Emory Report

 December 8, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 15

Issues in Progress

President's Commission
on the Status of Minorities

Commission chair Robert Lee called the meeting to order at 4 p.m., Nov. 24, in room 400 of the Administration Building.

First on the agenda was a report from Shirley Rivedeneira on the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights, which she attended recently in Washington. Rivedeneira relayed the extensive discussion on affirmative action at the conference, focusing mainly on California's Proposition 209, which terminated the state's affirmative action programs. Stating that two bills about to come up in the Georgia Legislature could end this state's affirmative action programs, Rivedeneira presented a few suggestions for action to the commission, including the formation of a subcommittee to begin a grassroots campus coalition in support of affirmative action.

Lee then discussion the executive committee's recent meeting with President Bill Chace and Interim Provost Rebecca Chopp about Emory's efforts toward internationalization and whether those efforts could have harmful effects on American minority students. Lee said the commission proposed holding a series of public meetings to discuss the issue and find practical methods for recruiting more minority students. He said when the commission asked Chopp what portion of Emory's strategic planning process has dealt with increasing diversity, she admitted the issue had not been considered much. Lee brought up the possibility of creating a high-level administration post devoted solely to matters of campus diversity, and the commission passed a motion to draft a letter asking Chopp to allow the commission to show the film "Shattering the Silence" at the February deans and directors' retreat.

The commission then discussed a number of methods for increasing diversity on campus, with the acknowledgement that Emory leadership is non-diverse. The commission suggested the president notify search committees that they should make every effort to increase applicant pools to maximize diversity, and the University could prepare lists of minority candidates for searches.

The commission acknowledged it must take an active leadership role in increasing diversity, including putting together its own list of minority candidates for University positions by placing ads for resumes in national publications and contacting ethnocentric professional associations and historically black fraternities and sororities asking for possible job candidates.

-Michael Terrazas

University Senate

Senate President Bill Cody called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m., Nov. 25, in the Carlos Museum reception hall. After approving minutes, Cody introduced Interim Provost Rebecca Chopp to discuss the progress of the teaching commission's report. Chopp said the report was the main topic of discussion at November's Board of Trustees meeting, and in December her office will compile all the feedback it has received from faculty and students. By mid-February, Chopp hopes to have an implementation plan.

Chopp also discussed Chancellor Billy Frye's work on a strategic planning document similar to Choices & Responsibility. She said Frye has written three of five sections of the report, and he hopes to have a draft ready by February to discuss at the deans and directors' meeting.

Cody then introduced senior project manager Earle Whittington and opened the floor for several committee reactions to the campus master planning process. Bill Size of the committee on the environment expressed his satisfaction with the plan but also his concern about the number of new parking spaces to be created. He also said his committee's main concern was that the University not move too quickly in implementing the plan. Whittington responded that the master planners hope to have a comprehensive plan ready to present at the February Board of Trustees meeting, and the number of new parking spaces needed in the plan came from the Parking Office.

Francis Curtis of the campus development committee's accessibility subcommittee said her group's only concern was that adequate attention be paid to accessibility issues.

Nancy Wilkinson of the traffic and parking committee expressed concern about the growth at the CDC and how it would affect Emory's master plan, but she added her committee is pleased with many aspects of the plan.

Cody extended the Senate's gratitude to both Whittington and the master planners for their efforts and their communication with on-campus groups. He then introduced President Bill Chace, who gave a report on the November Board of Trustees meeting.

Chace discussed four issues: the need to hold down escalation of Emory's tuition and fee structure; the extreme changes in American health care and how they affect Emory's hospitals, clinics and schools; public misconception of Emory's endowment and how it can be used; and the fact that while Emory "has many excellences, we also have some real valleys in which we're not excellent at all."

The Senate then passed two resolutions offered by the fringe benefits committee. One urged Prudential to redesign its insurance cards to exclude employees' Social Security cards in order to cut down the risk of identity theft, and the other recommended a $1,000 subsidy be included in EmoryCare for the purchase of hearing devices.

The Senate then discussed a Student Government Association resolution recommending improvement of accessiblity on campus. SGA had submitted the resolution to the campus development and traffic and parking committees, asking them to recommend it for approval by the Senate. Both committees said, while they support the intentions behind the resolution, they could not recommend it be passed in its present form.

Rebecca Katz-Doft expressed her frustration as a student trying to improve accessiblity measures on campus. Several Senate members extended their appreciation to Katz-Doft for her commitment to the issue, and Cody offered his assurance that steps were being taken. Chace said the University has been genuinely surprised by the escalation of requests for disability services, and he said the administration is doing its best to try to keep up with demand.

To close the meeting, David Pacini extended on behalf of the Faculty Council his appreciation for the work of chaplains Susan Henry-Crowe and Sammy Clark in determining guidelines for chapel use.

-Michael Terrazas

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