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October 28, 2002

Faculty Council discusses meeting with Carter

By Michael Terrazas

Chair Bill Branch opened the Oct. 22 Faculty Council meeting by talking about his theme for the 2002–03 year: “Strengthening Faculty Governance.” Branch said the current period suggests a “crossroads” for Emory and its faculty, and the time is right for faculty to examine their role in relation to the administration of the University.

Chair-elect John Snarey announced that solicitations will be made soon for nominations for the 2003–04 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. This year’s lecture will be delivered by public health’s Claire Sterk on March 27, 2003.

Michelle Smith, director of Corporate Relations, gave a brief presentation on the 2002 EmoryGives campaign and showed a video that stressed the campaign’s focus on volunteerism and the opportunities available for volunteering through EmoryGives. Only 7 percent of University employees participated in last year’s campaign, a figure several council members called “embarrassing.”

Interim Provost Woody Hunter informed the council of the meeting of the American Association of Universities (AAU) (see story), which concluded that day on campus, and President Bill Chace described what took place during the meeting, gave some background on the AAU and discussed what it means for Emory to be a member.

Hunter announced the budget equilibrium project working group has completed its draft report, touching on 94 categories of suggestions for the most efficient use of Emory resources. Hunter also said the Emory College dean search committee has begun its work, and the Office of Research has finalized a new institutional conflict of interest policy.

Two matters currently under consideration by the Council of Deans, Hunter said, are the question of whether to extend the tenure clock (including whether to institute a flexible scale among schools) and whether to create new titles for certain non-tenure track faculty positions for which “instructor” or “lecturer” do not quite fit.

Next on the agenda was discussion of a meeting with former President Jimmy Carter that has been scheduled for March 20, 2003. The question was what focus the meeting would have, and how broad an audience would be invited. The council first thought to solicit Carter’s reactions to the world events at the time, but then it was reminded that the council’s invitation to Carter specifically mentioned finding ways to strengthen ties between the University and the Carter Center.

To that end, the council appeared to agree that a smaller group—rather than inviting the entire faculty of the University, for example—might be more likely to come up with concrete recommendations. Branch said the council will revisit the issue at later meetings.

In his scheduled remarks, Chace asked that the council look into ways in which faculty might lead possibly volatile campus discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the possible U.S. war with Iraq (see story, page 1). Campuses at the universities of Michigan and Colorado, Chace said, recently have been strained by negative and even dangerous situations that arose from these issues, and Emory faculty are uniquely qualified to guide students in the open and prolific airing of their opinions, in hopes that Emory might avoid the unpleasant experiences of other schools. Council members Bruce Knauft and Jim Grimsley volunteered to examine the issue and report back at a future meeting.

Next, the council unanimously passed a motion to amend its bylaws so that an emeritus faculty member be included in the council. The job of selecting the emeritus faculty member should fall to the Emeritus College, the council decided.

Revisiting a topic from its September meeting, the council then discussed how communication might be enhanced between members and their constituencies. Many faculty are unaware of the council and its activities, and some debate arose whether this problem necessitated a new communication method—such as an electronic discussion area like LearnLink, for example—or whether it is the responsibility of Faculty Council members to make sure their constituencies are informed. An ad hoc committee consisting of Jan Gleason, Sharon Strocchia and L.G. Thomas was formed to study the issue.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be held Nov. 19 at 3:15 p.m. in 400 Administration Building.

If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, contact chair Bill Branch at