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October 1, 2001

University Senate begins 50th year

By Michael Terrazas


The year’s first University Senate meeting was held Sept. 25 in the law school’s faculty library, and new President Frank Vandall announced that “Accepting the Challenge” will be the theme for this, the Senate’s 50th year at Emory.

Vandall said the theme reflects his desire for the body to function more proactively, something University President Bill Chace has long urged of the campus’ various governance groups. Vandall said he will ask the Faculty Council to form an academic policy committee to draft a position paper on tenure matters, examine Emory’s academic direction and keep a close eye on the University budget.

Vandall also said he’s asked Bridget Guernsey Riordan in Campus Life to prepare a report examining two issues facing students: substance abuse and organizational hazing. Finally, Vandall said he hopes to devote one Senate meeting during the year to discussing teaching.

Interim Provost Woody Hunter, formerly dean of the law school, welcomed the Senate to his old building and said Emory is facing two main issues this year: the ongoing discussion regarding the organization of Arts & Sciences faculty, and the University’s increasingly restrained budget. Hunter said Emory is in a “good, solid fiscal condition,” but the slowdown of the American economy will have its effects here on campus.

“Instead of a period of growth, we’re in a period of stasis,” Hunter said, adding that he wants to be completely open with the community about the University’s financial situation, and he welcomes feedback on what might be done.

Kim Loudermilk from the provost’s office announced that the new draft of the intellectual property policy has been posted on the office’s website for review by faculty. She said Faculty Council will discuss the policy in October.

Michelle Smith, director of corporate relations, briefed the Senate on the new EmoryGives workplace-giving campaign (see story) and showed a video explaining the new options employees have for philanthropy. Smith introduced alumna Sherry Sutton of Georgia Shares, one of five new charities included in Emory’s campaign, who gave brief descriptions of the new agencies.

Chace, who apologized for arriving late because of teaching a class, told the Senate that he is proud of how the University reacted to the tragic events of Sept. 11. He said Emory is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to coordinate possible emergency response measures.

Vandall then asked the Senate’s committee chairs to present their rosters and outline their major goals for the year. These projects include:

Athletic Policy: Fixing the roof of the P.E. Center, keeping an eye on gender equity in Emory athletics teams and examining the issue of advertising banners at sporting events.

Campus Life: Further battling substance abuse among students, including developing brochures and incorporating educational information into the University curriculum.

Campus Development: Continuing to review capital projects in all phases of development.
Environment: Working with the various new environmental groups on campus, reviewing capital projects for environmental impact.

Fringe Benefits: Examining the effects of new federal tax laws on various aspects of the University retirement plan.

Honorary Degree: Soliciting and evaluating nominations for honorary degrees to be awarded at Commencement 2003.

Library Policy: Reviewing the renovation of Candler Library, improving storage capacity and expanding quiet-study areas in Woodruff Library.

Safety and Security: With no representative present and a vacant chair position, this committee will report at the October meeting.

Traffic and Parking: Working with the alternative transporation office on increasing carpool participation and beginning a comprehensive study of the University’s parking fee processes.


With no new business, Vandall adjourned the meeting after committee reports. The next University Senate meeting will be held Oct. 30 at 3:15 p.m. in the Rita Ann Rollins Room of the School of Public Health.

If you have a question or concern for University Senate, e-mail Vandall at


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