Emory Report
October 24, 2005
Volume 58, Number 8


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October 24 , 2005
Faculty Council OKs BOT counselor selection process

BY Stacia brown

Chair Michael Rogers opened the Oct. 18 Faculty Council meeting, held in 400 Administration, by announcing that the council’s executive committee is working with Richard Mendola, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, to coordinate faculty involvement in a new information technology steering committee for the campus.

Next, chair-elect Tom Frank called for nominations for the 2007 Distinguished Faculty Lecture, particularly of individuals from underrepresented groups such as women and minorities. The 2006 Distinguished Faculty Lecture will be delivered by Dennis Liotta, professor of chemistry, in February 2006.

In his remarks, President Jim Wagner asked the council to help him address a charge he has heard on campus that Emory is becoming “too business-like.” The perception takes two forms, he said. First is the idea that the administration equates good business practices with being an excellent university; Wagner said doing good business is essential to being such a university, but it can never be equated with it. Educational value, he said, transcends financial issues.

Second, Wagner said he feels some people level the charge because they are uncomfortable with changes in the University culture. This second attitude is more problematic because it suggests an unwillingness to move into the future together, Wagner said, but he acknowledged that Emory must do a better job in communicating to its constituencies about finances, campaigns and other practical components of life and work.

Next on the agenda was a discussion of faculty counselors to the Board of Trustees and the need to establish a structure for continuing their selection and appointment. Six faculty who currently serve as counselors—William Branch, Dwight Duffus, Kathy Parker, Eleanor Main, Carol Hogue and Connie Kertz—were in attendance and reported that their experiences in the roughly two years they’ve served have been positive.

Branch, who helped create the faculty-counselor system, said the experience has changed the dynamic between the board and faculty. “We’ve gone from being a school with relatively little faculty involvement [on the board] to a school with one of the highest levels of involvement,” he said.

The council unanimously approved an appointment process that calls for a pool of 12–15 possible counselors to be created by Faculty Council in cooperation with representatives from each of Emory’s schools. These nominees will be forwarded to the board, which will elect their counselors. Counselors will serve three-year, staggered terms, and Rogers said one idea is for current counselors to extend their initial three-year appointments beyond 2005–06 to facilitate the staggered terms.

To close the meeting, Rogers proposed establishing three task forces to search for definitions of faculty in three broad areas of the University: health sciences, Emory and Oxford colleges, and the professional and graduate schools. Maggie Gilead from nursing and faculty from other schools said their schools already had performed this examination. The council decided, rather than form task forces, to ask the provost’s office to obtain listings and job categorizations of faculty from Emory’s deans.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 3:15 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, e-mail Chair Michael Rogers at rogers@learnlink.emory.edu.