Release date: 14-Mar-05
Contact: Nancy Seideman at 404-727-0640 or

Emory Looks Ahead With Futurist Forum April 8

The Emory University community will consult with some of the nation's top minds to help chart the university's long-term direction during its Futurist Forum Friday, April 8. The event is the latest step in an intensive year-long strategic planning process that began last spring to more fully develop the distinctive opportunities Emory possesses in education, research and service.

"One of the great missteps that universities make is to chart a plan for the future outside of a broader context. We see the forum as helping us place our goals, ambitions, aspirations and needs in the context of the world at large," says Emory University Provost Earl Lewis, who is co-chairing the strategic planning process with Michael M. E. Johns, M.D., Emory's executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

The forum will bring together nationally recognized scholars and leaders in business, philanthropy, the arts, humanities, science and public policy. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Rd., Emory.

The 14 panelists were selected for their expertise in the areas identified as possible signature themes for the university. The themes include: arts, creativity and the human experience; citizen as scholar/scholar as citizen; mind, brain and neurosciences; policy solutions and implementation; predictive health and society; race, racism and society; religion and political cultures; societies in conflict and transition; and global health.

During their visit to campus, the "futurists" will consult with the committees examining each proposed theme and offer their perspectives on how the themes may or may not offer compelling opportunities for development.

CNN news anchor Stephen Frazier will moderate the Futurist Forum. Panelists include:

Huda Akil, co-director and senior research professor, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan;
Floyd Bloom, professor emeritus, Scripps Research Institute;
Lincoln Chen, director, Global Equity Initiative, and chairman of the board of CARE;
James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus and professor of science and engineering, University of Michigan;
John D. Evans, chairman and CEO, Evans Telecommunications Co. and the John D. Evans Foundation;
David Featherman, director, Institute for Social Research and professor of sociology and psychology, University of Michigan;
R. Gustav Niebuhr, associate professor of religion and the media, Syracuse University;
Lee Hood, president, Institute for Systems Biology;
James Jackson, director and research professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan;
Theodore Shaw, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.;
Debra W. Stewart, president, Council of Graduate Schools;
Catharine Stimpson, university professor and dean, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University;
Robert Weisbuch, president, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation;
Gail Wilensky, senior fellow, Project HOPE.


Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For nearly two decades Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nine schools, the university encompasses The Carter Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, the state's largest and most comprehensive health care system.

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