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University of Pittsburgh

May 15, 1997

MacLeod elected Senate president

Gordon K. MacLeod, professor of health services administration in the Graduate School of Public Health, has been elected president of the University Senate for a one-year term beginning in July.

In an election held from late April to early May, MacLeod defeated current president Keith A. McDuffie, who had been seeking a third consecutive one-year term, and John C. Camillus, who holds the Donald R. Beal Chair in Strategic Management in the Katz Graduate School of Business.

Re-elected as Senate vice president for 1996-97 was Nathan Hershey, a professor of health law in the Graduate School of Public Health with a joint appointment in the Katz school. Hershey had run against James T. Cobb Jr., associate professor of chemical engineering in the School of Engineering.

Secretary Debora A. Rougeux, a University Library System librarian, was re-elected Senate secretary. Running against her had been Patricia S. Kolar, director of field education and professor, School of Social Work.

Election results were announced at the May 12 Senate Council meeting. In addition to Senate officers, winners of this year's election for Faculty Assembly were named.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, who serves on the Council, recalled meeting MacLeod during 1994-95 when Nordenberg (then a Distinguished Service Professor of Law) chaired a search for a new senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences. Pitt trustees eventually called off that search, but Nordenberg said he appreciated MacLeod's advice — "and I've enjoyed our interaction since," he said, addressing MacLeod. "I certainly look forward to working with you for the University." The chancellor also thanked McDuffie. "I will always consider Keith first to be a model citizen," Nordenberg said, "someone who has given his all for the University through difficult times and with respect to difficult issues, and also as a model colleague, someone who does understand that a university is a human institution made up of people who have hearts and feelings as well as minds and thoughts. And as someone who always was willing to respectfully consider other ideas even in the face of his own strong convictions. I think we all are in his debt." McDuffie returned the compliment, saying it had been a pleasure working with Nordenberg and crediting him with helping Pitt "to take off in the right direction" during the two years Nordenberg has been interim and permanent chancellor. McDuffie also thanked current Senate officers and office staff for their help.

He only expressed regret for the Senate's mixed success in recruiting more women, minorities and younger faculty as members of Senate Council and Faculty Assembly. With the recent election, 36 percent of the Assembly's members next year will be women, compared with the current 29 percent, "so perhaps that's some small step in the right direction," McDuffie said.

"In the long run," he continued, "it's going to take a lot of continual work to improve the representation of women, minorities and younger faculty in the Senate. That job will never be done, I don't think. It's just simply an ongoing one." In an interview, MacLeod said one of his first projects as Senate president will be to study ways of broadening faculty representation on Council and the Assembly — perhaps by ensuring that each Pitt school is specifically represented. Currently, faculty are elected to represent three general constituencies: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the professional schools and the Health Sciences schools.

"All of the schools have their own sets of concerns, yet they sometimes get lumped together under these general headings and not every school is represented," MacLeod said. For example, he pointed out, only two of Pitt's six Health Sciences schools (the medical school and public health) elected new Assembly members this year.

All Pitt schools, the four regional campuses and the University Library System are represented on the current Faculty Assembly, but the 1996-97 Assembly won't include a member from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Also next year, the business school's representative will be a faculty librarian, who could be seen as representing the library system rather than the school's faculty.

Under Senate bylaws, faculty are elected to three-year terms on Faculty Assembly. After the first year, elected faculty automatically become members of both the faculty-only Assembly and Senate Council, which also includes representatives of staff, students and the administration.

Those elected to Faculty Assembly for the 1997-2000 term are: Faculty of Arts and Sciences Christina Bratt Paulston, of linguistics (representing the humanities departments); Celia A. Brownell, psychology, and Donald B. DeFranco, biological sciences (natural sciences); and Gene W. Gruver, economics, and Van Beck Hall, history (social sciences).

Professional schools Mark Ginsburg and Maureen K. Porter of the education school; Stella L. Smetanka, law; Tracy A. Soska, social work; and Katherine Thomes, University Library System.

Health Sciences schools Steven H. Belle, public health, and four medical school professors: Nicholas G. Bircher, Robert L. Hardesty, Robert H. Kelly and Aldo Vincent Londino Jr.

Of 3,289 ballots mailed in the election, 1,012 were returned. The 31 percent return rate was "pretty good" compared with some previous Senate elections, according to past Senate president James Holland, who certified this year's election results.

University Senate office director Fran Czak said Senate policy forbids public release of the number of votes that individual candidates received. That way, she said, faculty are encouraged to run for University Senate officer positions and Assembly seats without fear of embarrassment should they fail to get many votes.

– Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature, Volume 29 Issue 18

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