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November 27, 2000

Faculty Council: Budget talks highlight
November meeting

By Michael Terrazas

To open the Nov. 14 Faculty Council meeting, Provost Rebecca Chopp made good on last year’s promise to involve the council at an early stage of University budget deliberations. Chopp, accompanied by Emory financial analyst Sabra Avery, outlined the budget process for the council, reviewed income and expenditures from recent years, and detailed the University’s current “cost drivers,” or spending areas Emory has decided to make its first priorities.

Chopp said she and all other budget decisionmakers would weigh very seriously any input Faculty Council had to offer, and members asked Chopp various questions about both the budget-approval process and the issues Emory has earmarked for special consideration. These cost drivers—which are general topics such as support for web applications, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, salary adjustments, language instruction, etc.—are not likely to change greatly from year to year, Chopp said.

Since Chopp attends all Faculty Council meetings, the group decided to maintain an ongoing discussion until the final budget is approved by the Board of Trustees next spring. Chopp invited comment and said council input would be very helpful in prioritizing cost drivers.

Reporting for the faculty life course committee, Huiman Barnhart presented a pilot project proposal for an emeritus college program. Proposed to the council last year by Eugene Bianchi and John Bugge, the emeritus college would help recently retired professors stay connected to academic life through limited course teaching, advising roles, ongoing research projects, etc.

The one-year pilot program would cost between $50,000 and $75,000, Barnhart said, and the council decided to postpone a vote endorsing the proposal until the committee came up with a detailed budget listing costs for a part-time director, work-study and/or graduate student help, office space and equipment costs.

Arri Eisen of the University Teaching Fund (UTF) said, after meeting with Harriet King and Walt Reed, the UTF decided that its original mandate—to fund innovative teaching projects—was limiting its practice, as the committee has not been able to exhaust its grantmaking budget partly due to the fact that many proposals, while deserving of support, are not “innovative,” per se.

Eisen asked the council to support a change in UTF’s mission statement and requested that the group be integrated with the more broaded University Advisory Council on Teaching (UACT), with UTF perhaps serving as a subcommittee of the larger group.

The council supported both Eisen’s requests in principle but asked for a newly written UTF mission statement to approve rather than simply a call for a change in wording. As for merging with UACT, the council supported the move but said it was a decision to be made by the provost and the UACT leadership.

The next Faculty Council meeting is Jan. 16, 2001, at 3:15 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, send e-mail to chair Claire Sterk at


Back to Emory Report Nov. 27, 2000