Emory Report

June 8, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 33

Issues in Progress

Employee Council

Council President Ron Foust convened the meeting and began by reminding members about the Oxford Open House on May 21. He also reminded them the upcoming Town Hall meeting with President Bill Chace is scheduled for July 29. He then introduced guest speaker Carole Gregory, regional director for Habitat for Humanity.

Gregory started by saying she was going to do a little "myth busting" about Habitat for Humanity. The first myth is that "Habitat is President Jimmy Carter's group." She said that while the Carters are active members, the organization actually was started by Millard and Linda Fuller 22 years ago in Americus, Ga. The next myth she dispelled was "there is only one Habitat for Humanity." She told the group that Habitat works through local affiliates nationally and internationally and cited the seven affiliates in the metro Atlanta area as an example.

Gregory went on to say...

  • Habitat is not a religious group but an ecumenical organization that practices the "theology of the hammer;"
  • Habitat does not give away houses. They build and sell homes to families at cost with no-interest financing and;
  • Habitat homes do not lower neighborhood housing values because the houses are built in areas with similar dwellings.

Gregory said the one myth about Habitat that proves true is "people have a lot of fun when they participate in a project." Following a brief question-and-answer session, members broke into committee meetings.

Special issues committee
Members began by discussing the degree requirement on job postings. They discovered the requirement can be waived, but many people with equivalent job experience may not apply. Members suggested either eliminating the minimum requirement or adding the phrase "or equivalent experience." The committee then addressed the issue of smoking on campus and found a volunteer to write a 'First Person' article for Emory Report. Finally, they heard a request from an employee to find out why the commencement ceremony takes place on Monday, instead of Saturday or Sunday when the campus would be less crowded.

Membership committee
Members continued to collect names of alternates to the council and are working on putting council brochures in all new employee packets. They also are developing a training package for new council members.

Communications committee
Members discussed the Chace Town Hall flyer and worked on putting together a list of blood drives the council will sponsor this year.

The council reconvened and elected Jo Taylor, Jeremy Berry, Maddie Monahan and Lynn Magee to fill its vacant Senate positions.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Jeremy Berry told members that he was researching the University's limited benefits to employees under age 26. Foust then adjourned the meeting.

-Scott Barker

President's Commission
on the Status of Minorities

The commission spent much of its May 18 meeting discussing the diversity workshop scheduled for Sept. 28. But outgoing Chair Bob Lee began by noting the commission overspent in supporting this spring's affirmative action rally. In the future, he recommended, the body should always vote on the level of support and the channels through which reimbursements will be made.

Discussion of the nominating process arose after Lee mentioned Paulette Dilworth would be sending out letters requesting nominations for membership. David Patton said he'd be working with the deans and directors this summer to acquire names. However, Pat Marsteller noted this summer might prove too late for many faculty, who've set their schedules for the fall and may not be available for the group's meetings. Vera Rorie suggested the commission revert to the February/March schedule for nominations in the future.

Members also discussed sending a letter to current members to find out their willingness to continue service. Marsteller urged members to send the names of possible candidates to Patton by the last week in May.

Commission members will investigate spaces in the law, business and medical schools as well as Cox Hall for their one-day workshop, tentatively titled "Leading the Way on Diversity: What Should Emory Do?" A planning meeting is scheduled for June 22, where organizers will not "reinvent the wheel," they said, but pursue speakers and plans originally slated for the postponed April workshop. About 400 people are expected to attend.

-Stacey Jones

President's Commission
on the Status of Women

"It has been a fantastic year," outgoing PCSW chair JoAnn McKenzie announced at the beginning of the commission's final meeting May 7. After welcoming new members and calling for introductions around the room, McKenzie passed out copies of the PCSW resolution supporting Rebecca Chopp's permanent appointment as provost (see sidebar on p. 2) and asked members to hold comments and corrections on the April meeting minutes until next year's first meeting.

McKenzie characterized the past year as one in which the PCSW "really tried to get the word out about the commission and made an effort to hear women's concerns on campus." Committee chairs then spoke about their respective efforts in 1997-98, reports they also had given to President Bill Chace in a May 5 meeting. Kathy Reed said the staff concerns committee had laid groundwork for the Invisible Barriers for the Advancement of Women study. The new title of the "glass ceiling" study reflects the committee's desire to include all women on campus-"not just middle managers," Reed said. The committee plans to limit the study's scope to non-hospital University employees, she added. Joan Herold, a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, has agreed to supervise her class in carrying out the survey next year.

Faculty concerns chair Mary DeLong outlined the proposed three-point program for faculty leave that stops the tenure clock for women and men who decide to take a paid, 14-week leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Under the program's guidelines, parents also could negotiate part-time work-also stopping the tenure clock-for several years while children are young. Chace "seemed excited, pleased with the results of research and ready to move forward" when the plan was presented to him, McKenzie reported. DeLong gave summer as the timeline to take the proposal to the deans and chairs, with a possible vote of faculty in the fall.

Student Concern's Leigh Tillman Partington said the committee received funds to distribute the student handbook after the meeting with Chace. The book now stands at 110 pages and is finished except for the index and bibliography, she reported. Next year's goals include working on improving faculty-student interaction and mentoring as well as continuing to pursue a for-credit self-defense class.

McKenzie reported the new bylaws were unanimously approved by e-mail ballot. She then handed out placques of appreciation to Mary Ellen McClellan, Mary DeLong, Melinda Keller, Lynna Williams, Deb Floyd and Karen Brown-Wheeler, all of whom served as committee co-chairs this year.

-Stacey Jones

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