Wilson: Continuity is Certain in Senate Officer, Faculty Assembly Elections

Members of Senate Council gathered on March 21 as snow steadily fell during the meeting in Wesley W. Posvar Hall. The irony of the juxtaposition of the first full day of spring with a snowstorm was not lost on Senate President Frank Wilson.

“I’m not going to make any references to ‘Welcome to spring in Pittsburgh,’” he said.

During his report, Wilson said that Wednesday, April 4, was the first day of voting for Senate officers. Three faculty members are running to succeed Wilson: Carey Balaban, a faculty member in the School of Medicine; Chris Bonneau, a faculty member in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; and Wesley Rohrer, a faculty member in the Graduate School of Public Health.

Cindy Tananis, secretary of the University Senate, added that she and Robin Kear, vice president, are running unopposed for their respective offices.

"There will be continuity, which is a good thing for our system, and it’s not like rookies are going to win the election. They’re all people who’ve been active in the Senate all along,” said Wilson.

Senate officer and Faculty Assembly member elections are scheduled to take place online via the My Pitt portal through April 19.

Chancellor Praises New Deans, Shares Updates to Harrisburg, Seed Projects

During his report, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher lauded recent hires for the deanships at the Swanson School of Engineering and the School of Law. He described James R. Martin II, the new dean of the Swanson School, as “very engaging” and “strategic” and said Martin has a “partnership-oriented style that I think is going to be just a great fit for taking Pitt engineering to its next chapter of success.” Amy J. Wildermuth, the new dean of Pitt Law, “is dynamic” and “has a very clear vision for how we can really have an outstanding law department,” said Gallagher.

(Two days after the Senate Council meeting, on March 23,  Bernard J. Costello was named dean of the School of Dental Medicine. Costello has been serving as interim dean since February 2018.)

Gallagher also referenced Pitt Day in Harrisburg, which had been scheduled for March 20 but was postponed due to inclement weather. Members of the Pitt community will instead visit with state lawmakers on Wednesday, May 23, Gallagher said.

According to Gallagher, faculty and staff submitted 171 applications for Pitt Seed Projects. His office will announce the project proposals that will receive funding in early June.

In other business, Senate approved a motion to rename the Senate athletics committee as the Senate athletics and recreation committee. The motion, which had been approved at the March 13 meeting of Faculty Assembly, reflects the committee’s revised mission statement, which conveys the committee’s work with regard to the needs of the Pitt community.


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