Emory Report

November 30, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 13

Issues in progress:

Faculty Council

Chair Virgil Brown opened the Nov. 17 meeting by introducing President Bill Chace, who gave the council an update on the Emory Village issue. Chace said the principal players had agreed not to discuss some aspects of the developments but added that he does expect a CVS pharmacy to replace the Kroger grocery store, that he hopes other developers may "make up the difference" between the CVS and a grocery store, and that he remains adamant Emory should not get involved in the management of a retail enterprise in the space. That said, he added that the University has signed a lease for the Emory Bookstore building, with the plans to expand Lullwater Books into the space and create a first-rate academic bookstore.

Prompted by Harriet King, the council then discussed the question of establishing an "emeritus institute" for professors who have gained emeritus status. The idea is linked somewhat to the idea of a faculty club-for which Chace said there does not appear to be enough interest among faculty to warrant the resources needed to build a facility. The council raised the possibility for a thorough survey of faculty to judge the need for an emeritus institute, which would provide emeritus faculty with resources to continue to do research after they have stepped down from their regular work load.

King said the new Faculty Hearing Committee is being put to use for the first time, as a dean has requested the committee's advice regarding the possible termination of a faculty member.

Several search committee representatives gave updates on the status of searches for new deans: Bill Cody said the Oxford committee has submitted an ad to appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Dec. 4 issue, and he hopes interviews begin in mid-February; Nanette Wenger said the nursing school committee is in the process of making a short list of candidates who will be invited to campus for interviews late this month and in early December; and Rebecca Chopp said the search for a new vice provost for information technology is "in progress." One problem, Chopp said, is Emory is not only competing with other universities in searching for a top IT administrator, but also with private corporations that are able to pay more than Emory for talented individuals.

Laura Porter Kimble presented drafts of two resolutions from the consensual relationships committee. The first, concerning relationships between "teachers"--meaning both faculty and graduate/professional students with teaching responsibilities--and students, had already been reviewed by the Council of Deans, Kimble said. The second concerned relationships between faculty and their department heads or supervisors, when the two people are involved in either a family, marriage or consensual sexual relationship.

The council discussed many issues related to these proposed policies. It decided to include "domestic partners" to the relationships listed in the second resolution. Regarding the first resolution, most of the discussion centered around whether the University should take a stronger stance against relationships between teachers and students. As it stands now, the resolution states, "... teachers must not engage in any consensual sexual relationships with a student while the faculty member is in a position of supervisory academic authority with respect to the student. Nor may a teacher assert any supervisory academic authority with respect to a student who was the subject of a previous consensual sexual relationship." Some faculty members felt the resolution should forbid any relationship between teachers and students, regardless of the school or department each is in, because of the inability to foresee future conflicts of interest; others felt such wording would be too strong since it would prohibit relationships developing between older graduate students and young faculty, or between graduate students and undergraduates, who do not run the immediate risk of a conflict of interest.

The council passed both resolutions in principle, and they will return to the Council of Deans for further review. Chopp said she would advise the deans of the Faculty Council's division concerning the teacher-student relationship issue.

The council then adjourned. The next meeting is Jan. 19.

--Michael Terrazas

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