President William Branch convened the first University Senate
meeting of 2002–03 on Sept. 24 in the Jones Room of Woodruff
Library. First on the agenda were remarks from interim Provost Woody
Hunter, who spoke about the ongoing budget equilibrium project.
Hunter mentioned one aspect of the project that has not previously
been publicized; it will push back the University’s budget
planning and approval process by 30 days. This move, Hunter said,
will help align the University’s process more closely with
that of Emory Healthcare; budget planning in the health care industry
generally is done later than in academia, he added.
The Board of Trustees (BOT) still will set tuition rates for the
following year at its February meeting, Hunter said, but other budget
approvals will be moved to March. If the switch goes smoothly, the
process may be pushed back another 30 days in 2004. The switch also
gives Emory budget planners a break during the holiday season, when
traditionally they have been hard at work. “This is a more
humane approach [to budget planning],” Hunter said.
University Secretary Gary Hauk reported on the status of two Senate
resolutions from 2001–02 that had been submitted to the administration.
Regarding the Senate’s call to designate cigarette smoke-free
entrances to Emory buildings, Hauk said a task force chaired by
Facilities Management’s Bob McMains has mapped all building
entrances, identifying at least one for each building around which
smoking would be prohibited within 20 feet, and will make its recommendations
soon. These will be called “clean air” entrances, Hauk
added, and signage and ashtrays will be installed where appropriate.
The other resolution forwarded to the administration was the Statement
of Grave Concern, passed by the faculty of Emory College and later
approved by the Senate, regarding the spring discussion of employee
benefits. Though not all the statements requests were granted—employee
benefits were adjusted in April—the resolution and its surrounding
discussion did result in, among other things, greater communication
between the faculty and the trustees.
That report led directly into the Senate’s next item of business,
a report from Branch on summer discussions between trustees and
a group of faculty representing the Senate, Emory College and the
graduate school. The group requested that faculty members be appointed
as full voting members to several key BOT committees. Branch said
BOT chair Ben Johnson responded favorably to all the group’s
requests, and the main question now is how the faculty members would
be selected. The issue is not without precedent, Branch added, since
the Senate president and president-elect currently are ex-officio
members of the BOT academic affairs committee.
Chairs of the Senate’s various committees then submitted rosters
for approval and announced their goals for the year. Highlights
The committee will continue to oversee work on athletic facilities
at the new Clairmont Campus, as well as financial aid and gender
Examine mental health issues, with a focus on surveying faculty
to determine their views on the most pressing mental health problems
Revisit forest use policy; examine Lullwater management plan; name
several streams on campus.
Increase frequency of communication with BOT; work more closely
with a new student committee on honorary degrees.
Stress academic role of libraries in context of budget equilibrium
process; work on storage issues as compact, movable shelving is
installed in Woodruff Library stack tower.
Safety and security:
Continue to develop emergency campus evacuation plan; examine jaywalking
concerns; monitor Dooley’s Ball.
Parking and transportation:
Review Campus Master Plan and how it relates to parking; place two
new radar speed signs around campus to help slow vehicular traffic.
Monitor implementation and effectiveness of revised
health plans and new 529 payroll deduction plan that allows for
tax-free savings for education; introduce new long-term health care
coverage offered by Human Resources.
The safety and security and traffic and parking committees both
reported they are looking for student members. All committee rosters
were approved by the Senate.
The next Senate meeting will be held Oct. 29 at 3:15 p.m. in the
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question or concern for University Senate, send e-mail to President
William Branch at email@example.com.