Emory Report
February 9, 2009
Volume 61, Number 19



Emory Report homepage  

February 9
, 2009
Governance roundup

By leslie king

Grady, retirement are Employee Council topics
Grady Memorial Hospital’s financial travails are widely known. But many employees don’t know that roughly 1,000 Emory faculty and staff are involved with the health care facility for indigent patients, the Employee Council learned from Bill Sexson, the School of Med icine’s associate dean of clinical affairs, at its Jan. 21 meeting held at the hospital.

Council attendees also learned from Jodi Martin, director of benefits, about Emory’s 403b retirement program. About 80 percent of employees participate and that means nearly one-fifth don’t, “leaving money on the table,” notes Council president Matt Engelhardt, by not taking advantage of Emory’s matching funds for program participants.

Aimee Nix, assistant director of development for the Carlos museum, discussed the King Tut exhibit and Emory’s first-rate Egyptian art collection; two tickets were given away to the exhibit.

Training this month was phone etiquette tips.

Discussion of economy engages Faculty Council
It wasn’t set on the agenda for the Jan. 21 meeting, but the Faculty Council engaged in a lengthy discussion about the University budget, the economy and the future, says president Steven Culler. This set up a more extensive session for the next meeting with President Jim Wagner and Provost Earl Lewis.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Santa Ono introduced a series of dialogues planned with undergraduates to assess the quality of their collegiate experience, similar to the “Year of the Faculty” focus. Faculty members discussed with Ono how to engage the entire student body to get a complete picture of the undergraduate experience.

Center for Ethics director Paul Root Wolpe gave an overview of how he envisions faculty involvement in the center, with joint appointments and other budgetarily sound moves.

University Senate reviews honorary degrees
A “big thing” on the University Senate agenda was a first review of honorary degrees planned for the 2009 Commencement, says Senate president Steven Culler, noting, “We were impressed with the people nominated.”

The Senate’s committee on the environment sought feedback on putting aluminum bottles in vending machines. The committee reports that it costs more to recycle the plastic bottles used extensively than an organization gets paid for them. The committee is looking at a mix of options, including asking vendors to cover the cost.

Student Government Association President Maria Town talked about two areas in which students are being impacted by the economic downturn, making them aware about more options for financing school and getting jobs.

Culler says President Jim Wagner who spoke “did a good job of laying out some positive things” that have happened that tend to get overlooked because of the economy, including Emory’s national rankings, an expected steady stream of admissions applications and successful community outreach projects.