A review of our year together suggests that, as a community, we have been at our best in confronting, solving, and rising above challenges provoked by the economy; that we not only have acted with great effort and responsiveness, but also, along the way, have demonstrated leadership to other institutions of higher education.
We began the academic year with a growing awareness that the world economy was melting around us, and before we were far into the fall semester, we knew that we would have to take dramatic steps to correct for a loss in the market value of our endowment and the spending income from it, on which we rely.
With a clear strategy to ensure that Emory will lead from a new resource base, we can explore further why that young freshman’s sense of enthusiasm was well founded. How has Emory remained true to its mission “to create, preserve, teach, and apply knowledge in the service of humanity”?
The challenge is this: in spite of there being little external pressure at the moment to do so, we must make our first priority the excellence of our intellectual community. . . . We must be a place that celebrates knowledge, sometimes just for its own sake, and that seeks through art, literature, and the elegance of science to help guide the world to a more civil society.
In last year’s report, I highlighted that one need only spend a short time with students, faculty, staff, or alumni to know that Emory’s vision is being realized and that the University is making a positive difference in the world.
Despite the economic crisis that characterized FY2009, Emory continued to grow in several areas core to our mission of research, teaching, health care, and social action. We have focused on those initiatives key to our long-term success, and our goal is to ensure Emory’s excellence by creating a solid financial foundation for the future.