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University Governance Roundup
Honors and committees' work noted at year's end

University Senate

The National Safety Council recognized Emory University as the first community in Georgia designated a "Safe Community" through the Safe Communities America program at the April 24 University Senate meeting. 

Emory is only the second university in the U.S. to receive the designation, which evaluates partnerships and programs around community safety.

New officers were installed and committees presented end-of-year reports. Linda McCauley, dean of the School of Nursing, described the work of the Dean's Council, and Susan Cruse, senior vice president of development and University relations, spoke about Campaign Emory, which has raised $1.43 billion toward a $1.6 billion goal.

Provost Earl Lewis noted important endeavors of the academic year, including work by the Commission on the Liberal Arts, the Committee on Class and Labor and the Diversity Committee, an external evaluation of the library system, and a Gray Book update.

President James Wagner praised the Senate for work "that has made a difference to this University," noting Emory's high national rankings in many areas. He also recognized the service of John Ford, senior vice president and dean of Campus Life, who will retire later this summer.

In response to a question, Stephen Sencer, senior vice president and general counsel, gave an update on four Emory students who were among a group of protestors arrested on the University Quadrangle last April.  Sencer reported that the cases are still pending in DeKalb County Superior Court, and that Emory has offered to work collaboratively with the students to resolve the charges.

— Kimber Williams

Faculty Council

To address challenges in the 2012-2013 budget, Emory must find responsible ways to remove unnecessary costs to the system, Senior Vice Provost for Administration Charlotte Johnson said at the April 17 meeting of the Faculty Council.

Declines in net recovery income from tuition and indirect cost recovery from external grants contributed to an initial budget model that reflected an operating deficit of $17.1 million. However, Johnson reported that cost-savings measures have already reduced the projected deficit to $3.2 million on a budget draft that reflects $741 million in revenue. Schools and units continue to explore ways to trim expenses and build revenue, while bringing in more people to take advantage of Emory's facilities, faculty and resources, she added.

Budget talks also included consideration of modest, performance-based salary increases. The President's Cabinet, and administrators who report directly to cabinet members, have declined salary increases for FY2012-13, she added.

The budget will be presented for Board of Trustee approval on June 8.

In other business, Kathryn Yount, associate professor in the Rollins School of Public Health, discussed trends in research funding. Despite a challenging economy, Emory has seen externally funded research projects double over the last decade.

Brenda Seiton, assistant vice president for research administration, reviewed extensive changes in federal regulations governing the conflict of interest research policy; the University must be in compliance by Aug. 24.

The Council heard committee reports and discussed proposed changes to the Gray Book, a statement of principles governing faculty relationships. Suggestions must be approved by the Board of Trustees, which will adopt the final version.

In other action, the Council approved a proposal to create an ombudsman office to handle faculty grievances that do not involve illegality.

Provost Earl Lewis spoke about future challenges, including how to recruit, reward and retain faculty while encouraging creative, innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship.

— Kimber Williams

Employee Council

The annual Town Hall, held April 24, served as the Employee Council's April meeting.

Elections will take place at the May meeting of the Employee Council, says President Jessica Perlove. The meeting will be Wednesday, May 16, at noon in the Whitehead Biomedical Research Auditorium.

On the agenda to speak at the May meeting is Ozzie Harris in the Office of Community and Diversity.

Perlove notes the Council has been working with Harris and his office to revise the presidential commissions: the President's Commission for the Status of Women, the President's Commission on Race and Ethnicity, and the President's Commission on Sexuality Gender Diversity and Queer Equality. Under a proposed new structure, the work of the three commissions will be done on committees within the departments of schools and units across the University and an umbrella advisory council will be formed.

— Leslie King

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