October 25, 1999
Volume 52, No. 9
Issues in Progress:
Chair John Boli convened the October meeting Oct. 19 in room 311 of Woodruff Library.
Provost Rebecca Chopp listed the names of the search committee members for a new dean of the graduate school to replace Don Stein. She also informed the faculty that they would be soon receiving a comprehensive letter outlining some of the efforts made academically and programmatically at Emory in the last year, as well as outlining challenges that lie ahead.
Johnnetta Cole spoke to the council on this year's United Way campaign. She asked the members to educate their colleagues about the campaign and the United Way in general. "We do 'so-so' at Emory," said Cole, adding that 929 people pledged donations during last year's campaign, out of approximately 15,000 faculty and staff. This year's monetary goal is $365,000.
Laura Porter Kimble reported on a faculty governance conference she recently attended at Duke University. Faculty Council and the University Senate "can be what we want [them] to be" if the University accomplishes certain objectives, she said, such as matching the council's agenda "to the water cooler agenda" and making sure the issues discussed are the real, day-to-day problems of faculty. She also said faculty should be made aware of the major committees on campus, such as the President's Advisory Committee, and should know who is on them and how faculty can be represented.
Boli updated the council on two ongoing projects. He said he has assembled a group from the college and the nursing, law and public health schools to meet and discuss how to better use course evaluations, and he encouraged faculty from the other schools to participate.
Regarding the proposal for faculty mediation developed last year by Faculty Council, Boli said a meeting this summer between the council and the deans was "not particularly fruitful." The major problem, he said, is a lack of communication between the two bodies, and Boli suggested the measure be suspended until communication can be improved. A good start, he said, is the presence of public health Dean Jim Curran, who will represent the deans at council meetings.
Chancellor Billy Frye spoke on the Year of Reconciliation that will take place at Emory during 2000-01. He informed the council of the project's beginnings as simply a symposium but said it grew, out of necessity, into a year-long event, with a reconciliation symposium as the centerpiece. Frye said the symposium will be held Jan. 25-27, 2001, with President Jimmy Carter delivering the keynote address. Frye added that the symposium "will be anchored with Emory people, and then we'll build on top of that."
Representing the Council of Deans, Curran presented proposed revisions to the faculty gray book, including a new preface as well as maternity and family leave policies and a process for stopping the tenure clock. Boli proposed to submit the policies to the council's hearing and faculty life course committees for review, with discussion to take place at the November meeting, and the council agreed.
Eugene Bianchi and John Bugge presented a proposal for an Emeritus College at Emory that would allow retired faculty to continue their intellectual lives, as well as take advantage of a valuable resource to the University. Boli proposed the idea be rolled into the larger "Faculty at Emory" discussion to take place during the next two academic years.
To close the meeting, Boli outlined his schedule for the "Faculty at Emory" discussion and announced the formation of a steering committee made up of himself, chair-elect Claire Sterk and other interested faculty. He presented a rough outline of duties and projects to be accomplished next spring as well as during the 2000-01 year, and he encouraged all Emory faculty to participate.
"Our lives have changed so much in the last 20 years," Chopp said in support of the two-year examination. "The University governance structures were developed largely for faculty in the 1940s and '50s, and it's time to take a serious look at them."
The next Faculty Council meeting will be Nov. 16 in 400 Administration Building.