March 1, 2004

Senate briefed on Emory Village, strategic planning

By Michael Terrazas

President John Snarey opened the Feb. 24 University Senate meeting, held in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library, by reminding members that March is the last meeting to introduce new business. The April meeting is devoted to year-ending committee reports and new-officer installation. Snarey also said individual schools and units should now be electing new senators.

First on the agenda was a presentation by Jen Fabrick, director of campus planning and a board member of the Alliance to Improve Emory Village (AIEV). Fabrick gave a brief overview of AIEV's five-year history and focused on the group's ambitious master plan for one of the Emory area's busiest and--according to AIEV--most underutilized consumer centers.

AIEV has a vision of transforming Emory Village into a mixed-use zone that incorporates retail, commercial and residential enterprises; currently the area is zoned only for commercial use. Chief in realizing this vision will be transforming the five-pointed intersection that long has confounded drivers and pedestrian alike, and the AIEV's plan is to install a traffic roundabout at the intersection of North Decatur and Oxford roads and Dowman Drive.

Traffic consultants have tested the feasibility of a roundabout using computer modeling, and the results of this study will be released at an AIEV community meeting, to be held Tuesday, March 2, at 7:15 p.m. in 208 White Hall. Fabrick encouraged all interested stakeholders to attend.

Next up was President Jim Wagner, who led the Senate through a PowerPoint presentation on Emory's comprehensive strategic planning effort, which is about to get under way (see story, page 1). Wagner said the strategic plan is part of an ongoing effort that began with the formation of the Emory Vision Statement last semester and will continue with a comprehensive fund raising campaign.

Certain aspects of the strategic plan are not ready to begin--many of its academic and curricular components will wait until Emory has a new provost in place, Wagner said--but others should come online well before the conclusion of the plan's anticipated 13- to 15-month time frame. The plan also will identify clear benchmarks to gauge Emory's progress.

"Getting to our vision may take a lifetime," Wagner said, "but we ought to make measureable progress in five years."

Finally, Richard Levinson and Mary Anne Lindskog of the honorary degrees committee closed the meeting by presenting the committee's nominations for 2005 honorary degree recipients. The Senate voted on the slate of nominees, who will be kept confidential until a few months before the chosen individuals receive their degrees at 2005 Commencement. The Senate's vote will be passed on to Wagner, who in turn will forward his recommendations to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

The next Senate meeting will be held Tuesday, March 30, at 3:15 p.m. in the Jones Room.

If you have a question or concern for University Senate, e-mail President John Snarey at