September 29, 1997
Volume 50, No. 6
The September Employee Council meeting was primarily a working session with no guest speakers. Extended caucus sessions gave each committee time to work on priority issues.
Nominations to fill the council's seat on the Employee Senate's Fringe Benefit Committee were taken from the floor. Robert Berghuis was elected to serve by a majority present at the meeting.
Erik Oliver's letter to Emory Report regarding the United Way Campaign was reviewed. The letter to President Chace regarding the courtesy scholarship program was also reviewed.
Special Issues Committee
The committee discussed revising of the council's bylaws. The consensus was to not allow voting by alternates. The committee felt that if alternates were allowed to vote then the representative's responsibility to attend meetings would be diluted. Clarification of an ex officio term of office was discussed. The committee also discussed making the Election Committee responsible for securing and archiving all documents related to the election of officers. Some rewording was done to make it a part of the bylaws that members serve on the University's Panel for Harassment Charges. A discussion by the whole council of the new bylaws wording is set for the October meeting. Voting on bylaws changes will take place at the November meeting. The committee also plans to look into:
The new Employee Council brochures were finished and ready for distribution. Members were encouraged to distribute them to their constituents. The committee is also working to encourage member attendance; there is approximately a 50-60 percent attendance rate. It was decided last month to write notes or contact members who miss two meetings in a row. Members again discussed getting the Employee Council pamphlet information into orientation packets for new employees.
The group discussed the "Did You Know" column for Emory Report. Brochures and catalogs for various schools on campus were passed around, and the committee looked through them for information.
The Grady visit has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24, in the Oppenheimer Room of the Glenn Building. The exact time has yet to be determined. The committee also discussed whether to include a tour or a brief talk by a Grady administrator.
Oliver and Ann Carney are working on The Carter Center open house. President and Rosalynn Carter are expected to speak for the first 30 minutes, with a focus on The Carter Center and its relationship with Emory. The last half hour will be for Oliver, Senate President Bill Cody and perhaps an SGA representative to discuss their groups. Ron Foust suggested that someone be appointed to coordinate the meeting on the Emory and Oxford campuses.
Chair Bob Lee called the meeting to order and introduced chair-elect David Patton. George Jones, Goodrich C. White Professor of Biology, visited the meeting and talked about his essay on minority recruitment, retention and support that appeared in Emory Report (Aug. 25 and Sept. 2). Jones wrote the essays hoping to "elicit positive responses from the community," he said.
Members of the committee proposed using the suggestions Jones outlined in one of his essays as the basis for a new strategy for minority faculty, staff and student recruitment and retention.
They decided to call a meeting of the executive committee on Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m. to formulate a new strategy toward these issues. Executive committee members then want to arrange a meeting later in October with President Chace, Interim Provost Rebecca Chopp, Emory College Dean Steven Sanderson and Jones to present the ideas arising from their strategy session.
Bob Ethridge stated that it's almost time for his office to begin talking with deans again about minority and women faculty recruitment and retention efforts. For example, he said, there are no full-time African-American faculty in the business school. Departments typically start looking for new faculty in October, he added.
Vera Rorie expressed concern about the drop in African-American enrollment in Emory College's freshman class. She cited the success of the PREP program. Some participants in that program, whom she deemed "stellar," were accepted to Emory but failed to come because of financial concerns.
She fears Emory is losing gifted students to the Ivy League and other institutions with more competitive financial aid packages. Rorie noted that a socioeconomic mix of students at Emory is as important as racial and cultural diversity.
Sylvester Hopewell distributed a copy of a strategic plan regarding affirmative action prepared by commission member Shirley Rivadeneira and proposed that discussion of the plan be added to next month's agenda.
Lee and Rob Brown will be attending a conference, "Legal Issues in Higher Education," on behalf of the PCSM and will give a report at the next meeting.
The commission's next meeting will be Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. in Room 400, Administration Building.
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