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September 23, 2002

Faculty Council briefed on talk with trustees

By Michael Terrazas

Chair William Branch convened the first Faculty Council meeting of 2002–03 on Sept. 17 in 400 Administration, then introduced interim Provost Woody Hunter.

Hunter announced that the search for a permanent dean of Emory College has commenced with the formation of a search committee, chaired by Elaine Walker of psychology. Other members include Sue Jinks-Robertson, Marshall Duke, Gordon Newby, Dalia Judovitz, Vaidy Sunderam and Richard Rubinson. Libraries Director Joan Gotwals and nursing Dean Marla Salmon also will sit on the committee, as well as one trustee yet to be named, Hunter said.

Hunter also said that, in accordance with the recommendations from the Strategic Planning Committee for Arts and Sciences, he has reconstituted the Council of Arts and Sciences—consisting of the provost and the deans of both the college and graduate school. Finally, Hunter touched on the ongoing budget equilibrium project and said he has putting together a faculty consultative group to advise him and “ensure that full attention is paid to core academic priorities.”

Branch then briefed the council on a summer undertaking, prompted by the spring discussion about employee benefits, to gain greater faculty representation on and communication with the Board of Trustees (BOT). A group representing Faculty Council, Emory College and the graduate school made a three-part request to the board, to which Branch said BOT Chair Ben Johnson has responded positively. The three parts include:

• having faculty appointed as full voting members to all main BOT committees.

• holding a regular forum at which faculty and trustees can communicate directly.

• ensuring faculty participation in all major searches.

Branch said he would keep the council updated on progress in these discussions.
In committee reports, Frank Vandall said the Carter Center liaison committee has secured a commitment from President Jimmy Carter to speak to faculty in March 2003. The form of this event—whether it will be a larger, town hall-style gathering or whether Carter will speak at a regular Faculty Council meeting—has yet to be determined.

Representing the faculty life course committee, Nanette Wenger said the group’s main project at the moment is to secure permanent funding for the Emeritus College, which is in the second year of its two-year pilot status. Wenger listed a number of accomplishments made by Emeritus College and its director, Eugene Bianchi, and Hunter said, unless a compelling case is made against the project, he plans to grant the college’s request for full funding over the next three years.

Cy Wilcox of the University Research Committee announced the latest round of winners for the committee’s research grants, and he said the URC is expanding its Levy Research Awards program to include distinctions for each of the disciplines represented in the URC: biological and health sciences, humanities, social sciences, math and natural sciences, and visual and performing arts.

The Levy Awards, Wilcox explained, are supported by an endowment that provides monetary awards specifically for research in the sciences. The expanded program in non-science fields would not carry monetary awards at first, he added, but once the additional awards are established, the URC plans to work with University development offices to secure an endowment for them, as well.

In his remarks, President Bill Chace announced that John Temple, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will retire at the end of the academic year (see story). Chace said a search committee has been appointed in hopes of identifying Temple’s successor in early 2003.

In closing, Chace urged the council to charge a committee with exploring the possibility of establishing an electronic forum for discussion and communication—much like what Emory students have done with LearnLink. Branch asked anyone interested in such an undertaking to contact him.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be held Oct. 22 at 3:15 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, e-mail Branch at