For the first time in quite a long period, no construction cranes loom over the Emory campus. This pause will not last for long, but like many institutions, we have responded to the economic downturn by placing a few projects on hold.
Still, we have continued toward our strategic goal of creating an unsurpassed environment for community engagement. Since 2005, some fifteen major projects have enhanced the quality and scope of our facilities as well as our landscapes and streetscapes. In the past year alone, we have celebrated the opening of new facilities:
Oxford Road Building
"...We can take great pride in ... Emory's role in health care."
One of the major projects put on hold in 2008 is the redevelopment of the "Clifton Corridor," a nicknamed stretch of Clifton Road through campus that is the home of Emory Healthcare and its major facilities in Emory University Hospital and The Emory Clinic.
Since his August 2010 appointment as interim executive vice president for health affairs, S. Wright Caughman has been guiding the reformulation of a vision and strategy to lead the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) through the next decade. Part of that vision includes the implementation of plans to strengthen our core facilities, including those in the Clifton Corridor.
In the meantime, the WHSC hardly has stood still. In addition to opening major facilities in the past four years (the Claudia Nance Rollins Building this year, the School of Medicine Building in 2007, and the Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital in 2008), plans are under way for a new health sciences research building across the street from the Emory Children’s Center to strengthen the relationship further with the adjacent Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The Rollins School of Public Health is a destination for public health -- locally, nationally and globally.
Beyond these brick-and-mortar developments in the health sciences, the cultural transformation process begun several years ago as part of our overall strategic plan has continued, as Emory Healthcare invested almost $70 million last year in teaching and research missions, recruited a director for the new Emory Center for Critical Care, and successfully implemented the transformative computerized tracking of orders for inpatients, raising the quality of care that patients can expect.
In 2011, the School of Medicine is completing the first full cycle of its new curriculum, launched four years ago, and the schools of public health and nursing are taking steps to ensure continued enrollment and quality of their masters students while making new programs and new forms of aid available. Throughout the health sciences center, these and other steps will ensure the alignment of academic and service culture with the goals and strategy of the center and the University.
In addition to the physical enhancements to our community, we have benefitted in the past year by continuing to excel in creating new programs, exhibits, and innovative global partnerships to enrich our cultural experience. In fall 2010 we welcomed—for the second time in three years—His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, who accepted appointment in 2007 as the Presidential Distinguished Professor—the first university appointment accepted by the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate and leader of the Tibetan people.
That Emory has a distinctive environment is underscored by the recognition bestowed in the past year by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which for the third year in a row named Emory to its honor roll of “great colleges to work for.” In the same year, Scientist magazine ranked Emory as the fifth-best place to work in academia, in a survey of ninety-four U.S. institutions.
Initiatives such as “We Are Emory,” launched by the Office of Community and Diversity, underscore not only the intention but also the reality of a campus where good judgment and personal responsibility are valued as much as high intelligence and imagination.