Emory Home

Still True to Our Vision: Demonstrating Excellence and Leadership through Stewardship of Financial and Other Resources

President's State of the University Address

"...Emory must critically assess how it will fulfill its mission in coming decades..."

Even before the beginning of the recession, our strategic plan had called us to find ways to use every dollar in our budget to maximum effect. Doing so has called on both the shared vision and ingenuity of every member of our community.

For instance, through the sustainability initiatives of our strategic plan, we have set a goal of reducing energy consumption by 25 percent from the baseline of 2005. Halfway to 2015, we are also halfway to our energy goal, having cut our energy consumption by more than 12 percent. Naturally, using less energy also will lower our relative costs of energy use.

"Emory Inc."

For most of the past decade, our Division of Finance and Administration, under the direction of Executive Vice President Michael Mandl, has been developing and adopting practices that make the University the best “Emory Inc.” that it can be, in order for it to become the best Emory University it can be.

This year Emory has committed to focus on developing the best business practices in higher education, with the intention of not only serving Emory better but also setting standards for others around the country. This commitment is not an idle one. Since we made a similar commitment to build a standard-setting process for enterprise-wide risk management three years ago, our practices have become a positive national example—even noted by name by others in both industry and higher education.

As noted elsewhere in this report, our growth in research income has been a bright spot. But we will need to work to grow our research base, and we must deal with the uncertainty surrounding the level at which the federal government will continue to invest.

Campaign Emory enjoys success

Another bright spot has been in philanthropy, where Campaign Emory, publicly launched almost literally on the eve of the recession in fall 2008, has attained more than $1.1 billion of its $1.6 billion goal.

Despite an economy in which equity markets have yet to return to their previous high levels, Emory raised slightly more in FY2010 than in FY2009. Among many Campaign Emory successes:

Portraits of Ginger Cain and Sally Lehr

Ginger Cain <l> and Sally Lehr, cochairs of the MyEmory faculty-staff giving campaign

On the other hand, such success has come on the heels of unusually difficult work through a tough time, when people understandably havebeen concerned about their personal finances.

Seeking new revenue sources

The best stewardship of our resources will require Emory to ensure that funds are available for strategic investment in programs and activities that not only are essential but also represent areas where Emory can demonstrate excellence and provide national leadership.

Besides raising funds for these activities in the usual ways—investments, fund-raising, tuition, research grants, and reimbursements for patient care—the Ways and Means Committee has charged all deans and other University leaders (as well as faculty members) to:

Emory's iTunes U. Site Approaching 10 Million Downloads

There's an App for Emory

Looking beyond those five traditional revenue sources, we must ask what sorts of opportunities exist for Emory. The changing landscape of higher education, pressures on the middle class, new technology, and greater competition from international universities as well as U.S. universities all mean that Emory must critically assess how it will fulfill its academic mission in coming decades by taking best advantage of these new conditions. For instance:

Emory cannot afford to miss the potential benefits of the changing educational and research environment any more than we can afford to fall into the trap of business as usual. As we explore these opportunities—and we must—the fundamental principle will not simply be to find additional revenue. Rather, it will be to advance Emory’s mission both through current avenues and in new fields of endeavor, while meeting or exceeding the standards of excellence and the attention to community and character that guide all our activities—the things that make us Emory.

Each of our deans has accepted the challenge to work with the faculty in their respective schools, and Steve Sencer, senior vice president and general counsel, will continue leading an effort to explore opportunities for building on intellectual capital that already exists but is not fully leveraged at Emory. We will look forward to considering recommendations that evolve from this effort.

The Road Ahead >