To the Emory community:
Together we have done it. At least I hope that, after reading the
Emory University Vision Statement, you will agree that our community
has crafted a way of stating, for now, our shared, compelling
vision for Emory.
Some 40 persons availed themselves of our website to comment publicly; dozens
sent personal e-mails and memoranda to me and to members of the President’s
Cabinet. Many others commented in person and in group discussions. Suggestions,
guidance, revisions, bumper stickers, tag lines and lists of priorities came
from students, faculty members, staff members, alumni and trustees.
Departments, councils and advisory bodies took seriously the charge to discuss
the statement and send in their critiques. These groups ranged from the directors
of the University libraries to the faculty of Oxford College, from the Department
of Sociology to the Student Government Association, and from the President’s
Commission on the Status of Women to the President’s Advisory Council.
Comments ranged from the grammatical to the rhetorical and from the sublime to
the pithy. Some urged simplicity, and others encouraged high eloquence. Some
created laundry lists, and others abhorred the piling up of words. Some wanted
to fatten things here and there, and others recommended cuts so deep that there
was sometimes not even meat left on the bone. Everyone, however, responded positively
to the admonition to create, not just to critique.
On Nov. 5, after having the chance to digest and mull over your suggestions for
a week, the deans of the schools, the cabinet officers and I met for an entire
day of refining the Vision Statement further, in light of your good thoughts.
And we did take into account every word we received by way of suggestion, admonition,
request or plea.
What comes next? Already the Board of Trustees, which met on Nov. 13, has engaged
in a half-day of thorough discussion to begin to align their work with making
the vision for Emory a reality. In the coming months, with the support of cabinet
officers and anticipating the appointment of a new provost and a new senior vice
president for Institutional Advancement, the University will begin the process
developing a strategic plan and laying the groundwork for a comprehensive
Collectively we have a great deal of work ahead of us. But if your participation
in the crafting of this Vision Statement is any indication, there will be many
hands and many good minds working together to bring the vision to fruition.
I trust that you are as excited as I am about
the prospects before us.