Emory Report
September 29, 2008
Volume 61, Number 6

State of the
University replay
View the Web cast of
the State of the
University address at: www.emory.edu/home/



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29, 2008
Wagner on State of the University

By Carol Clark

Even amid an uncertain economy, Emory can feel confident as it continues to build on the strategic theme “Where Courageous Inquiry Leads,” President Jim Wagner said during the 10th annual State of the University address.

“We enter this academic year with confidence and determination, aware that the realities of the world economy make the path forward a bit more uncertain than in past years,” Wagner said. “We’re aware of these uncertainties, but not frightened by them. We will face them with courage.”

The state of the University is “very good,” said Wagner, stressing that while current economic circumstances may slow the pace of progress, they must not keep Emory from advancing toward its vision. He stressed two priorities: Working to ensure that Emory’s investment in people stays at the highest levels possible, and striving for the success of Campaign Emory, which is vital to prepare the University for future challenges.

“I can think of no other group with whom I would rather face these realities, in whom I have more confidence in the ability to answer our noble calling to become a destination university,” Wagner said, praising the spirit of community on campus.

This year’s freshman class at Emory College comes from the largest, most highly credentialed, pool of applicants ever. Oxford College also had “an amazing year,” Wagner said, experiencing a 68 percent increase in applications. Yerkes, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing netted significant increases in research funding over the past year, “all during a time when available NIH funding nationally has been flat,” Wagner said.

Morale is high, he added. Recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education recognized Emory as one of the nation’s “Great Colleges and Universities to Work For” and a shared commitment to sustainability brought the University the honor of being selected Georgia’s “Conservationist of the Year.”

Among the “astonishing array” of the University’s other achievements during the past year, Wagner cited:
• As the strategic plan continues its momentum, Emory College launched a Center for Creativity and the Arts; the University received a $3 million gift from The Coca-Cola Foundation to support the Emory Advantage Program and service projects; a Center for Faculty Development and Excellence was launched; eminent scholars joined Emory; and distinguished faculty members received national recognition.

• The University experienced its highest ever enrollment of international scholars, up 16 percent, along with the highest participation by students for study abroad.

• Two state-of-the-art “green” dormitories opened for Emory freshmen; Oxford opened a new residential center; and the Candler School of Theology and the Center for Ethics are dedicating a new building.

• The communications and marketing team launched a new Emory Web site and stepped up other efforts to make Emory’s goals and achievements more visible. As a result, Emory ranked third among all universities in the nation for its media momentum, “a sign that the world is taking note of the results of our shared work,” Wagner said.

Emory’s commitment to be engaged, collaborative and compassionate means going beyond seeking cures in health care or completing assignments in classrooms, Wagner stressed. “Our commitment to both excellence of mind and greatness of heart is unusual if not unique among major research universities. In this exciting and dynamic period in our history, we must continue to demonstrate that these aims are complementary.”