Wilson Reflects on ‘Incredibly Stimulating’ Tenure as Senate President

In his last report to Faculty Assembly as Senate president, Frank Wilson characterized his tenure as positive.

“It has been really a high point for me to have been able to be the Senate president for three years and to experience all of the aspects of it,” said Wilson, a sociology faculty member at Pitt–Greensburg. “Out there in Greensburg, I would have missed being able to interact with a lot of my colleagues here … . That’s incredibly stimulating, and I’m fortunate to have been part of it.”

At the May 8 Faculty Assembly meeting, Wilson congratulated his successor, political science faculty member Chris Bonneau, and the other winners of the Senate and Faculty Assembly elections.

“I feel really confident about the future,” he said.

Robin Kear, Senate vice president and a faculty librarian in the University Library System, applauded Wilson figuratively and literally, leading others in attendance in a round of applause.

“I just want to say that I’ve really enjoyed working with Frank over the past two years. I’ve seen him stay optimistic in the face of personal adversity, especially last year. He listens well, he’s collegial, he is open to discussion and he’s been a great colleague,” she said.

Wilson said he regarded the last three Senate plenaries as a highlight of his presidency; those plenaries addressed academic freedom, evaluation metrics and teaching.

He also spoke about other accomplishments by shared governance during his tenure:

He complimented the work of several Senate committees, including the educational policies committee and budget policies committee, whose thorough pre-meeting preparations with administration liaisons he pointed to as a model for other committees to follow.

“It’s nice to go to committees where that is the case, where you know it’s productive and everybody’s engaged,” said Wilson.

“To one degree or another, most of the committees try to do that, and if we’re going to take another step forward in the way our committees operate, I think that would be my suggestion that we try to do that more intentionally because it really does make a difference,” he added.

In other business:

  • Maria Kovacs, a faculty member in the School of Medicine and co-chair of the Senate tenure and academic freedom committee, and Laurie Kirsch, vice provost for faculty affairs, development and diversity, alerted members of Faculty Assembly to a revised memo from Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson about “Annual Reviews of Faculty and Related Salary Decisions.” In response to concerns from the tenure and academic freedom committee, the provost’s office made changes to the original memo from Nov. 16, 2016. The entire revised memo is available on the provost’s website.
  • Bonneau, co-chair of the Senate faculty affairs committee, shared the committee’s mission statement. The full statement has been posted online at the University Senate’s website.


Katie Fike, kfike@pitt.edu, 412-624-1085