Campus News

March 1, 2010

University governance roundup

University Senate
Presentations on two centers for excellence were made at the February meeting of the University Senate. Ciannat Howett, of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, discussed the office’s work and noted that members of the business community have been taking a look at what Emory is doing in this area.

Mark McLeod, director of Student Counseling Center, and Nadine Kaslow, professor in Emory’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and chief psychologist at Grady Health System, outlined for Senate members the suicide prevention program, “which may end up being a national model,” University Senate President Ken Carter said.

Employee Council President Nina Long reported concerns expressed about last year’s reduction in force. Emory has closed or cancelled more than 250 vacant staff positions, and eliminated 211 staff positions that were filled, as of December 2009.

Stacey Derico, chair of the President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity, described how reduction in force decisions were made according to positions, not persons, and gave information on the resources available to those laid off.

President Jim Wagner noted “we have reason to believe that this will be the last year of cuts so that we can move to rebuilding.” He also reported that Emory’s research base has grown during the past year, and that Campaign Emory has passed the billion dollar mark.

Faculty Council
In the January meeting, Ken Carter, president of the Faculty Council, provided a brief overview of previous discussions concerning characteristics of excellence and distinction, which identified the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library and the Emory College Center for Science Education as models of excellence.

Lynn Huffer, chair of women’s studies, discussed metrics for measuring excellence and distinction. Council members have identified the women’s studies department as a model of excellence.

Carter said the initiative on excellence was in response to Wagner’s suggestion and is a “great reminder of the fantastic programs and really inspiring opportunities we have” at Emory.

Faculty Council President-elect Steve Everett gave a preview of the Distinguished Faculty Lecture, which was delivered by Natash Trethewey, Phyllis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry.

At the February meeting, Laurie Patton, director of the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, and Wayne Morse, head of the Emory Center for Interactive Teaching, gave a presentation on excellence in teaching and ways to measure that. Carter said, being on the Oxford faculty, he’d “always wanted the Faculty Council to hear a presentation just on the theme of teaching.”

Both the Faculty Council and the University Senate issued a call for nominations. Elections will be held at next month’s meeting and the groups will choose a president-elect who leads both bodies.

Employee Council
Some Emory health care experts spoke to the Employee Council at the January meeting held on the Grady Health System campus.

Art Kellermann, associate dean for health policy in the School of Medicine, spoke  on “The Consequences of ‘No’:  If Health Reform Fails, What’s Next?”

Grady Health System CEO Michael Young told the council members why Grady “is important to you.”

Marietta Collins, assistant professor of psychiatry, spoke about the disparities in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. “Regardless of race, [the] majority of people with diagnosable psychiatric illnesses do not receive treatment,” Collins said.

Also on the program was Brock Matthews, senior director of annual giving for the Emory Annual Fund, who detailed the MyEmory campaign.

An aspect of the MyEmory campaign was a topic at the February meeting. Katherine Hinson, director of communications in Human Resources, and Employee Council Past President Matt Engelhardt gave a presentation on the new Emory Hardship Fund for employees.

Council members also heard from Donna Wong, director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, who talked about the cultural traditions associated with Chinese New Year.

Karen Falkenberg gave a presentation on the Challenge & Champions program, a summer camp for metro Atlanta middle school students, about one-third of whom are from local homeless shelters. The Challenge & Champions’ summer program will offer a 20 percent discount on tuition to Emory employees, and scholarship options are available.

The next Employee Council meeting is the annual town hall. “Going Forward: A Strong Institution Adapting to a Challenging Environment” will be held at the Law School’s Tull Auditorium on March 18 from noon-2 p.m.

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