June 23, 2008
Multiple changes at Emory
By David Raney
It’s been a busy year in Emory College, with plenty of news worth noting as faculty, staff and students pause for summer recess — and research, course preparation and classes — and look forward to 2008-09.
In the College office, Bobby Paul has agreed to stay on as dean of Emory College for two more years, through 2009-10. This extension, as Provost Earl Lewis put it, “will amount to a decade of high level administrative service to the College and the University.”
Thomas Lancaster has stepped down as senior associate dean of undergraduate education after five years in that position and will return to the faculty in the political science department. Joanne Brzinski is serving as interim senior associate dean during the search for a replacement. Searches are also under way to replace deans Sally Wolff King, now in the president’s office, and Rob Brown, who resigned due to illness. Philip Wainwright, director of the Institute for Comparative and International Studies, has accepted the position of associate dean for international and continuing education.
The College Governance Committee has approved the creation of a new faculty tier, with those promoted from the senior lecturer ranks carrying the title professor of pedagogy, performance or practice (departments determining the most appropriate title).
Appointments to this tier will be reserved for lecture-track faculty with unusually long and distinguished records of service to the College, said Lewis: “We envision people at this rank to be among the leaders of the College.”
Changes for students include a switch to direct enrollment rather than the current system of bidding for courses. This already occurs to some extent during drop-add-swap, notes Brzinski, but will be introduced across the board to new students during fall semester and to all students in the spring.
Freshman advising programs are also being revamped. The popular FAME program will carry on next year, with faculty, staff and student advisers working in teams with small groups of students, but the program is also developing online materials to help with advising over the summer. And the first-year class will soon have its own online e-portfolio, allowing students and faculty to share academic information and course materials.
The College passed new general education requirements to be implemented in fall 2009. Students will still have to complete a wide variety of courses in the social and natural sciences and humanities, along with a freshman seminar and classes in writing, a second language, mathematical reasoning, health and physical education. The new system, though, adds some flexibility in when courses may be taken and organizes course areas somewhat differently.
The total number of GER courses has been decreased, giving students the option of choosing more courses in their majors, more electives, or such special opportunities as study abroad.
Students graduating before fall 2009 will need to fulfill existing requirements, while continuing students can follow either the old or new guidelines. A working list of courses fulfilling the new GER should be available to students before the start of classes in the fall.
Finally, the new Emory Advantage program brought its first class of high-achieving, lower-income students to campus this year, merit aid was increased, and a new psychology building is under way. “I know you join me in welcoming these exciting changes,” Paul wrote to faculty in May, thanking them for “the immense amount of work you’ve put toward making them reality.”