Senate Council announces upcoming spring 2020 events, priorities


The Jan. 16 Senate Council meeting served as a highlight of recent events and a preview of some of the events to come for the Spring 2020 semester and beyond.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher encouraged faculty and staff to get involved in the ongoing process of updating the campus master plan, now five years old.

He then talked about two recent administrative appointments that he was excited for: Anantha Shekhar as Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for health sciences and medical school and Shelome Gooden as the first-ever assistant vice chancellor for research for the humanities, arts, social sciences and related fields.

Gallagher said he’s heard impressive things about Shankar, formerly a distinguished professor from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“He’s known as a big vision person, but with a remarkable capacity to bring people together,” Gallagher said. “That’s the trait that we kept hearing over and over again, I think that’s really exciting for where Pitt is at.”

Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research, said Gooden, an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics, will expand the Office of Research’s purview outside of the traditional STEM fields to incorporate more fields in the humanities.

Gallagher then explained Pitt’s new strategy towards combating sexual misconduct on campus (see related story).

Following a brief update from Senate President Chris Bonneau, David Salcido, Senate Council vice president, announced that the Senate executive committee is working to enhance its communications strategies. 

One strategy, in particular, is to highlight the contributions of members of the Senate through three-minute video vignettes called “Why We Serve.”

Finally, the Senate Plenary topic for this year will be on mental health and will take place from noon to 3 p.m March 24 in the William Pitt Union. It will feature a keynote speech from Kay Redfield Jamison, author of “An Unquiet Mind.”

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905. 


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