Emory Report

April 24, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 30

University Governance:

Faculty Council

To open the April 11 meeting, President Bill Chace announced that morning's triumphant verdict in Deborah Lipstadt's libel case in England and was met with applause. He also informed the council of the April 17 reception to celebrate Emory's breaking the $200 million mark in sponsored research.

Provost Rebecca Chopp announced that Bobby Paul would be the new dean of the graduate school, and she said a search committee was in the final stages of deciding on a recommendation for a new theology dean. Chopp also said she was taking to the Board of Trustees a revision in the University's tenure clock policy that would allow faculty to petition for an extension of the tenure clock for family leave. Finally, Chopp agreed to the council's March request of having a budget presentation earlier in the year.

Representing the task force charged with examining the utility of student course evaluations, Scott Lillienfeld presented six recommendations. The first and most important one, he said, was that the University produce a brief set of guidelines for faculty involved in tenure and promotion decisions concerning how student evaluations are best interpreted. Other recommendations included polling former students for evaluations from past classes, expanding existing evaluation forms, setting uniform evaluation policies and surveying schools to determine their individual procedures.

The council then heard year-ending committee reports from those committees with representatives present. Josiah Wilcox said the University Research Committee dispensed nearly $521,000 in 22 grants last semester and has $475,300 available for spring awards.

Nanette Wenger, representing the Faculty Life Course Committee, said her group was "extremely pleased" with the family leave and tenure policies the provost and deans agree to submit to external counsel for review, and she was hopeful the lawyers would return the language largely intact.

Wenger asked the council to approve in principle the goal of creating an emeritus college, but Chace said such a motion did not take into account the possibility that there might not be sufficient faculty interest to create such an organization. Instead, the council voted to have the committee explore the matter further before taking action.

Council Chair John Boli distributed certificates of appreciation to members whose terms of duty are up, including Claire Sterk, Randy Strahan, Vaidy Sunderam, Vicki Hertzberg, Rich Freer and Sandy Dunbar. Sterk, however, will serve next year as president of the University Senate, which automatically makes her chair of Faculty Council.

Reporting on the Faculty at Emory project, Boli said his team has finished compiling the data from the series of faculty lunches held during the spring, and he is preparing a 10-to-15-page report on their findings.

The Faculty Council will not meet again this academic year.

- Michael Terrazas

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