Campus News

October 17, 2011

University governance roundup

First meetings of the year tie themes to goals and plans

Employee Council

Moving the Employee Council's theme, "Your Communication Connection," into an action plan was a major topic in President Jim Wagner's talk at the council's first meeting Sept. 21.

"How can employees benefit from the unique opportunities that Emory University has to offer?" Wagner asked. Noting "We need to take small steps in our grand ideas so that they are completed and become permanent," he offered a three-part plan to realize that goal:

• Have a conversation with supervisors, showing them how this could add value.

• Investigate how other institutions are getting their employees to take advantage of campus offerings and events and set benchmarks.

• Set up a pilot program to see how it works then spread it to the rest of campus.

Wagner linked the idea to Emory's vision statement. "We want to be a destination for the employees," he said.

Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl gave an overview of campus construction, restarted last year after a slowdown due to the economic turmoil that kicked off in 2008.

Progress on Emory's freshmen housing complex continues, he said, with Holmes Hall going up now.

Mandl said the construction on the hospital bedtower should start in about a year and take about four years to complete.

The financial position of Emory is relatively strong at the moment, Mandl said, noting that revenue growth will be significantly slower because revenue sources of net tuition and research funding from government health care reimbursements are likely to go down. "Where is the resource growth going to come from?" is the question being asked by many institutions, Mandl said. "While some cost-cutting and reallocation are necessary, cost-cutting alone is not a long-term strategy for a healthy, vibrant community."

Council President Jessica Perlove asked council representatives to point out the website,, and its information to their constituents and urged representatives to sign up for committee assignments.

Past President Angie Duprey, representing the council's class and labor committee, said focus groups for information related to contract employees will be announced soon and she urged members to participate. 

Faculty Council and University Senate

The Faculty Council and the University Senate held their first meeting of the academic year on Sept. 20 as a single joint session devoted solely to the allegations by Students and Workers in Solidarity related to Sodexo food service provider's treatment of workers at Emory and the April 25 arrest of several students protesters.  See: University Senate focuses on labor issues, next steps (Emory Report Sept. 21, 2011)

Because of this special meeting, the Faculty Council did not meet during September; its first separate meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 18.  Follow the Council Concerns blog for news and issues from Faculty Council.

The University Senate's Sept. 27 meeting was abbreviated due to the president's annual State of the University address. The main focus was on having the committees of the Senate provide an overview of their goals for the 2011-12 year.  Erica Brownfield, Senate president, has created a new component to the Faculty Council and University Senate meetings this year that looks at discussion from around the campus.  The first group to present on the "hot topics" from their area was Emory College.

President's Commission on Race and Ethnicity

At its first meeting of the academic year on Sept. 19, PCORE had a recap by co-chair Jim Scott of its 2010 accomplishments and events.

These included Emory's formal statement of regret for its entwinement with slavery and an outline of the commission's goals for moving forward in the year to achieve demonstrable, tangible results, such as the new Hamilton Holmes freshman residence hall under construction, according to co-hair Sheryl Heron.

"Our theme for this year is ‘Arts: The language that unites us all'," Heron said, adding: "We have a robust schedule of events and activities."

At its next meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, PCORE will co-sponsor an Oct. 24 lecture and booksigning by Mark Auslander, author of the "Accidental Slaveowner," a book about a 19th-century enslaved woman owned by an early Emory leader.

President's Commission on the Status of Women

At the first meeting on Sept. 15, the commission reviewed the recommendations given to the president last year and formed four committees to continue working on those areas. The committees are: External Relations, Women In Leadership, Connection and Communication, and Community Diversity. Each committee will determine their priorities and actionable items to address those items in the coming year.

PCSW leaders remind the campus community that all meetings are open and anyone is invited to attend.  Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 3:30 in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library.

Upcoming announcements regarding award nominations, due in late 2011, will be soon.

President's Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Queer Equality

The commission hosted a welcome reception for participants in the World Professional Association of Transgender Health Conference, which took place in late September at the Emory Conference Center.        

The commission also agreed to build relationships with the Committee on the Study of Class and Labor, which is exploring the nature of status and the relationships between different categories of staff and faculty within Emory.

A recommendation to President Jim Wagner will be drafted outlining a three-year strategy to assess and implement non-discrimination and equal opportunity practices in St. Joseph's Health System using the existing Emory Healthcare care and transformation work as a model.

The commission will recommend the implementation of a comprehensive assessment of Emory's current intervention mechanisms in cases of bias-related crimes. "We need to understand where the gaps are, who are the responsible parties, and what are the capacity limits, etc. We may follow with benchmarking across peer universities and leverage best practices," says co-chair Priyanka Sinha.

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