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May 11, 2006

Baker elected Senate president

Winners of the recent University Senate elections were announced at the May 2 Faculty Assembly meeting.

John J. Baker, associate professor, Department of Microbiology-Biochemistry, School of Dental Medicine, was elected president; Michael R. Pinsky, professor of critical care medicine, bioengineering and anesthesiology, School of Medicine, was re-elected vice president, and Ellen R. Cohn, associate professor, communication science and disorders and assistant dean for instruction, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS), will serve as Senate secretary. Officers serve one-year terms that begin July 1.

Elections committee chair Herbert Chesler reported that the election response rate was just above 23 percent; 943 ballots were returned, with 56 invalidated for incomplete information or late submission. The response rate has been fairly steady, Chesler said, with previous years’ rates of 27, 25 and 24 percent for 2005, 2004 and 2003.

Ted Rice, co-chair of the Senate bylaws and procedures committee, reported that his group is pursuing a proposal to convert to electronic voting in time for next year’s Senate elections, which would require a bylaws change.

He added that one bylaws committee member is recommending that there still be a paper trail regardless of the method of electronic voting (e-mail, special web site) chosen.

Rice noted that the response rate in last fall’s Student Government Board elections, which were conducted on line for the first time, leapt from 15 to 60 percent.

Chesler was skeptical that electronic voting would yield a comparable rise in faculty participation. “For one thing, our campaigns are quiet and not very visible, and many faculty are apathetic,” he said, adding that there was no formal mechanism for candidates to debate each other.

Also announced at the May 2 Assembly meeting were newly elected members to Faculty Assembly for 2006-2009.

Faculty Assembly members serve the first year of their three-year terms on the Assembly; during their second and third years, they serve on both the faculty-only Assembly and on Senate Council, which includes faculty, staff, students and administrators.

Arts and sciences (A&S)

• A&S humanities: Philip K. Wion (English).

• A&S natural sciences: William Harbert (physics and astronomy); Jonathan E. Rubin (mathematics).

• A&S social sciences: Susan Hansen (political science); Steven L. Husted (economics).

Professional schools

• Business: Madeleine J. Carlin.

• Education: Deborah J. Aaron.

• Engineering: Rakié Cham.

• Information sciences: Roger R. Flynn.

• Law: Kevin Deasy.

• Social work: Tracy M. Soska.

• University Library System: Marian C. Hampton.

Schools of the Health Sciences

• Medicine: Michael Gorin.

• Public health: Steven H. Belle.

—Peter Hart

The following faculty have been elected to three-year terms on standing committees of the University Senate:

Admissions and student aid

Raymond E. Jones, business; John B. Lyon, Germanic languages and literatures; Carol S. Stilley, nursing.

Anti-discriminatory policies

Mark Lynn Anderson, English; Lynn M. Fitzgerald, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS); Randi Koeske, Greensburg, psychology.


David M. Brienza, SHRS; Leonard Plotnicov, anthropology; Patrick Smolinski, engineering.

Benefits and welfare

Donald G. Angelone, SHRS; William E. Bickel, education; Robert J. Robertson, education.

Budget policies

Balwant N. Dixit, pharmacy; Ellen Olshansky, nursing; Richard H. Pratt, physics and astronomy.

Bylaws and procedures

Alice B. Kuller, Health Sciences Library System (HSLS); Joshua Lund, A&S, Hispanic languages and literatures; Jonathan Miller, University Library System (ULS).

Commonwealth relations

Rodger L. Beatty, Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH); Robert Hayden, anthropology; Eugene Myers, medicine.

Community relations

Edward Galloway, ULS; Linda Hartman, HSLS; Tracy M. Soska, social work.

Computer usage

Frank Beatrous, mathematics; Michael Bolam, ULS; George H. Pike, law.

Educational policies

Troy Boone, English; Catherine G. Greeno, social work; Susan M. Sereika, nursing.


Jacob D. Deininger, Greensburg, Millstein Library; Lina Insana, French and Italian languages and literatures; Lipika Mazumdar, Greensburg, anthropology.

Plant utilization and planning

Christopher D. Armstrong, history of art and architecture; Shirley Cassing, economics; Michael S. Ramsey, geology and planetary science.

Student affairs

Elizabeth Nagle, education; Ewa A. Rudnicka, Greensburg, engineering; Elizabeth A. Wylie-Ernst, Germanic languages and literatures.

Tenure and academic freedom

Jonathan Harris, political science; Linda Penkower, religious studies; Luis E. Vallejo, engineering.

University Press

John Earman, history and philosophy of science; Lester C. Olson, communication; Richard J. Smethurst, history.

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