Emory Report
April 3, 2006
Volume 58, Number 25


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April 3, 2006
PCORE follows up on race & difference seminar

BY christi gray

The President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity (PCORE) welcomed President Jim Wagner to its March 27 meeting, held in 400 Administration. Wagner discussed the seminar, “Understanding Race and Difference."

Wagner highlighted points from the Emory seminar, saying when it comes to race dialogue, people are “lacking the United States lacks a “tangible vocabulary,” possibly stemming from a trend of sensitivity training. “We need to move away from sensitivity training and promote engagement training,” he said.

The president then said Emory needs to actively promote difference. “We need to engage in the topics that may be unresolved after debate,” he said. “We spend a lot of time creating dialogue on things we agree on—we need to be exploring new perspectives.”

Wagner suggested PCORE work closely with the race initiative group in continuing discussion of issues brought up at the seminar.

PCORE then talked with Wagner about exploring “Sustained Dialogue” models, multicultural recruitment and the goal of maintaining a diverse student body, including economically disadvantaged groups.

Next, the commission discussed changing PCORE’s bylaws so that student terms would last one year and faculty/staff terms two years (currently all PCORE members serve three-year terms). Under the proposed change, which would mirror the membership bylaws of the other president’s commissions, at the end of his/her term, each member would have the option to renew for one more term. Such a change may enhance more participation by faculty and staff on the commission.

Wong announced that the commission roster for 2006–07 (other than chair-elect, still be to be chosen) was nearing completion. PCORE received a high number of applications, and confirmation of new members is being processed.

In other announcements, members discussed an upcoming brown bag Q&A, which PCORE will co-sponsor, with the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and Human Resource’s Employee Relations, “The 5 W’s” of getting to know Emory resources on Thursday, April 27, at noon in Winship Ballroom. For more information, visit www.pcore.emory.edu.

The staff concerns committee reported it is exploring a peer mentoring program that could be extended campus wide. The objective would be to identify and publicize a network of staff members with varying expertise as a resource for all staff. The committee also is looking to work with Human Resources to foster staff professional development through subsidizing such activities as conferences, courses or seminars. The committee is meeting with Human Resources on clarifying grievance processes for the handbook and website.

The faculty concerns committee reported, now that it has met with Asian American, African American and Latino faculty, that it will compile its data and present recommendations, which will be added to the commission’s annual report.

PCORE acknowledged and thanked Wagner for his accessibility and readiness to engage in conversation on relevant and sometimes difficult issues. Next year PCORE will continue to co-sponsor two brown bag noontime discussion and informational programs in which Wagner will participate.

The next PCORE meeting will be held April 24 at 3 p.m. in 400 Administration. A reception will follow to meet new commission members.

If you have a question or concern for PCORE, e-mail Chair Donna Wong at dmwong@emory.edu.