InsideFurman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.
Planning the future expansion of the James B. Duke Library was the main task of the library staff over the summer. Library personnel and other university representatives worked with architects from Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott, a nationally prominent firm, and with Neal Prince Associates, their local partners, to plan the expansion and renovation of the building.
The library will be expanded by the addition of a new wing on the lake side, after which the existing building will be completely renovated. The project will add new student study areas, allow for the future growth of the library collection, and incorporate new information technology facilities into the library building. Draft plans will be available for viewing in the library and on the library Webpage later this year.
To better meet the needs of students and faculty in the natural sciences, the Ezell Science Reading Room in Plyler Hall has been reorganized. Over the years the room had become crowded and the organization of the facility had made it difficult to locate journals. During the summer older materials were relocated to remote storage, the entire journal collection was reorganized from A to Z, and two new computers were added to give students access to science databases and to Alcuin.
Laurel Whisler joined the library staff in June as music librarian. She will be supervising the Maxwell Music Library, which provides music resources for both the music department and the wider university community. Laurel has a B.A. in music from Earlham College, an M.A. in music from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.L.S. from Indiana University. She was formerly reference librarian at Hanover College in Indiana.
Mary Fairbairn has been promoted to the newly created position of instructional services and reference librarian. Mary has a B.A. in English and comparative literature from Occidental College and an M.L.S. from the University of South Carolina. Mary had previously served for five years as reference assistant.
We had our usual busy summer in Lifelong Learning with a full schedule of spring/summer classes. We now run three terms a year: fall, winter, spring/summer. We advertise through an insert in The Greenville News and direct mail to all that signed up for courses in the last year.
In addition, we ran our popular and growing "Scopes" full-day academic enrichment programs. We had two sessions of Microscope (for first- and second-graders) under the direction of Pam Shucker and three of Kaleidoscope (second through sixth) under Bruce Cable. This year we piloted two sessions of Telescope (sixth and seventh) under Lisa Svec, whose husband has just finished his first year in the education department). In 2000 we will pilot Periscope for seventh- and eight-graders. It will include a coastal experience.
We also ran Bridges to a Brighter Future for the third year, bringing together rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders from four area high schools. Their experiences this year included the high and low ropes courses, an artist in residence and six college visits. These students spend a month at Furman each summer for three years. An exhibit of their artwork will be on display at Carolina First Bank in Travelers Rest this November and December.
Applications are being accepted for Connections: Women Leaders of the Upstate, in conjunction with the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce and with sponsorship from Carolina First Bank.
Alumni of the Undergraduate Evening Studies program have formed an alumni club. Officers are Gig Meredith, Shannon Stevens and Laurie Fischer Knight. The newly formed club will hold a tailgate party October 23, during Homecoming. For winter, they are planning a banquet at the Commerce Club.
Staff training, new faces, new procedures and even a new location are part of recent activities in Financial Services.
Maggie Strickland and Gail Craig-Jager attended a seminar titled Public Charities in South Carolina. Janie Burton and Gail Craig-Jager attended the U. S. Department of Education Fiscal Officer Training Workshop in Atlanta. Sandra Silvers attended a seminar, "Accounts Payable/Disbursements Preparing for Year-End and 2000," in Atlanta.
Michele Cochran joined the department in late August as accountant responsible for endowments, annuities, restricted funds and grants. Michele holds a B.S. from Auburn University and a B.B.A. in accounting from Augusta State University.
Debbie McNeely started as cashier on September 13. Debbie has an associate degree in accounting and comes to Furman from the Easley Police Department, where she was administrative services manager.
Maggie Strickland has been promoted to accounting manager for special funds.
On September 13 and for several days before and after, everyone in Financial Services set aside their usual responsibilities to assist with fall term enrollment activities. Janie Burton trained everyone to use the new Datatel student system for fall term enrollment day. Janie also developed procedures to handle meal plans and letters to parents about Plus Loans, activities previously handled elsewhere on campus.
Plans are being made for Financial Services to move into trailer office space beside the Furman Theatre. This will help free up space in the administration building for the Admissions Office. Financial Services has 13 employees and about 8,000 inches of files to move, along with many pieces of equipment and, of course, "other stuff." We must continue processing payroll, accounts payable, cash deposits and other critical activities during the move. Come visit us in November in our new location.
Hurricane Floyd gave the University Emergency Preparedness folks a chance to perform a "real-time" exercise. While the university received only some gusty winds, downstate areas received hurricane-force winds and drenching rains. If Floyd had taken a slightly more westerly course, the Greenville area could have faced destructive weather conditions.
The Campus Emergency Response Team spent the days prior to Floyds arrival preparing for worst-case scenarios such as loss of utilities, flooding conditions and downed trees. Loss of utilities at home would present many difficulties, but imagine the difficulties faced with these losses on a campus housing more than 2,000 students. How do we feed students when the dining hall has no power? How does Student Health Services handle patients without lights in the building? How do we keep students safe in the residence halls when there is no power and possibly no water? How do we keep students and their anxious parents informed when the telephones are out of service? How do we handle medical emergencies when traffic flow is impeded?
The answers to these questions required the interaction of several campus departments. Critical departments include Facilities Services, Public Safety, Housing, Information Services, and Marketing and Public Relations. The approach of Hurricane Floyd served to remind many of us that you can never be too prepared. The efforts of all those involved in the preparedness activities associated with Floyd are greatly appreciated. Now the real work begins: preparing for the next emergency scenario.
Parents Programs serves as the Furman parents link to the university. Freshmen parents were greeted at Orientation by members of the Parents Council, a group of current Furman parents representative of the larger Parents Association. In addition to activities during Orientation Week, members of the Parents Council contacted each freshman family before the start of classes to welcome them to the Furman family and to answer any questions about campus life.
Reservations for Parents Weekend, October 8-10, came in strong this year. Each year families are invited to visit their students here on campus. A variety of activities are scheduled to help parents and other family members acclimate to our campus and to learn more about the opportunities available to them and their students.
Members of Parents Council and Development are sad to say "goodbye" to Mary Brown Ries 79, former director of Parents Programs. Mary, who was also alumni director at Furman for many years, is now serving as media specialist at Sans Souci Elementary School. Taking her place is Holly Herold, former associate director of the Furman Fund. Holly not only brings her experience as a volunteer coordinator with the Class Agent Program and as a fund-raiser herself, but also previous experience in working with the departments activities.
The 1998-1999 employee survey raised several issues and opportunities for improvement. Focus groups, consisting of 10 to 12 employees, will be meeting throughout October and early November to identify ways to address these issues and to make improvements in the following areas:
Communication with the administration;
Compensation and recognition;
Performance review process.
A report of the focus groups recommendations will be prepared and issued in January.
The suggestion program topic for this year is the "Use of Technology." Your suggestions for improving the use of technology at Furman should be directed to Susan Dunnavant of the Computing and Information Services staff, who is the suggestion coordinator this year.
Several fall programs and events have been planned. On October 6, a service awards luncheon will be held for staff reaching 20, 25 and 30 or more years of service at Furman. The annual retiree reception is scheduled for October 21. This event brings retired faculty and staff back to campus to see fellow retirees and to get campus updates.
A TIAA-CREF live satellite program, "Financial Strategies for a New Century," will be broadcast in Townes Auditorium October 22 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. In addition, faculty and staff flu shots are scheduled for November 9. The cost for the shots is $5 for faculty and staff and $10 for spouses. Additional information on both of these programs will be provided by e-mail or campus mail.
Chaplains Jim Pitts and Vic Greene are excited about two primary aspects of life in Daniel Chapel this year. One is the Religion-in-Life lecture series. Throughout the fall the presentations will anticipate Furmans campus-wide emphasis on community, set to begin in January.
The first presenter from the Furman community during the fall term was Doug Cummins, chair of Furmans Department of Theatre Arts, who presented his one-man show titled "Acts: A Dramatic Interpretation: Origins of the Christian Community" on September 28. Jonathan Grieser, assistant professor of religion, addressed "The Terror of Time: The Formation of Apocalyptic Communities" October 12.
University worship services are another central part of life in the chapel. Worship in the chapel takes place at 10:30 every Sunday morning throughout the school year. This fall sermons have been delivered by Chaplains Pitts and Greene and by Elaine Nocks, chair of the psychology department.
Senior Jo Anna McGehee and sophomore Leigh Shipp assist with music each week. Eleven Church-Related Vocations students help plan and lead worship. They are Jonathan Carter, Michael Cassabon, Amy Dill, Joy Elliott, Allison Graves, Shelley Hasty, Soren King, Heather Prince, Meg Sherman, Maggie Yelverton and Jeff Zehnder.
The services are ecumenical and Christian and are open to anyone who would like to attend. There is a growing level of participation by both students and community members. Roman Catholic mass is offered every Sunday at 6 p.m.
To learn about other Religion-in-Life offerings and worship opportunities, please consult the university calendar at http://www.furman.edu/calendar.cgi, or call the chapel staff at 294-2138.