To the Editor:

If anything positive can come from the anger and frustration elicited by the drastic changes announced for Emory College, it may be the awakening of faculty to the need for greater participation in governance structures already existing as well as a conversation about the need to create new practices.

Every spring, GovCom spends considerable time soliciting nominations for important committees. Participation is low and many potential candidates decline. Replacing members rotating off the Financial Advisory Committee last spring was particularly difficult. It required identifying candidates with the necessary financial experience and impartiality, plus widespread credibility and respect among both faculty and administration and the willingness to take on a time intensive, thankless, emotionally wrenching task. We have all seen the treatment that CFAC members have had to endure from colleagues.

Faculty must be proactive in informing themselves about the work of governance bodies. The minutes are readily available. Faculty Council, in order to make its work better known, also distributes a newsletter, Council Concerns. Those who paid attention would have been aware that during 2009-2010, Faculty Council members were charged with defining metrics for excellence and naming “units” (excluding their own) that embodied them. The President and Provost, who sit on the Council, took careful note and probably, perhaps not without some justification, saw this as faculty input. The University Senate then had a similar charge.

The biggest hindrance to proper governance is non-participation. The biggest hindrance to transparency is keeping one’s eyes closed.


Holly York

Department of French and Italian

+ posts

The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.