Emory Report

May 1, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 31

University Governance:

Employee Council

Leading off the Employee Council's April 19 meeting was President Bill Chace, one of five guest speakers lined up for the Council's new member orientation meeting.

Chace spoke generally about the Council's past and present successes as well as future issues on the horizon for Emory employees. He said the University's biggest challenge will be keeping a sense of community as it continues to experience unprecedented growth.

"The more things we do, the more people we hire, the stronger we become as an institution will be determined in how we hold ourselves together as a working community, where people genuinely care for each other," Chace said. He called Emory's future a "bright and tantalizing one" and asked rhetorically how Emory's employees could hold it together.

Bob Ethridge, associate vice president of Equal Opportunity Programs, followed Chace and discussed his history with Employee Council, which dates back to 1981. He said the working climate at Emory has improved and that the University's increasing diversity--as well as the Atlanta area in general--strengthened the institution and the city.

Alice Miller, vice president of Human Resources, talked about ways to make Emory an enjoyable place to work, saying that Employee Council is an excellent sounding board.

"You can never overcommunicate," she said. "Communication builds community. There's a reason why there's a common core to those words."

Finally, two representatives from the University Senate (outgoing President John Boli and incoming President Claire Sterk) discussed the relationship between the Council and the Senate, and outlined several of the Senate's responsibilities.

After the presentations, the first order of business was to choose a new president-elect. Bill McBride was elected to the position, which carries with it chairship of the special issues committee and a seat on the University Senate.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to new-member orientation. Incoming President Susan Cook outlined several of the responsibilities of Council members, touching on several of the bylaws. She reiterated that the Council is not an advocacy group, but that its mission is to disseminate information to employees.

Cathy Phillips gave a brief history of the Council, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year. She quoted several statistics about Emory from 1980, the Council's first year in operation. Each committee chair then stepped to the podium and briefly outlined the responsibilities of his or her committee.

Some of the new business concerned plans for the Council's anniversary celebration week in September. Cook discussed holding a "Meet Your Employee Council Member" day in the DUC and getting a banner to advertise activities. The Council will also continue its town hall meetings at Grady, Oxford and the Carter Center.

Cook touched on ideas for several brown bag luncheons with subjects such as stress management and diversity. She also mentioned bringing in representatives from Human Resources and the Office of Disability Services as guest speakers.

Planned future speakers include Mark Hafitz from the disbursement office, who will discuss a new time and attendance system that will replace time cards for hourly employees.

The next Employee Council meeting is scheduled for May 17.

-Eric Rangus

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