Emory Report

February 2, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 19

Issues in Progress

Employee Council

Following the call to order, Erik Oliver, president, brought council members up to date on his meeting with University Secretary Gary Hauk. Oliver said the administration wanted to remind management to be supportive of employees taking advantage of courtesy scholarships, primarily in scheduling conflicts that arise between class and work. The administration didn't feel a letter was the right approach, Oliver added, but would look into other possibilities. He also told members that he and Hauk discussed adding council members to search committees for staff positions.

Earle Whittington, project manager for Campus Planning and Construction, addressed the council. He detailed the history and key elements of the master plan and showed the council a precinct-by-precinct slideshow of what the campus might eventually look like. Whittington said the focus was on people, not vehicles, and includes increased green space around the campus. He also reminded members that everyone is invited to check on the progress of the master plan by visiting the web site at <www.emory.edu/FMD/PLAN>.

After a brief question and answer session, the council broke into caucuses.

Special issues
Ron Foust, president-elect, asked the committee if they were satisfied with the University's response to questions about banking sick leave. Members said it was more an issue of why the University came to its decision than the actual issue itself. People seemed more interested in the incentive program for not using sick leave since it rewards employees who don't use sick leave and there is less risk of people abusing the system.

Foust asked members if there were any new issues the committee should look into. Suggestions included:

  • differences in maternity leave for faculty and staff;
  • drainage problems on the quad;
  • employees who can't afford medical insurance.

Membership committee
Committee members continued working on a brown bag lunch at Grady as well as trying to fill positions recently vacated on the council.

When the council regrouped, Oliver reviewed the nominations for the '98-'99 officers. A motion was made and approved to close nominations. Foust notified members of an addition to the bylaws that defines a quorum for the council. The issue will be voted on at the next meeting.

-Scott Barker

Facuty Council

Council President Bill Cody convened the meeting Jan. 20 in the Terrace Room of Houston Mill House. He then introduced DeAnna Spurlin, the new University Senate secretary, and announced that the Faculty Town Hall originally scheduled for Feb. 10 had been moved to Feb. 19, and the topic for the meeting would be research at Emory.

David Pacini gave a report on disability and learning. He said the council has established an ad hoc subcommittee on student disabilities and learning to study the teaching challenges disabled students present. Pacini said the subcommittee would look into types of behaviors faculty could look for in students that indicate evaulation might be necessary; how to alert faculty of federal disability regulations; and how to develop resource programs for students with disabilities.

Interim Provost Rebecca Chopp then talked about Teaching at Emory implementation. Susan Frost, vice provost for Institutional Planning and Research, discussed the major points that came up during a series of faculty luncheons her office held to get feedback on the report. Frost said the top five points were:

  • how evaluation of teaching would be done. Frost acknowledged this was a difficult issue and said faculty strongly dissuaded any "new layers of bureaucracy";
  • a great interest in making teaching a bigger priority;
  • a desire to encourage faculty development in teaching, particularly at the school level rather than universitywide efforts;
  • a desire to create incentives for better teaching and the need for distinguishing between awards and rewards for teaching;
  • an interest in improving infrastructure and classroom facilities.

Chopp mentioned the possibility of forming a commission of associate deans, who often are directly responsible for administration in their schools. She added such a commission probably would deal with issues other than just teaching.

Chancellor Billy Frye took the floor to address his first draft of a strategic plan for Emory, similar in scope and presentation to Choices & Responsibility. Frye distributed copies of the draft to council members and went over some major points. The document, he said, was still very early and very malleable to suggestions from council members. Frye asked that the document be read and reviewed and a more detailed discussion of the report be scheduled for the next council meeting or possibly for a special meeting.

Frye and President Bill Chace fielded a number of questions and comments about the report, including how such a report might be incorporated into the University's governance structure, how much time would be allowed for faculty input and how the report would address Emory's external relationships.

-Michael Terrazas

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