter have a good working relationship, he is confident of a positive outcome.

Lastly, Chace said that "Emory as an institution has grown faster than any other university in the country." He added that Emory's "great resources in philanthropy" in one sense made it a "wealthy institution," but one that is still "crucially dependent on tuition dollars." Chace said he hopes to raise the level of alumni giving in accordance with this sentiment, among pursuing other means of fundraising.

Questions from the audience ranged from possibilities for the MARTA station to plans for the arts center on campus. Chace said plans for a MARTA station, were they to be executed, probably would not be in effect until the end of the century. Chace said U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney is "our champion in Congress" and is working to get plans under way in accordance with Emory's surrounding community.

Chace called the planned Center for the Performing Arts "among his absolute top priorities," saying he was looking at "more efficient and flexible ways to make use of the endowment" for this purpose.

--Danielle Service

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