Issues in Progress
A report whose initial recommendations called for an aggressive Emory role
in determining the future of Emory Village was dramatically altered at the
Oct. 22 Senate meeting.
The report was written by the Senate's Emory Village Committee, formed nearly
two years ago amid faculty concerns over the general appearance of and mix
of businesses in Emory Village. The report was completed last spring and
originally offered three recommendations to the University: 1) establish
an Emory Village Committee of the Board of Trustees to carry out the two
following recommendations; 2) establish a standing University policy of
land purchase in Emory Village in the interest of acquiring sufficient leverage
over the long-term to influence or control redevelopment, and (if deemed
necessary and desirable) to allow for the physical expansion of the campus
through placement of University facilities in the Village; and 3) negotiate
cooperative agreements with Emory Village land owners, lessees and appropriate
DeKalb County agencies to accomplish objectives related to ongoing redevelopment
including visual enhancement, vehicular traffic control, ease and safety
of pedestrian access, addition of green space, shared parking and enrichment
of the mix of businesses.
Secretary of the University Gary Hauk said the first recommendation is probably
unnecessary because the Board of Trustees already has a Real Estate, Buildings
and Grounds Committee that handles matters such as those outlined in the
report. Hauk also pointed out that the Emory Village report was undertaken
prior to a campus master planning initiative on the part of the University,
an initiative that will take Emory Village into account.
Although the entire Senate expressed general support for the third recommendation
encouraging cooperative agreements with landowners, a number of members
expressed concern over the appropriateness of the land purchase policy called
for in the second recommendation. Bill Buzbee of the law school wondered
why the recommendations placed no limitation on the use of Emory Village
property purchased by the University. Buzbee said the goal of improving
an important community gathering space could be overwhelmed by internal
ambitions for more academic and health care space.
Senate President Luke Johnson said he understood Buzbee's concerns, but
believed that the report's aim of enhancing an existing community gathering
space would be understood within the full context of the report.
After a lengthy discussion of the recommendations, Johnson proposed that
the first and second recommendations be deleted. After a motion to do so
was passed, Johnson further proposed that the third recommendation be approved
as the report's sole recommendation to the University, with the addition
of the word "efforts," so that the final recommendation calls
for Emory to "negotiate cooperative efforts and agreements..."
The motion passed unanimously.
Prior to the Emory Village discussion, Vice President for Health Affairs
Michael Johns addressed the Senate, sharing his thoughts on the challenges
faced by academic medicine.
Johns said the overwhelming challenge at the moment is blending a core academic
mission with a core clinical business. "Health care is becoming more
and more commoditized," Johns said. "Costs have been increasing
at a rate that is not sustainable for most employers. That has driven health
care into the marketplace, which has reduced costs. But now health is more
of a commodity than it ever was before."
In addition to Emory's ongoing mission to strengthen its medical science
education programs, Johns said that now the University also has to relate
to the outside world of the business of medicine, which is putting a greater
demand on Emory's resources.
Despite these dramatic changes, Johns assured the Senate that the Health
Sciences units "will stay focused on being part of the University,
on our core academic mission, because without it we wouldn't be necessary."
At the Council's Oct. 16 meeting, the Special Issues Committee continued
its brainstorming session from the previous meeting on how to make Emory
community members at locations off the main campus feel more included in
Ideas mentioned included holding more social/recreational events that include
larger numbers of Emory community members, such as picnics or softball games;
informal cross-departmental training to expose staff members to the operations
of their counterparts in other departments; and including a comprehensive
definition of the Emory community in the staff orientation process.
Following the Special Issues meeting, Kym Harris, training manager in Human
Resources, discussed the transition of the Human Resources Career Counseling
function to a Career Development function.
to the October 28, 1996 contents page