First on the agenda of the Jan. 29 University Senate meeting,
held in Woodruff Librarys Jones Room, was an address by Don
Brunn, chief operating officer of the Emory Clinic.
Brunn briefed the Senate on a wide-ranging efficiency audit currently
under way at the clinic to address billing and collection problems.
He said nine different working groups are examining problems such
as billing-statement clarity, accounts receivable, patient registration
and other areas. Brunn said heightened efficiency and a higher return
on services is greatly needed, as diminished Medicare reimbursements
are expected to cost the clinic $1.7 million in the first nine months
of 2002, while malpractice insurance premiums could rise 5070
Responding to a question, Brunn said currently there are no plans
to examine patient scheduling and appointments simply because the
clinic administrative staff is stretched thin enough with its current
audit. But he said the area does need to be addressed, and some
individual departments of the clinic (such as cardiology) are making
Next up, the Senate considered a resolution introduced by Employee
Council President Bill McBride. The resolution called upon President
Bill Chace name a person/committee/task force to designate
a main entrance to every public building on campus (except
for residence halls, fraternity houses and sorority lodges), then
to designate a distance from the main entrances within which smoking
would not be permitted.
Following a lengthy debate, the resolution passed with three amendments:
first, the wording was changed to main entrances, to
allow for buildings with multiple high-use entrances; second, a
sentence was added calling upon the task force to examine the possibility
of banning smoking from certain public, outdoor areas of scenic
beauty, such as the new fountain behind Candler Library; and
third, the task force would be asked to designate specific smoking
areas outside campus buildings to provide smokers with a place they
can smoke without fear of harrassment.
One proposed amendment, which would have called upon smoking to
be banned within 20 feet of every entrance to every nonresidential
building on campus, was defeated.
President Bill Chace announced that EmoryGives surpassed its 2001
campaign goal of $415,000 by $32,000, drawing contributions from
1,345 individuals across the University.
Chace also announced that, faced with shrinking revenue growth
and increasing costs, the University is examining the possibility
of reducing some employee benefits. He stressed that no final decisions
have been made, but added that outside economic conditions dictate
that some decisions be made by the end of the semester.
Senate members concerns regarding possible benefits changes
centered around the following issues:
the possibility of current employees existing benefits
being grandfathered in under any revised plan.
the question of whether Emory would reinstate the old benefits
once the economic situation improves.
how much input the administration would like and how it
should be delivered.
when any changes would go into effect.
Senate President Frank Vandall said he would ask Sid Stein, chair
of the fringe benefits committee, to look into the issue, stay in
contact with the administration and report back at a later Senate
The next Senate meeting will be held Feb. 26 at 3:15 p.m. in the
If you have
a question or concern for University Senate, e-mail Vandall at firstname.lastname@example.org.