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July 3, 1996

Connolly re-elected as head of trustees

J Wray Connolly was re-elected to a second one- year term as chairperson of Pitt's Board of Trustees during the annual board meeting on June 20.

At that same meeting, the board also voted to alter its structure and composition, and to remove its mandatory retirement age of 70.

Neither action will change the overall size of the 50-member board.

In the areas of structure and composition, the board eliminated charter trustees as a class and replaced them with term trustees.

The change affects eight current trustees who will assume the term designation. They now have to stand for election every four years. Previously, charter trustees had been able to serve indefinitely until age 70.

In addition, the board accepted the recommendations of its nominating committee to form a special trustee committee that will consider changes in the structure and composition of board committees.

The new two-person committee, made up of trustees Jeffrey S. Blum and E. Jeanne Gleason, will consult with faculty, staff and student leaders in an effort to find alternative ways of receiving their input on board committee decisions.

Since 1992, University faculty, staff and students have served as voting members on most board committees, except the executive and compensation committees.

Removal of faculty, staff and students from Board of Trustees' committees was one of the changes recommended in the report of the consulting group headed by James Fisher and hired last year to review University operations.

The possibility of removing those constituencies from board committees was greeted with concern by Senate Council, which approved a resolution at its June 10 meeting urging the trustees to continue faculty, staff and student representation on board committees.

University Senate President Keith McDuffie has called the possible removal of faculty, staff and students from committees "a step backwards" in relations with the Board of Trustees. McDuffie attributed the idea to the fact that some trustees feel they cannot speak freely at committee meetings when faculty, staff and students are present.

No new trustees were elected to the board during its annual meeting, but four sitting trustees were elected to the board's executive committee. They include: Thomas G. Bigley, Suzanne W. Broadhurst, George A. Davidson Jr. and Malcolm M. Prine. The four replace Yolando Barco, William S. Dietrich II, Frederick S. Humphries and A. Alice Kindling, whose terms on the executive committee had expired.

In other business, the board:

* Approved an increase in the student recreation fee on Pitt's Bradford campus from $30 to $40 for each full-time student during the fall and spring terms, effective fall 1996. The increase was recommended by the Bradford planning and budgeting committee and Student Affairs staff.

* Approved an increase in the student facilities fee from $83 to $90 per term for all full-time students on Pitt's Johnstown campus. The increase, effective fall 1996, was recommended by the UPJ budget policies committee, advisory board and campus president to cover debt service costs associated with the new classroom/administration building. The fee for part-time students will remain $12 per term.

* Approved the extension of the student activity fee and student health fee at Pitt's Titusville campus (UPT) to include part-time students at a rate of $10 per term each. Both increases are to support increasing costs and were recommended by the Titusville Advisory Board. The fees are effective fall 1996.

* Approved a new $25 student athletic fee for each full-time student and $5 fee for each part-time student at UPT. The fee, which was recommended by the UPT Student Government Association, advisory board and campus president, is to cover the cost of the reinstatement of an intercollegiate athletics program at UPT. The fees will be effective fall 1996.

–Mike Sajna

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