New chair John Snarey convened the year’s
first Faculty Council meeting on Sept. 16 in 400 Administration
by asking each of the members to introduce themselves and offer
their major goal or concern of the year for the council.
After the get-to-know-you, Mike Mandl, Emory’s new executive
vice president for finance and administration, gave a brief address
in which he said his first 100 days (Mandl arrived July 1) would
be devoted to listening to the Emory community as he casts his role
as a partner to the University’s academic enterprise. Mandl
said he hopes to use Faculty Council as a resource, possibly asking
members to participate in various ad hoc projects through his office.
Responding to questions from council members, Mandl said he deliberately
has declined to identify the major issues confronting his office
during his initial 100 days. Once he has a better grasp of both
the University’s fiscal situation and the community’s
interests, Mandl said, he will determine what those issues are.
President Jim Wagner, also attending his first Faculty Council meeting,
followed Mandl with an introductory address of his own. Wagner said
his former employer, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland,
also had a faculty council, and his experiences with it were positive.
“I sense this is not a reactive body,” Wagner said.
“This is a forum where people understand they can create their
own trouble; they don’t have to wait for other trouble to
come to them. And I look forward to helping you.”
Wagner repeated his hope to have a preliminary vision statement
for the University out for community review and input in the immediate
future. This “working vision,” as he called it, would
be vetted among various Emory constituencies before it is finalized
into a mission statement that could serve as the basis for a serious
strategic-planning effort. He said a website will be established
through which individuals can give feedback to the working vision
Emory needs to present a set of “compelling excellences”
to audiences both internal and external to the University, Wagner
said, as it markets its vision in no small part to attract investment
in that vision. Of the various revenue streams to any university—tuition,
sponsored research, endowment income and fund raising—Emory
has “room to do more” in the latter, he said.
Wagner also announced the creation of a search advisory committee
to fill the provost position (see
After Wagner answered questions from council members, Snarey presented
statements from the various standing committees and their rosters
Reporting for the communications committee, Sharon Strocchia said
work continues on developing an interactive online discussion environment—akin
to a cross between LearnLink and a Google-like search engine—where
faculty can communicate across schools. Working with staff from
the Information Technology Division and John Mills, University webmaster,
Strocchia said the committee has identified the software FuseTalk
as a powerful, sophisticated tool that could accommodate many uses
and purposes for such a forum.
Before rolling the product out to the University, Strocchia said,
the committee needs to develop an etiquette protocol for use of
the site, and also to design an initial package to present (for
example, what issues and forums should the site feature first?).
Reporting for the new Committee on the Future of the University,
Bill Branch said the group is focusing on getting faculty representation
on the Board of Trustees’ major committees, something to which
BOT Chair Ben Johnson agreed in principle last year.
Following approval of committee rosters, Snarey adjourned the meeting.
Faculty Council will meet next on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 3:15 p.m.
in 400 Administration.
If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, e-mail
Chair John Snarey at firstname.lastname@example.org.