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University Governance Roundup
Councils discuss diversity changes, climate plan update, faculty grievance office

University Senate

Preliminary findings from a report due to be released this fall by the Committee on Class and Labor were shared at the March 27 meeting of the University Senate. Committee Co-Chair Nadine Kaslow described work done to date, which includes focus groups held at the Oxford and Atlanta campuses and initial surveys within the Emory community. The group next plans to survey contracted employees.

Matthew Early, vice president of Campus Services, addressed the University's construction and renovation policy, emphasizing that such projects should be approved through his office.

Robert Liu and Heather Dash, co-chairs of the Senate Diversity Committee, announced a reception on April 24 to celebrate completion of the diversity website portal at Liu also discussed strategies for improving student diversity. Ozzie Harris, senior vice provost for community and diversity, discussed  the proposed Advisory Council on Community and Diversity, which would replace the three President's Commissions that advise the University president on diversity-related issues.

In other action, Debra Houry, vice-chair for research and associate professor in the School of Medicine, was elected president-elect for 2012-2013. Haniya Vaid, business analyst in the Office of Financial Operations, was elected Senate secretary.

In other remarks, Provost Earl Lewis spoke on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation and the work of the Liberal Arts Commission. President James Wagner spoke of a "growing optimism" that he feels, both in the spirit around campus and among trustees.

—Kimber Williams

Faculty Council

The Ad Hoc Committee on University Grievance Procedures has recommended creating an ombudsman office at Emory to address faculty conflicts and concerns.

The office would address grievances that fall outside systems now in place to handle serious faculty misconduct, allegations of illegality, or conflicts over promotion and tenure.

A review of peer institutions found most universities have an office for processing faculty grievances, said Committee Chair William Buzbee at the March 20 Faculty Council meeting. The proposal recommends the office be headed by someone chosen by the University president in consultation with Faculty Council leadership. President James Wagner acknowledged a need for the office and asked for time to respond.

Peter Barnes Jr., vice president of human resources, led a discussion on requested changes to Emory's retirement plan.  He also addressed a request to make changes for eligibility to the medical insurance plans.

Claire Sterk, senior vice provost for academic affairs, presented a draft of proposed revisions to the Gray Book, a statement of principles governing faculty relationships. Proposed changes have been posted on the Faculty Council Blackboard site.

Wagner will post slides from a presentation he made to the Board of Trustees that examines disruptions universities now face. Provost Earl Lewis announced that he had been in Brazil exploring new education, research and partnership opportunities for the University.

—Kimber Williams

Employee Council

An overview of Emory's trauma practice and operation at Grady Memorial Hospital and an update of the University's Climate Action Plan were the topics at the March 21 Employee Council meeting held at Grady.

Being a trauma center means "a commitment to caring for acutely injured patients," said trauma surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery Jeff Salomone. Grady offers comprehensive care from "admission to rehabilitation."

Director of Sustainability Ciannat Howett gave some milestones and future plans for Emory's Climate Action Plan, adopted last year. She noted that Emory's plan encompasses its health care units. "A lot of our peer institutions carve out health care," she said, because their 24/7 operations make them the heaviest energy users.

"University-funded travel is the fastest growing part of our carbon footprint," she said, increasing 50 percent from 2005 to 2010. So teleconferencing is getting a look.

She also said a task force with Human Resources is looking at encouraging telecommuting. "We're trying to hit that hard this year."

The work list also includes:

• Painting the flat roofs on Emory buildings white to moderate the urban heat islands.

• Mapping where renewable energy can be used on campus.

• Tracking "food miles" and "supply miles" to determine Emory's carbon footprint.

In a report on the upcoming Employee Council Town Hall set for April 24, the Council said that the event would be streamed live this year. Council members and constituents were encouraged to submit questions ahead of time for the panelists who will include President Jim Wagner, Executive Vice Provost of Finance and Administration Mike Mandl, Provost Earl Lewis and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs S. Wright Caughman.

—Leslie King

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