Main content



Emory is making choices that will guide the university into a bold future.

Through careful consideration of listening sessions, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and conversations with people throughout the Emory community, university leaders have identified four priorities. These priorities capture Emory’s current strengths and bold future as an outstanding global research university with a liberal arts core and a stellar health care system. They build on the talent of our faculty, students, and staff and ensure that Emory will deliver on its commitment to contribute to society and the common good.

A series of four public discussions took place in January 2017, one devoted to each university priority listed below and facilitated by Emory faculty. In addition to the on-campus events, alumni, students, faculty, and staff have been generous in sharing their online responses. Robert Franklin, a co-facilitator and the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at Candler School of Theology, said:

“The president invites us to be bold in our aspirations and proposals. That doesn't happen often in American higher education, but Emory is one of those special places where it is happening now.”

The president is grateful for the richness of the ideas, which have been used to fine-tune the priorities.

Strengthening Academic Excellence

This will lead to new knowledge and discoveries, new teaching pedagogies and ways of learning, and support for outstanding faculty members and students. It will build on the interdisciplinary collaboration that characterizes Emory. This priority will enable strategic advancements in teaching and research from the humanities and arts to the social, natural, and health sciences as well as the professions. It will require organizational flexibility—for example, the flexibility to ensure a coherent and integrated Emory Undergraduate Experience. Key investments will be made in named and endowed faculty chairs, student scholarships, programs, centers, institutes, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Community Feedback

Deeper Engagement with Atlanta

Emory also has a legacy of human rights; is a hub for business, commerce, and transportation; and is a growing center of communications, entertainment, health care, academics, the arts, and discovery and innovation.

A deeper partnership with the Atlanta community will allow Emory faculty and students to be of service, contributing expertise and talent to local opportunities and challenges in many areas—from collaborating with local nonprofits in arts and culture to engaging with government and civic groups to partnering with local businesses.

In addition to improving daily life in Atlanta, this engagement also will advance the Emory community and enrich the Emory experience for our students, open new scholarship and research opportunities for our faculty, and provide greater connections between a world-class city and university. Ultimately, all of these opportunities come with the goal of serving humanity and improving conditions—locally as well as globally.

Community Feedback

  • Devise a better system for tracking Emory/Atlanta collaborations.
  • Take the lead on Atlanta and Georgia health initiatives.
  • Collaborate with international communities and businesses to enhance Atlanta’s global profile.
  • Leverage Atlanta’s religious diversity to develop ecumenical religion and health programs.
  • Strategically, use Emory’s hiring, purchasing, and endowment investment to enhance Atlanta.
  • Position Emory with other Atlanta-metro institutions as a hub for African American art and history.

Global Health Innovation

In addition to Emory’s academic and health partnerships across the globe, Atlanta is home to leading global health institutions, including The Carter Center of Emory University, the Task Force for Global Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emory already has an institute, department, and many courses that focus on some aspect of global health.

The university also has excelled in fields that are not typically considered as global health but which have had a powerful and positive impact on the health of people around the globe—for example, drug discovery and development. By necessity, success in global health innovation in the 21st century will be multicultural and multidisciplinary.

This priority will connect a university-wide effort that broadly addresses innovation in global health and will position Emory as the academic leader in this field, including an emphasis on the future of children.

Community Feedback

  • Train students in creativity and innovation.
  • Unite people from across campus to stimulate debate, discussion, and targeted and focused problem solving.
  • Invest in partnerships and infrastructure improvements of external partners outside of the US to increase the effectiveness of our global work.
  • Enhance Emory’s visibility and profile at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
  • Improve coordination among units around what people are already doing.
  • Take a broad, interdisciplinary look at how climate change will impact millions of lives over the next century.
  • Support students in financing and implementing ideas from the classroom to aid global health.

Enhance the Impact of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center

This priority focuses on enhancing collaborations within the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, across Emory, and with our local and global partners. Enhanced collaborations will not only increase the impact of health care and delivery in our region but also stimulate academic and clinical partnerships that result in significant cutting-edge research.

This priority will address the challenges of the business of health, current and new ethical challenges in research and health care delivery, and policy making.

Community Feedback

  • Build a bridge between the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center and the other university faculty, staff, and students to improve access to resources, communication, and understanding between both so as to facilitate cross-access across the university.
  • Develop a more cohesive message and unified branding about what our strong suits are.
  • Appeal to the central university to put light structures in place to fix some of the longtime barriers.
  • Collaborate to inspire the confidence of those who have been actively engaged with us.
  • Celebrate and promote what Emory is already doing in its areas of unique strength.