August 4, 1997
Volume 49, No. 36
At the fourth annual Employee Council Town Hall Meeting, President Bill Chace addressed questions from attendees and, for the first time, questions from Oxford and The Carter Center in real time via the Internet.
Chace began by telling the audiences that "the abiding mission of my being president of Emory is my very, very strong concern with the establishment and the cultivation and the sustinance of everything we mean by community. Not only do we work here, we spend most of our waking hours here. We work together, but we live together, and I think we all know that those hours spent together are some of the most precious and yet some of the most vulnerable in our lives. We want things to go well, we want where we work to be pleasant and reassuring and a zone of success and personal fulfillment."
Chace followed his opening statement by answering two questions that were representative of many of those submitted.
The first asked what role Chace saw for the staff in realizing his goals for Emory. "At the present time, my attention is focused on several key agenda for the University. Agenda that will change the University, that will strengthen the University, that will make it a more prominent participant in American higher education," said Chace.
"The first is the fostering, the development and the securing of intellectual community," he said. The president wants to see Emory break away from isolated zones of learning. He wants everyone to share in learning and for staff to take advantage of the educational opportunities at Emory.
Chace also talked about the campus master planning process. He told the group that "we cannot knock down buildings, but we can brilliantly hide some buildings with greenery and landscaping architecture and we can change the relationship of buildings to make this feel, for all of us, a more hospitable place."
The second question Chace dealt with is the role staff plays in making Emory a top 10 institution. "We need better measurements, better indices, better markers for our success, and often it is the staff person who can really understand the institution much better than the faculty," said Chace. "If you could help us establish real criteria, markers and registers of success, we will be greatly helped. Show us how, day-by-day, the union of teaching and research can be effective, how it can make itself work."
Chace then answered questions from the audiences. Topics touched on included the seeming inability of people without college degrees to rise above certain employment levels; progress on the MARTA study; the internationalization of Emory; master planning on the Emory and Oxford campuses; and Emory's official position on the Marriott project that may be built near campus.
In response to a question about employees with family responsibilities that little or no time to pursue educational opportunities, Chace acknowledged that flex time was "largely a local department by department option. We should be able to provide more flexible time, particularly for the group which I will call somewhat imperiled. I hope we can do that," he said.
Chace also addressed the United Way solicitation issue. He noted that a number of people felt they were coerced into giving or made to feel suspect for not giving. "I did not know that; I regret the fact that I did not know that, but we want to put an end to that," he said.
The president received a round of applause when he told audience members that "based on feedback from applicants and hiring officials, the current :Matchmaker" employment application process is being changed once again to enable candidates to apply for specific positions."
At the meeting's end, Chace invited those who hadn't had their questions answered to give the question to Erik Oliver, current president of the Employee Council, or send them directly to him via e-mail at <wchace@emory. edu>. "And I will do my level best to answer your questions," he said.
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