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April 9, 2001

PAC members to be
elected by faculty

By Michael Terrazas


For more than four years, the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) has played a vital role in advising President Bill Chace on matters of tenure approval, the task for which Chace appointed each of the committee’s nine members.

Those members will no longer be appointed. Beginning this year, new PAC members will be nominated and elected by their peers.

The move opens another conduit for faculty input into University governance. “That might be for others to say,” Chace said, “but I have long wanted the faculty to engage more actively and more directly in the important issues of the University.

“It increases the role of faculty in peer review and tenure decisions,” said Harriet King, senior vice provost for academic affairs. “To me, that’s a big part of governance.”

The committee roster also will expand to 12 members: one each from the schools of business, law, nursing, public health, theology and Oxford College; three from Emory College with one from natural sciences, one from the humanities and one from the social sciences; and three from the medical school, at least one of whom will be a basic scientist with an appointment to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences faculty.

“The PAC had to be ‘jump-started’ if it was to exist at all in the beginning,” said Chace, explaining why members were appointed until now. “Now that it has been a part of the Emory landscape for some years, it is time for elections and faculty choice to be the means of selection.”

King will oversee the first PAC elections next month, when the nursing and medical schools each will elect one member and Emory College will elect three. The new members will begin their duties Sept. 1.

Service terms for PAC are three years; each member is eligible to be re-elected once, after which he or she must roll off the committee for two years before being allowed to serve again. PAC members must be full professors with tenure, and they should have “significant experience in evaluating candidates for tenure and promotion,” ordinarily demonstrated through service on school-level tenure review bodies, according to the committee guidelines.

Nominations can be made in two ways: faculty members may submit nominations directly to the president or the provost, and individual deans will be asked to submit two names for each committee opening after completing whatever consultative process they deem appropriate within their schools.

All the nominations will be considered by the president, who will narrow down the list to two candidates per opening.

After the candidates are finalized, the provost’s office will send ballots to the individual schools to elect their own PAC representative. Although anyone may submit a candidate nomination, only tenured faculty will cast votes in the election. The selected committee members will be publicized after the provost’s office tabulates the results.

King said the president’s and provost’s offices worked with the Council of Deans and the Faculty Council to craft the election process, detailed online at the Office of the Provost's website. She admitted that hurdles might present themselves when the first elections are held in May, but she said she’s ready for them.

“My expectation is that first time through there will be some glitches we need to address,” King said. “But we will try to fix them—I’m not the Florida secretary of state.”

Anyone with questions about the committee or the election process may contact King at 404-727-8791 or via e-mail at


Back to Emory Report April 9, 2001