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January 8, 2001

Y2K: The Emory Year in Review

Compiled by Matthew Harrison

Y2K passes without disruptions, fanfare. With all the hype surrounding the turn of the millennium, the Information Technology Division was ready to take care of any problems. There were teams of employees on duty at the moment of truth, monitoring University systems to make sure they handled the rollover without difficulty. Everyone agreed the changeover went more smoothly than expected.

Winship Cancer Institute names new director. Jonathan Simons, former director of the Molecular Pharmacology Program & Cancer Gene Therapy Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was named director of Winship Cancer Institute (Winship), effective Feb. 1.

Lipstadt begins semester in England defending libel suit. British author David Irving sued Penguin Books, which published Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt’s 1994 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, on the grounds that it unfairly paints him as a “Holocaust denier.” The trial got under way Jan. 10 and was expected to last three months.

Sloan Foundation makes $3.6 million grant to establish Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL). Directed by anthropologist Bradd Shore, the new MARIAL center hopes to reach across the arts and sciences to study American middle-class life.

Emory establishes Office of University-Community Partnerships. The office’s mission is to “strengthen and coordinate teaching, research and service in relation to the greater Atlanta community” and is directed by Michael Rich, associate professor of political science.

Lucas-Tauchar announces departure. Francis Lucas-Tauchar, vice president and dean of Campus Life, annouced she would leave Emory in July to become president of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. “To be a college president has been one of my lifelong professional dreams,” said the native Mississippian and alumna of Mississippi State University. “Needless to say, I’m thrilled for this new opportunity. However, I’m deeply saddened to leave Emory and Atlanta, where I’ve never felt a better fit.”

Three students chosen as USA Today scholars. The 20 members of the USA Today All-American Team represent some of the most academically gifted and socially aware college students in the country, and this was the first time any institution placed three students on the newspaper’s all-academic team in one year. Nir Eyal, Amos Jones and Danielle Sered received $2,500 scholarships.

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell named 2000 speaker. Mitchell, a Democrat from Maine who brokered the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, served six years as Senate majority leader before resigning in 1995 and once was voted the “most respected member” of the Senate by senior congressional aides.

Work continues on diversity plan. Emory’s progress toward a diverse workforce, as defined in the University’s 2000 Affirmative Action Plan, can be likened to that of an inchworm: the positive steps may be incremental, but it’s movement all the same. Robert Ethridge, associate vice president and director of Equal Opportunity Programs, said he is proud of the increased number of African American and female faculty.

Construction timetable modified for Emory West. Because Emory administration and faculty determined that academic programs should remain on the central campus for now, permanent facilities will not be constructed at Emory West at this time. The Emory West steering committee, chaired by Provost Rebecca Chopp, determined that an important short-term use for the formerGeorgia Mental Health Institute property is to provide space in its two main existing buildings for programs that will eventually have a permanent home on the main campus.

Avon donates $2 million to fight breast cancer. Breast cancer research at Winship and Grady Hospital will benefit from a $2.2 million gift from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. The institute was selected as one of five leading national cancer centers to receive funds from Avon.

Medical, business schools make U.S. News Top 25.
According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2001 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” the School of Medicine ranked 19th and the Goizueta Business School ranked 21st. The School of Law ranked 26th.

Lipstadt wins British libel suit. The Emory Professor was acquitted April 11 in British High Court of libel charges. Judge Charles Gray unequivocally sided with Lipstadt, calling Irving “an active Holocaust denier ... anti-Semitic and racist.”

Paul named new dean of Graduate School. Bobby Paul would take the reins June 1, succeeding Don Stein, who served as dean since 1995. “He knows the heart
and soul of Emory,” said Chopp, “and understands what a world-class research university is.”

Business school receives $10 million gift from Goizueta Foundation. The donation will provide scholarships and endowed chairs to enhance the intellectual capital of the school.

Mellon Fellows program helps minority undergraduate students. A $475,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation will establish the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program at Emory, beginning in Spring 2001 with the selection of six Emory Mellon Fellows for the fall.

Tutu completes two-year stint as visiting professor in Candler.
“My time here has been wonderful,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who planned to return to South Africa and retire with his wife, Leah. “Candler and Emory as a whole is a warm, friendly, affirming place. My students have been superb. I’ve enjoyed teaching them and have learned many, many insights from them.”

Richey named dean of Candler School of Theology. A former professor of church history at Duke Divinity School, Russell Richey holds degrees from Wesleyan University, Union Theological Seminary and Princeton University. He began July 1, succeeding Kevin LaGree, who left Candler to become president of Simpson College in Iowa.

Weather smiles on Emory’s 2000 Commencement. The Monday morning sun warmed the crowd of parents, relatives—and some 3,200 graduates. Commencement speaker Mitchell challenged the graduates to shun acts of discrimination and encouraged them to take pride in their work. Mitchell did all of this six minutes, the entire length of his speech.

Gore announces cancer plans at Emory.
Vice president and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore said, if elected, he planned to double the amount of federal money devoted to cancer research. “Imagine the day when a simple blood test can detect any cancer early enough to treat it,” he said. Several hundred people turned out for Gore’s address in the Anatomy/
Physiology courtyard.

WHSC takes first step into an Internet-based “e-healthcare” venture. After more than six months of discussions and negotiations, Emory Healthcare joined a consortium of four other academic health centers in partnership with WebEBM, an Internet start-up based in Nashville, Tenn.

Oxford reaches fundraising goal for arts facilities. Hugh and Gena Tarbutton of Sandersville, Ga., are the major donors, and the addition to Few Hall and the theater within will be named in their honor to recognize their generosity, according to Oxford Dean Dana Greene.

Larsen named founding director of Emory Transplant Center.
Christian Larsen, former associate professor of general surgery and transplantation, now heads a center that oversees and integrates all of the University’s academic, clinical care and research resources in organ transplantation.

U.S. News ranks Emory Hospital in eight of the 17 medical specialties. Emory’s heart and eye programs retained their place in the top 10, while kidney disease treatment placed 13th. Also ranked high were programs in urology (18th), neurology/neurosurgery (25th), geriatrics (31st), gynecology (34th) and gastroenterology (37th).


Miller-Ward Alumni House opens.
The Miller-Ward Alumni House looks every bit of its $7.5 million price tag. The stately Tudor-style mansion, which incorporates the Old Scholars Press building into its design, lords over Houston Mill Road and more resembles a ski lodge than an academic facility. But then, a “home” for Emory alumni and guests is what the building’s progenitors envisioned all along.

Network Communications goes online. The telecommunications departments from the University, the hospitals and the clinic, along with the network operations departments of the University and Emory Healthcare, are history—in their place is the new Division of Network Communications. The five formerly separate networking departments were consolidated into one entity.

Convocation marks beginning for Emory Class of 2004.
As they do every year, Emory’s first-year students marched in to Glenn Auditorium for their first official gathering as a class. Faculty and administrators donned their academic robes to welcomed the college’s freshman class. Many of them gave words of wisdom meant to inspire another class of Emory students.

Pew Charitable Trusts donates $3.2 million to establish Center for the Interdiciplinary Study of Religion. The new center will be housed at the law school and will draw the University’s well known Law and Religion Program into collaboration with a variety of other campus initiatives and institutions.

John Ford named vice president and dean of Campus Life. John Ford, former dean of students and professor at Cornell University, was chosen from four finalists to succeed Lucas-Tauchar. “Everyone we talked to was tremendously impressed with [Ford’s] intellect, his ideas and his wisdom,” Chopp said.

Rollins School of Public Health receives $5 million gift from namesake family. The gift will underwrite the O. Wayne and Grace Crum Rollins Endowment Fund, established two years ago with an initial gift from Grace Crum Rollins.

Town Hall meeting highlights Employee Council anniversary.
At this meeting, President Bill Chace learned that attendees’ greatest concerns were parking and Emory’s new time and attendance policy for biweekly employees. The discussion also touched on traffic and the removal of cars from the center of campus.

Emory’s economic impact tops $3.4 billion. According to Metro Atlanta Chamber estimates, the University’s annual economic impact on its hometown nearly matches that of all major sporting events held in Atlanta during a four-year period (1999-2003), including Super Bowl XXXIV, the Atlanta Braves and dozens of other tournaments and championships.

New name and new leader for research office. New Vice President Frank Stout said he is determined to live up to his office’s new name: the Office of Research Administration. Stout comes to Emory after many years at Tufts University/New England Medical Center in Boston.

Chace, SGA President Kim deliver annual State of the University Address. Chace responded to questions about Emory’s supposed lack of “school spirit,” and the University president shared the concern—but said the ultimate responsibility for creating student spirit lies with the students.

Avon donates $5.3 million for breast cancer research. Building on its strong partnership with Grady Hospital,the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade made another significant gift to build programs at Grady and the Winship Cancer Institute.

Performing arts center breaks ground. More than 80 years of anticipation ended
Oct. 19 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, attended by Donna and Marvin Schwartz, for whom the facility is named. The $36-million building, housing performance and practice space, classrooms and offices for theater, dance and music, is scheduled for completion by fall 2002.

Acclaimed writer Walker wows crowd at reading
. Alice Walker’s visit to Emory was similar to many of her novels: a celebration of women, mixed with inspiring prose and a noticeable amount of drama. While the prose and feminist spirit were expected, the drama came in the form of an impromptu fire drill at the Dobbs Center, where Walker was speaking. The 15-minute drill was a bit chaotic but didn’t faze Walker—or the crowd of 200 gathered to hear her speak.

Graduate School fund established for conferences, workshops. Dean Paul said the Quadrangle Fund for Advanced Research, divided into three competitive awards programs, is meant “to make possible conversations, conferences and seminars among people who wouldn’t necessarily get together” without it.

New policies cover faculty leave, tenure clock. Enacted prior to the 2000–01 academic year, three new faculty policies made adjustments to the University’s stance on maternity leave, parental leave and stopping the tenure clock. The policies were molded through extensive conversations between Faculty Council, the provost’s office and the Council of Deans.

Supreme Court’s O’Connor urges women to enter business. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, in a lecture originally scheduled for January 2000, advised women gathered Nov. 13 in Glenn Auditorium to pursue careers in business. “Big business needs women—for obvious reasons,” she said.

Emory names new trustees, new chair. After six years at the helm of the University’s Board of Trustees, Brad Currey retired and pulled out the BOT chair for Ben Johnson ’65C. Johnson, along with John Morgan ’67Ox, ’69B, moved from being an alumni trustee to a term position. Emory also appointed four new trustees: Kenneth Carder, Doug Daft, Rhoda Peters and Michael Watson.

Saliers, Ray make sure their souls get it right. Playing to a crowd of 4,000 Nov. 28 at the P.E. Center, the Indigo Girls presented a perfect mix of music and discussion as part of the Year of Reconcilia-tion. The duo of Emory alumnae played a seven-song, 45-minute set of their popular favorites, followed by a Q&A session covering everything from their activism to their days as college students.

Financial aid signs on with PeopleSoft.
The Office of Financial Aid went live with its implementation of the PeopleSoft Student Administration System, wrapping up a University-wide project that began four years previous. The first students to have their financial aid information packaged on PeopleSoft will be the early-decision students first matriculating in fall 2001.

Winship a partner in new cancer coalition. Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes announced a major new offensive in the war against cancer, and the Winship Cancer Institute—along with the rest of Emory and Emory Healthcare—will play a significant role. Barnes said he would use money from the state’s tobacco lawsuit settlement to fund ambitious new programs to expand research into new treatments and access to research trials for the state’s cancer patients.

Hunter retires from law school deanship. Law school Dean Woody Hunter announced his decision to step down as dean after 11 years. Hunter said he would remain on the law faculty.


Back to Emory Report Jan. 8, 2000