Emory Report
October 20, 2008
Volume 61, Number 8

Campus communication on economic news
priority for leadership

University leadership has initiated an ongoing, multi-pronged communications program to keep the Emory community updated on the national economic situation and how it will likely affect the University in the short- and long-term.

Emory Report will continue
to play a key role as a comprehensive news resource on this issue by: reporting on the steps leadership is taking to adjust to the changing resource levels across the University; providing advice on how everyone can play a role in increasing revenue or decreasing expenses in individual units and departments; and offering financial information for employees and their families who are coping with the difficult economic situation.

Also watch for stories on the University’s budget process and the endowment — all designed to give the community an understanding of the University’s finances, with the goal of helping Emory better navigate the challenges we face.

In this issue, Emory Report covers an economic briefing that Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration, is giving to faculty and staff groups throughout the University.
As always, Emory Report welcomes your story ideas, issues of concern, and questions about how the University is responding to the current national economic crisis.

E-mail us at emory.report @emory.edu, or go to our homepage for the latest news.

The Editors
Emory Report



Emory Report homepage  

October 20
, 2008
Talks on impact of economy

By Nancy seideman

Much is not known about how the national economic crisis ultimately will affect Emory — particularly when every closing stock market bell can bring new upheaval to the country’s financial health. What is clear is that there will be an effect.

What is known now is being shared with the entire Emory community by University leadership in a variety of ways, including staff and faculty discussions led by Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration.

In a presentation that gives a clear, concise primer on the University’s major financial levers, Mandl outlines how the current dismal investment and debt/credit markets are currently impacting Emory, and what the community can do starting today to better prepare for the next year or so to adjust.

On Oct. 16, Mandl met with Employee Council members to give a current update, and to discuss issues on their minds including specific questions regarding filling positions, research funding and support, financial aid, and the more general — what should staff be doing now to prepare for budgetary challenges ahead?
Mandl offered advice that he has shared with his own staff: “I’m not a fan of absolutes, so I don’t generally use terms like ‘freeze.’ I’m suggesting that we approach all decisions with a different degree of thoughtfulness and consideration, and with the assumption that budgets will be flat or decrease in the future. Do I fill that open position now? Is there some activity we can live without?”

According to Mandl, activity levels are going to need to change in order to deal with the changing economic environment, which is one reason he thinks it’s important to talk about these issues across campus. “Meeting this economic challenge is a shared responsibility, and it’s important to hear from people in all areas of the University’s operation, who are feeling the effects of the situation every day on the job and at home.”

The more communication, the better, said several employees who attended the Oct. 16 briefing. “People need to be reassured that Emory is doing everything possible to manage the economic situation and to help us work through it,” said Patricia Chebat, administrative assistant, Goizueta Business School.

A focus on priorities

In President Jim Wagner’s Oct. 8 community letter, he stated that, “Ensuring that Emory’s momentum and positive trajectory continue will require clear understanding, discipline, and prudent tradeoffs. We will continue to invest in those areas that are essential to achieving our vision. To these ends, budget priorities will include:

• Investing in competitive, merit-based salaries to reward, retain, and attract the best faculty and staff.

• Investing in the financial aid required to retain and attract the best students, regardless of their economic standing. This will be especially challenging in the coming years.

• Completing all the construction we have started and reviewing the timing and pace of future projects.
• Investing in research and teaching in accord with school-based and University-wide strategies.
• Investing in Campaign Emory, whose success is critical to our future.

• Investing in research compliance and support, an indispensable business function for a University that now competes successfully for more than $410 million a year in research funding.”

To read the letter, visit http://www.emory.edu/home/news/releases/2008/10/emory-and-the-economy.html.