Employee Council builds connections, prepares for 50th anniversary

By Melissa Morgan | Emory Report | Nov. 5, 2019

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John Bence, university archivist at the Rose Library, serves as president of the Emory Employee Council. He looks forward to the year ahead, including celebrations to mark the Council’s 50th anniversary.

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The Emory Employee Council is hard at work for the 2019-20 academic year, refocused and energized for a year of growth under the leadership of president John Bence and the Employee Council executive team. 

Bence, university archivist at the Rose Library, is excited about the upcoming year and is encouraged by the council’s responsibility to staff. 

“If we can support the high-caliber learning and teaching of Emory students and the cutting-edge research of Emory faculty, we can certainly achieve great things for all the employees we represent,” he says.

Council members began the 2019-2020 year by welcoming Carol Henderson, Emory's new vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, to its October meeting. Plans for November and December include meeting fellow staff of the Oxford Staff Organization and hearing an update on the university’s master plan from David Payne and Robin Morey of Business and Administration Division.

The council will build on work begun during the last academic year, including a “2020 Vision” project that helped identify strengths, weaknesses and ideas for moving forward as the group prepares to celebrate 50 years at Emory in 2020. 

Many efforts are directed toward Bence’s goal of establishing a clearer plan that enables the council to be more effective, more empowering and more responsive to employee needs. One strategy for accomplishing this includes holding sessions at the unit or division levels to hear employee needs.

“Employee Council has served as the primary forum for creating intra-institutional connections between staff members, has been a powerful conduit for feedback to Emory administration and has provided valuable learning opportunities for council members,” Bence says.

The council serves as a vehicle through which employees can responsibly and meaningfully participate in the university community’s governance. Although the group does not make decisions regarding university policy, it provides information and ideas to those in decision-making positions.

Employee representatives of all divisions and schools within Emory University make up the council. Members of the executive committee include:

  • President: John Bence, university archivist, Rose Library, Libraries and IT Services
  • President elect: Melissa Morgan, senior manager, wellness programs, Human Resources
  • Past president: Paul Ficklin-Alred, senior coordinator, faculty affairs, School of Medicine
  • Treasurer: Denise Holliday, PeopleSoft developer, Libraries and IT Services
  • Secretary: Dawn Francis-Chewning, educational analyst, Libraries and IT Services
  • Historian: Cynetta Freeman, manager, human resources, Goizueta Business School 

For more information on the Emory Employee Council, visit the website or find the council on Facebook.