Emory Report

January 31, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 19

University Senate

By Michael Terrazas

To open the Jan. 25 meeting in the Rollins Room of the School of Public Health, President Bill Chace ceded the floor to Paul Morris for an explanation of why the University's e-mail server, as well as other mainframe systems, were down that day.

Morris said the problem was caused by a power spike in the early morning hours following activation of the University's backup power sources (see story, page 1). Emory had lost its Georgia Power connection at approximately 11 p.m., Jan. 24, Morris said.

Chace then answered several questions from Senate members regarding the new Performing Arts Center due to break ground this summer, the latest developments between Emory and the Grady Coalition, MARTA transportation coming to campus, and bike paths in and around Lullwater.

Provost Rebecca Chopp said the University budget for fiscal year 2001 is due to go to the Board of Trustees in February. Because of more modest growth in Emory's endowment, Chopp told the Senate to expect a "tighter but not tight" budget for the coming year.

Chopp also announced the creation of the Office of University-Community Partnerships that will be housed in the Center for Ethics with Michael Rich as its inaugural director. This office will help faculty and students looking for teaching and research opportunities in the community, as well as coordinate with community groups looking to provide such opportunities to Emory.

Dean Steve Sanderson addressed the Senate as co-chair of the Council on Information Resources and Technology (CIRT). Sanderson explained CIRT's mission and role as a broadly representative, advisory body on all technological matters. He described it as "phase II" to the Digital Information Resources Council's phase I, with a eye toward advising on University policy regarding e-mail, harmonization, security, intellectual property, distance learning and other technology-related matters.

In committee reports, Ray DuVarney of the campus development committee explained some of the committee's activities as it examines proposed construction projects and coordinates with Facilities Management on the 27 projects currently on the books.

Sid Stein of the fringe benefits committee updated the Senate on four issues: long-term health care (the committee has identified a small group of potential providers); retirement benefits, recommending Human Resources "undertake a concerted campaign" to convince more Emory employees to take advantage of the matching contributions program; extending health insurance benefits for chemotherapy to employees covered through Emory's benefits packages; and the possibility of allowing employees to take post-tax payroll deductions for voluntary participation in mutual funds.

The Senate passed a resolution changing its bylaws to bring the president of the Graduate Student Council into the executive committee as an ex-officio member. The change also inducts the new Student Government Association president into the Senate and the executive committee in the spring.

The ad hoc committee on workplace giving, led by Steve Hochman, recommended the University consider expanding its program to organizations other than United Way. Hochman said many institutions both public and private have broader programs. Following a discussion over administrative costs to the University and determining which other charitable organizations would be viable, Senate President John Boli asked the group to submit a written report at the February meeting with more detailed information.

The next University Senate meeting is Feb. 22.

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