May 3, 2004

Senate updated on DH policy examination     

By Michael Terrazas

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Alexander opened the April 27 University Senate meeting, its last of the year, by reporting on the progress of a committee charged with examining Emory’s discriminatory harassment (DH) policy.

The committee is looking at the policy with the goal of striking the optimal balance between preservation of academic freedom and non-tolerance of harassing speech, said Alexander, who co-chairs the group along with Emory College Dean Bobby Paul. Rounding out the committee, which was formed following a request from the Senate earlier this year, are equal numbers of faculty and staff members.

Alexander said the group had hoped to present a revised draft policy to the Senate for review by the end of this spring, but that was not possible without short-shrifting the committee’s work. He said the committee will work over the summer and report to the Senate this fall.

Next on the agenda were year-ending committee reports. Highlights included:

• Athletic policy, reported by Ruth Pagell. Established a Library Athletic Program for student-athletes; assisted in the search for a new athletics director; examined for the first time the possibility of fund raising for Emory athletics.

• Campus development, reported by Nancy Bayly. Examined and proposed changes to renovation plans for Emory Village; established a public art review subcommittee; approved installation of lights along Starvine Way.

• Campus life, reported by Mark McLeod. Continued three-year examination of mental health issues; developed long-term strategies for improving prevention, education and treatment regarding mental health.

• Environment, reported by Tim Bryson. Discussed and made suggestions for Starvine Way light project; reviewed proposals for Visual Arts Center and Emory Village renovations; further refined working relationship with Facilities Management.

• Fringe benefits, reported by Sid Stein. Assisted in review of retiree health benefits; examined impact of new federal Medicare drug benefit; investigated possibility of “master record keeping” among Emory’s three retirement fund vendors, TIAA-CREF, Fidelity and Vanguard.

• Library policy, reported by Steve Strange. Examined availability of wireless access in campus libraries and continuing problem of long-term storage for Woodruff holdings.

• Parking and transportation, reported by Scott Kittner. Developed a mission statement; reviewed membership guidelines; explored possibility of improving shuttle route information at shuttle stops.

Three ad hoc committees also reported on their work during the year. Susie Lackey recounted the efforts of the group that looked at Emory’s pre-employment drug-testing policy; the previous policy, which required testing for all prospective staff employees, was amended Jan. 1 to require testing only for applicants to certain safety-related

Outgoing Senate President John Snarey spoke about the group that examined retiree health benefits. Earlier this year, the University reinstated pre-2003 contributions to health premiums for those individuals who retired before 2003 but are not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare.

Reporting (sans audio) via video technology from Italy, where she has spent this year, incoming Senate president Sharon Strocchia reported on the group that next year, in cooperation with Human Resources and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl, will comprehensively review Emory’s entire employee benefits package (Snarey read from notes to give voice to Strocchia’s report).

Snarey then formally inducted Mike Rogers, associate professor of mathematics at Oxford College, as Senate president-elect for 2004–05. Jim Brown, director of academic computing at Oxford, was inducted as secretary.

To close the meeting, President Jim Wagner said he was proud of how the University presented itself during the Inauguration Celebration, March 29–April 2, and he has received many complimentary notes from the delegates from other institutions who attended the main ceremony.

Wagner informed the Senate of the resignations of Goizueta Business School Dean Tom Robertson and of Oxford Dean Dana Greene (see story), and he announced the formation of the steering committee for Emory’s strategic planning process.

The Senate will reconvene in the fall.

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