University governance roundup >>

Changes in business models, new initiatives occupy governance groups

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Feb. 1, 2012

Employee Council

Among the topics discussed at the Jan. 18 Employee Council meeting: The Employee Town Hall has been changed to Tuesday, April 24 and will be held this year in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Auditorium. The annual event features President Jim Wagner and other administrators including Provost Earl Lewis, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl, Vice President for Human Resources Peter Barnes and others addressing topics of interest to Emory staff members.

Emory Engagement  — an initiative to raise awareness of and participation in offerings at Emory —  is designing a pilot project, Haniya Vaid told Employee Council attendees at the January meeting. Vaid, Council secretary, said meetings with University administrators helped define the right approach for a project to increase employee participation in events on campus during and after work hours. A project timeline aims to launch the pilot program using one or more campus departments or units by summer, then the actual program by Sept. 1.

An interest on the part of the Employee Council to increase its involvement with the annual Staff Fest led to suggestions of board games for staffers with disabilities; trampolines and more team-oriented activities, similar to volleyball; and a week of perks such as a free week of gym use.

Robin Huskey from the Faculty Staff Assistance Program reported on new programming/services from FSAP, including:

• Grief and loss group reunion session, a follow-up to how participants in the group are doing;

• Tobacco-free follow-up support/skills sessions, beginning Feb. 1;

• Online screening tools for mental health self-assessment. Huskey noted that FSAP does not get the results, making them strictly confidential; and

• Availability of a monthly pass for Weight Watchers meetings that can be used either for sessions at Emory or in the community.

University Senate

Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl updated the University Senate at its Jan. 24 meeting on the master plan for campus development. "In the future, we should focus both on limited new development and maximizing utilization to get the most out of the facilities we have," Mandl told the group. Emory is making significant advances in the build-out of its master plan, Mandl said. In 2012, look for improvements to traffic flow at Woodruff Circle, major construction advances at the Health Sciences Research Building on Haygood Road, new first year residence halls, and the start of early construction and excavation for the new hospital bed tower. Future campus plans include additions to the chemistry building and Candler School of Theology. 

Provost Earl Lewis walked the Senate through the University's budget process, noting that the multi-tiered process is based on resource-centered management and involving multiple budgets "designed to position resources for investment in priorities to support the University's vision."

Wright Caughman, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of Woodruff Health Sciences Center, told Senate members about some of the projects back on after the recession. A number are replacements, not renovations, because of their age and unsuitability to 21st century medicine, he said, referencing the wings of Emory University Hospital. Caughman said groundbreaking for the EUH bed tower was expected in late summer.  He also noted the shifting landscape of health care in America and the stresses on the system, including workforce shortages in nurses and physicians, the weak economy, the aging of the baby boom generation and market consolidation driven by economic forces. He concluded with an overview of Healthy Emory, an initiative to engage faculty, staff and students in healthy lifestyles. "We, as an institution, need to promote healthy minds and healthy bodies, a healthy environment," he said.

Employee Council President-elect Kathy Troyer updated the Senate on Emory Engagement, the initiative to get Emory employees more involved in the offerings at the University.

Faculty Council

At the Jan. 17 Faculty Council meeting, Emory Clinic Director Doug Morris presented an overview of options available to Emory faculty and staff for improved access to Emory Healthcare, including Occupational Injury Management and the Emory Express Care Clinic at EUH, and the Emory Employee Line (8-EVIP). He introduced the Patient-Centered Primary Care pilot program, a new model of coordinated care, and urged faculty to enroll by visiting emoryhealthcare.org/pilot.

Conflict of interest rules governing faculty receiving federal research funding are in for big changes, Vice President for Research Administration David Wynes  reported.  Expected to take effect with grants awarded in August 2012, the new regulations include changes in reporting requirements, funding thresholds and mandatory training. 

Law professor Barbara Woodhouse spoke about issues in legal education, including the changing economic environment for practicing law and the aims of a legal education; increasing law school faculty and student diversity; and identifying the school's areas of strength and distinction.

Emerita professor Yung-Fong Sung presented an overview of Emeritus College concerns, emphasizing its goals of doubling membership, creating a research fellowship, expanding mentoring programs and conducting peer research.

Follow the Council Concerns blog for news and issues from Faculty Council.