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May 11, 2017

Faculty Senate Leader Reflects on Year, Calls for New Committee

Faculty Senate President Frank Wilson described a year of progress for the Faculty Assembly during its May 9 session, pointing to new policy recommendations, the potential creation of new committees and changed salary benchmarking practices for faculty at the Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses.

He said assembly and committee members have been able to dig into complicated issues, engage in open discussion and have been successful in reaching enough consensus to move forward on key issues and recommendations that contributed to healthy shared governance.

He said the work continues as he presented a resolution that calls for further exploration of the University’s investments related to fossil fuel divestment. The resolution “encourages the Chancellor to form a committee of faculty, staff, students, and administration, and initiate a systematic process for consideration of socially responsible investing as a strategy for the University to orient its investments, and issue a public report on its work and findings in support of this decision process.”

The Senate will consider the resolution May 17 at its last session of the academic year.

The resolution is a product of an ad hoc committee that was formed last year at the urging of Michael Goodhart, faculty member in political science and former member of the assembly, in response to increased activity by students concerned with the University’s investments.

It was noted by the assembly last year that the purpose of the ad hoc committee was to look into the issue, not to take a formal position, and to consult with students and the trustees committee.

The following topics were included in Wilson’s overview of the 2016–17 academic year:

Senate Committees Announced

The Senate committees have been elected for the next academic year, and the election results were shared at the session.

Matthew Darnell, health and rehabilitation sciences; Mike Epitropoulos, sociology/arts and sciences; Jay Irrgang, health and rehabilitation sciences

Benefits and Welfare
Lucas Berenbrok, pharmacy; Miriam Meislik, University Library System; Ann Mitchell, nursing

Budget Policies
Elia Beniash, dental medicine; Tony Bledsoe, biological sciences/arts and sciences; Emily Murphy, health and rehabilitation sciences

Bylaws and Procedures
Gosia Fort, Health Sciences Library System

Community Relations
Amani Attia, linguistics/arts and sciences; Paul Harper, business; Anne Hays, education

Computer Usage
Dmitriy Babichenko, information sciences; Arif Jamal, University Library System; Young Lee, nursing

Educational Policies
Marnie Hampton, University Library System; Barb Kucinski, psychology/arts and sciences; Cynthia Lausberg, psychology/arts and sciences

Equity, Inclusion and Anti-discrimination Advocacy
Allyn Bove, health and rehabilitation sciences; Cindy Danford, nursing; Kathryn Gardner, biological sciences/arts and sciences

Governmental Relations
Mark Kelley, biological and health sciences/Pitt-Bradford; Meri Long, political science/arts and sciences; Alyson Stover, health and rehabilitation sciences

Becky Faett, nursing; Irene Frieze, emeritus/arts and sciences; John Mendeloff, public and international affairs

Plant Utilization and Planning
Jeanine Buchanich, public health; Debbie Miller, health and rehabilitation sciences; Tracey Olanyk, University Library System

Eileen Chasens, nursing; Kelly Cole, medicine; Rami Melhem, computer science/arts and sciences

Student Admissions, Aid and Affairs
Frayda Cohen, gender, sexuality and women’s studies/arts and sciences; Sue Skledar, pharmacy; Juan Taboas, dental medicine

Tenure and Academic Freedom
Carey Balaban, medicine; Kirill Kiselyov, biology/arts and sciences; Ergin Kocyildirim, medicine

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