March 2, 1998
Volume 50, No. 23
Issues in Progress
Erik Oliver, president, called the meeting to order and the council dispensed with approval of minutes from January's meeting and listened to the treasurer's report. Oliver then welcomed Bob Ethridge, associate vice president for equal opportunity programs.
Ethridge began by discussing affirmative action. He noted one major difficulty is well-meaning people who get involved but don't have proper training. "They may do nine out of 10 things right," said Ethridge, "but it's the 10th thing that everybody remembers." But he added that Emory has made significant progress around campus; he pointed to the diversity of council members as an example.
He told members that there are more than 400 students with disabilities who attend the University, and 70 percent of those have a learning disability. He went on to say his office is working with the provost's office to demonstrate that a learning-disabled student can have a 3.8 GPA and 1,380 SAT score.
Ethridge also said the council's past year was one of the strongest he had seen. He told members they were doing a good job representing their constituents without getting caught up in specific events. He said the council's connection with the University Senate was an extremely important step for the council and all staff members.
Ethridge then responded to questions from the council. When asked why the number of students with disabilities was growing, he said elementary and high schools were doing a better job of addressing the needs of these students, and Emory has earned a positive reputation for its own disability programs.
Following Ethridge's appearance, the council held elections for '98-'99 officers. Members voted to approve an amendment to the council's bylaws that specified a quorum as one-third of "duly appointed" membership. The council then broke into caucus.
Special issues committee
Ron Foust, president-elect, reviewed items still pending before the committee. Sick leave banking/saving/rewarding is being considered by a University Senate committee, and Foust has been invited to attend a meeting. The committee then began an extended discussion on various parking problems. Foust asked members if they would ride a shuttle bus from a parking deck off campus (he used Stone Mountain as an example) to work. As discussion continued, the council reconvened for election results.
Newly elected officers are:
Chair Bill Cody brought the meeting to order Feb. 17 in 400 Administration Building and immediately called for approval of minutes from the November and January meetings.
President Bill Chace addressed the council on three issues: the University's endowment, the nature of the provostship and an article in Trusteeship magazine concerning faculty governance. Regarding the search for a permanent provost, Chace said he recently has outlined some changes in the budgetary authority of the position, saying that in the past the provost had to go through the University's financial arm to administer funds. In the future, Chace said, the provost will have budgetary authority over a range of structures related to the "intellectual life" of the University, including all schools and academic units. How these changes will be implemented remains to be determined, he added.
In reference to the Trusteeship article, Chace encouraged members of the council and the faculty as a whole to more aggressively seek out opportunities for participation in the University's governance. "You should seize the day," Chace said. "There are things there for you to take."
Interim Provost Rebecca Chopp reported her office is forming an Advisory Council on Teaching to implement the ideas resulting from Teaching at Emory. The council will comprise "teaching officers" from each school and will be chaired by English's Walt Reed. Since faculty had expressed skepticism at formation of a Universitywide teaching center, Chopp said the council would work on programs through the College's existing teaching center to be disseminated to other schools.
Chopp added that Chancellor Billy Frye is chairing a search committee for a new vice provost for Information Technology to replace Jim Johnson. She said Frye hopes to have the position filled by Sept. 1.
The faculty relations committee moved to pass a resolution amending the faculty hearing committee's rules for procedures regarding faculty termination or suspension for cause. The changes, which Richard Freer said had already been approved by the deans and directors, in effect granted deans the power to fire or suspend a faculty member for cause prior to a committee hearing if the dean had consulted with the University Counsel. The resolution also specified what defines a transfer of a faculty member. The council passed the resolution without dissent.
Virgil Brown of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture committee proposed his nominee to deliver the 1999 address. The proposal passed without dissent, and Chace said he would deliver the invitation to the nominee.
David Pacini reported on the work of the ad hoc committee on disabilities and learning. Pacini said his committee looked to recast the issue of student disabilities as a teaching challenge to faculty. He proposed a resolution outlining steps to be taken to better enable faculty to accommodate students with disabilities, but after much discussion the council decided to table the resolution until modifications were made.
In other business, Cody said a formal request has been made to him by several faculty members to study the issues of intimate relationships between faculty and students and nepotism in University hiring and selection issues, and Emory's lack of policy addressing these issues. Chopp announced the deans and directors are already looking into the issue, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Harriet King is drafting preliminary language to present to the deans. Cody called for volunteers to serve on a committee and coordinate with the deans and directors on the matter.