Emory Report

March 30, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 26

Issues in Progress

Employee Council

After the final meeting for the 1997-98 Employee Council was called to order, Patricia Chebat, who represents the council on the University Senate's parking committee, reminded members the cost for street parking will increase about 32 percent next year. She wanted to make sure employees were aware of the increase well before it takes effect.

Erik Oliver, president, reviewed the council's annual report. He was "pleased with what the council had done," in the past year, Oliver said. The council had a more public profile than in years past, partly due to the unprecedented five events it hosted, which included town halls, open houses and brown bag lunches.

Oliver also talked about the significant impact the council had on the United Way campaign conducted in '97 but added it would take several years to see if the changes had a lasting effect.

After he finished reviewing the council's accomplishments and discussing ongoing issues the 1998-99 council would continue to work on, Oliver thanked council members and paid special tribute to those who would not be returning and to his executive committee. He welcomed new members in attendance and then inducted the new officers.

Ron Foust, '98-99 president, told Oliver that the council would miss his efforts to bring the main campus together with satellite locations. He promised the council would continue to work on uniting all parts of the University, and he told members the council must "carry a full load to maintain Erik's goal." He then thanked Oliver for his leadership and work on behalf of the council.

-Scott Barker

President's Commission on the
Status of Minority Concerns

After calling for approval of minutes at the March 23 meeting, chair Bob Lee passed out for commission members' review copies of a Chronicle of Higher Education article about a federal court decision awarding four white students $1 each in damages plus $776,000 in legal fees in their suit against the University of Texas law school for considering race in its admissions policy.

The commission then discussed a planned march on April 1 as part of a national effort to support President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race. Shirley Rivadeneira is organizing an on-campus demonstration sometime the afternoon of April 1, and she asked for volunteers to deliver public speeches. The commission voted to sponsor a showing of an abridged version of "Shattering the Silences" the evening of April 2 and provide a forum for discussion afterward.

The symposium on diversity, which had been postponed from April until the fall, will now be held Monday, Sept. 28. Lee said the delay gives the commission more time to organize a "top-tier" lineup of speakers, and the program will most likely feature presentations from outside speakers followed by responses from Emory people. Lee said the budget for the symposium should fall somewhere between $8,800 and $12,000, depending on the honoraria paid to speakers. He said the commission's executive committee will meet to settle on a short list of desired participants.

The commission discussed ways to solicit volunteers to serve next year and planned to invite deans and directors to nominate candidates and also to invite people to nominate themselves.

David Patton suggested the commission sponsor an essay contest or call for papers on issues relating to minority concerns. The commission decided to plan two contests, one to be decided over the summer and offering the winners a chance to deliver their work at the fall symposium, and the other to take place over the next academic year.

-Michael Terrazas

Faculty Council

Chair Bill Cody convened the meeting March 17 and after approval of minutes introduced John Bugge, associate professor of English, who spoke on the subject of faculty governance.

Bugge, who represents the Emory chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said faculty governance is central to the success of premier universities, and Emory should be no different. He added faculty governance is "unthinkable without tenure" but that the tenure process is under attack in the United States. Bugge said the phenomenon is more common in state schools; as these institutions begin to pay more attention to bottom lines, faculty governance is often seen as a cumbersome process and an impediment to quick adaptation in a world of change.

Bugge said Emory was "largely free" from those concerns. Indeed, he added, the problem at Emory is often that faculty are reluctant to exercise the amount of influence they have. He suggested a number of measures that could be taken to enhance faculty governance, including tenuring more faculty, establishing a faculty mentoring program and establishing some kind of assembly body in each school. Bugge answered questions after his presentation.

The Faculty Mediation Committee presented a set of guidelines for a mediation process to settle disputes within schools. The council debated details such as the level of participancy at which these disputes must take place-between professors and deans, between professors and department heads, etc.-to warrant mediation and also the difference between mediation and arbitration. Committee chair Rich Freer said he would take the comments and revise the document, possibly to submit for a vote at the April meeting.

David Pacini of the ad hoc committee on disabilities and learning presented a revised resolution stating the Faculty Council's interest in viewing students' learning disabilities as a teaching issue and encouraging professors to take an active role in helping learning disabled students receive the help they need. Bob Ethridge of the Equal Opportunity Programs office voiced his support for the resolution, which passed by a majority vote.

-Michael Terrazas

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