Emory Report
January 17, 2006
Volume 58, Number 15


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January 17, 2006
Public meetings will inform planning implementation

BY michael terrazas

Over the course of spring semester, President Jim Wagner, Provost Earl Lewis and Executive Vice President Mike Mandl are hosting two series of open forums to gauge community feedback on Emory’s recently released strategic plan and campus master plan update, and to engage in informed intellectual discussion about six strategic initiatives outlined in the strategic plan.

Beginning in February, Lewis and Wagner will co-facilitate the latter: a series of six academic seminars, each devoted to one of the strategic initiatives outlined under the “Confronting the Human Condition and Human Experience” and “Exploring New Frontiers in Science and Technology” themes of the strategic plan. Those seminars will begin in February (schedule below).

But first, the president and Mandl will cohost a series of five public meetings, beginning this Thursday, Jan. 19, to hear and answer questions about any aspect of Emory’s recent planning activities: how the plans will be funded, how the master plan complements academic initiatives, how the strategic themes will benefit Emory’s schools and units, and so on.

“With implementation of the strategic plan under way, our University is embarking on a journey that will stimulate our thinking and energize our work in many and profound ways,” Wagner said. “It will be good for us to understand this plan and our aspirations as clearly as possible—to know where we are headed and what it will take for us to get there. I hope these conversations will lead to the full engagement, the full investment, of our entire community in this challenging plan for Emory’s future.”

A full schedule of meetings is printed below; each is open to all members of the Emory community, and no reservation is required. Refreshments will be served.

Seminar series
The Jan. 23 issue of Emory Report will feature an article on strategic plan implementation that will explore the various structures and processes being created to bring the plan into reality. Those processes, by necessity, allow for consideration and decision-making on such practical aspects of implementation as funding, space and personnel needs, programmatic opportunities, etc.

This spring’s seminar series is meant to fly above that level of planning, Lewis said. The six meetings (schedule below) are meant to prompt a more conceptual discussion of the strategic initiatives and what they mean to contemporary higher education.

“It’s not about what program we’re going to run or what project we’re going to kick off or what center we’re going to create,” Lewis said. “The goal here simply was to step back a bit from all the process aspects of strategic planning and to ask the community to think together about the intellectual pieces that connect the cross-cutting initiatives.”

Each of the two strategic themes mentioned above comprises three initiatives: Under the “Human Condition” theme, there is “Understanding Religions and the Human Spirit,” “Understanding Race and Difference” and “Implementing Pathways to Global Health”; the “Science and Technology” theme is broken up into “Neuroscience, Human Nature and Society,” “Predictive Health and Society” and “Computational and Life Sciences: Catalyzing Discovery.” Each of those initiatives in turn has two co-chairs charged with overseeing implementation of the initiatives.

Those co-chairs came up with a series of readings that will be assigned to about 25 faculty, staff and students who will receive personal invitations from Wagner and Lewis to participate. For the first 90 minutes of each seminar, the invited participants will discuss the readings in a format facilitated by the president, provost and respective initiatives co-chairs. But the entire two hours are open to the public, and during the last 30 minutes the floor will be opened to anyone in attendance.

Lewis said the readings will be available through Woodruff Library’s e-reserve system, and anyone interested in gaining access should contact graduate students Frances Wood (fwood01@emory.edu) or Barrett Michalec (bmichal@emory.edu) via e-mail, or at 404-727-9947.

University Planning Public Meetings Schedule

Discussion Sessions:
Thursday, Jan. 19

5–6 p.m., 207 White Hall

Wednesday, Feb. 15
8–9 a.m., Winship Ballroom.

Wednesday, March 1
11 a.m.–noon, Administration Building B, First Floor Training Room.

Wednesday, March 29
Noon–1 p.m., Cox Hall Ballroom.

Monday, April 3
2–3 p.m., Reception Hall, Carlos Museum.

Seminar Series (all times 4–6 p.m.)
Thursday, Feb. 16
“Implementing Pathways to Global Health.” Peter Brown & Jeffrey Koplan, presenting. Jones Room, Woodruff Library.

Monday, Feb. 20
“Understanding Religions and the Human Spirit.” Laurie Patton & Carol Newsom, presenting. Jones Room, Woodruff Library.

Monday, April 3
“Understanding Race & Difference.” Frances Smith Foster & George Armelagos, presenting. Jones Room, Woodruff Library.

Thursday, March 9
“Neuroscience, Human Nature and Society.” Allan Levey & Elaine Walker, presenting. Jones Room, Woodruff Library.

Tuesday, Feb. 7
“Predictive Health and Society.” Ken Brigham & Michelle Lampl, presenting. W525 Goizueta Business School.

Thursday, March 30
“Computational & Life Sciences.” Steven Warren & David Lynn, presenting. W525 Goizueta Business School.