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April 2, 2001

Environmental vision wins senate approval

By Michael Terrazas


President Bill Chace opened the March 27 University Senate meeting in Woodruff Library’s Jones Room by heralding the tenure of Provost Rebecca Chopp, who is leaving Emory this summer to become dean of Yale Divinity School. Chace also announced the appointment of graduate school Dean Bobby Paul to be Emory’s first executive vice provost of arts and sciences, with the charge of “clarifying and understanding” the relationship of the shared faculty between Emory College and the graduate school.

In her remarks, Chopp expressed her appreciation for the Senate and how its officers have collaborated with her during her time as provost. She also updated the body on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) review process and said the “Research at Emory” commission, similar to the teaching commission of a few years ago, will soon convene and begin work on the accreditation process.

Next on the agenda was John Ford, new senior vice president for Campus Life, who introduced himself to the Senate and discussed his plans for the division. Ford said his goal is to further integrate the academic and non-academic aspects of student life, and he hopes to build programmatic bridges to do so, including forming a faculty advisory committee to Campus Life.

Representing the honorary degree committee, Judy Raggi-Moore passed out ballots so Senate members could vote on the slate of 2002 degree recipients. All of the nominees, which are kept confidential, were approved “almost unanimously,” Raggi-Moore said, and the list will now be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

The Senate also voted on new officers for the 2001-02 academic year, and William Branch and Cathy Phillips were chosen president-elect and secretary, respectively. Frank Vandall will serve as Senate president next year.

Employee Council President Susan Cook-Prince, whose tenure was completed in March, thanked the Senate for its help and support over the past year, and she introduced her successor, Bill McBride of Facilities Management.

Michelle Smith, executive director of corporate relations, briefed the Senate on possible changes to the workplace giving program. She said four organizations have been targeted for inclusion in the program, and her office is conducting “due diligence” to make sure the groups meet the criteria to receive charitable donations through Emory paycheck deductions. Chace thanked Smith for her work and said he looked forward to the University having five options for workplace giving, and he hoped Emory contributions to the United Way would also increase.

Finally, the Senate resumed debate on an issue tabled at the February meeting. Peggy Barlett, William Buzbee, Karen Mumford and Julie Mayfield all spoke in support of a newly revised and renamed “environmental mission statement” that would serve as an expression of Emory’s overarching philosophy toward all matters environmental. Mayfield, a fellow in the law school’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic, stressed that the statement deals with much more than simply capital construction.

Representing the medical school’s Council of Chairs, William Casarella said the eighth iteration of the statement is a “tremendous improvement” over previous forms. Casarella said the med school still finds certain phrases in the policy troublesome, but he said the school simply asks that whatever body implements the statement policy work with all campus constituencies to make sure their concerns are addressed before taking any action under the statement’s rubric.

Following a brief debate, the Senate voted unanimously and with no abstentions to support the policy.

Immediately afterward, the Committee on the Environment introduced its motion to create a campuswide task force charged with assessing current environmental strategies and initiatives on campus and preparing a report to recommend “institutional structures and short- and long-term means through which the University as a whole and its individual units can best implement the mission statement.” With minor amendments, this motion also passed unanimously.

The next Senate meeting will be held April 17 at 3:15 p.m. in the Jones Room.

If you have a question or concern for University Senate, e-mail President Claire Sterk at


Back to Emory Report April 2, 2001