Senate Council Discusses Tuition Funding, Leadership Changes

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Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said on Thursday he was grateful for the outpouring of support he received from the Pitt community regarding his transition from chancellor to professor. Gallagher recently announced that he resigns in the summer of 2023.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out, whether in person [or virtually]said Gallagher. “It’s something I didn’t do lightly, but I’m frankly very excited to be a physics professor here at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Gallagher and his colleagues discussed leadership transitions, upcoming events and other University-wide changes during Thursday’s Senate Council meeting held at Posvar Hall and on Zoom.

While there’s no specific timeline for when Pitt will announce his replacement, Gallagher said he doesn’t expect the board to create a search committee until next fall. . According to Gallagher, the board is still looking for its own chairman due to the death of former Chairman of the Board, Thomas Richardsand does not expect to complete its research before the end of June.

Despite the major leadership changes currently underway, Gallagher and other members of the Senate Council said Pitt must continue to fight to maintain the current in-state tuition reduction which is provided by state government funding. Specifically, President Robin Kear said it’s more important than ever for members of the Pitt community to sign up to be Pitt Advocates.

“It’s state budget season and we really need to communicate the value of Pitt to our state government officials, as the Chancellor indicated in a campus-wide email and earlier in his report,” Kear said. “It’s important, please consider joining the Pitt Advocates Network at the Office of Government Relations.”

To better prepare for the transition into the new academic year, Danielle Floyd, Student Government Council President for the 2022-23 academic year, introduced herself and her council members to the Senate Council and provided a brief overview. of the first meeting of the new SGB. .

“Last Tuesday, the 2021-2022 Student Government Council held its final meeting, and the 2022-2023 Student Government Council held its first official public meeting, which is really exciting, where we officially named our seven new committee chairs and our 25 members. to our allowances, elections and judicial committees,” Floyd said.

The Senate Council also passed a 35-0 vote with two abstentions to approve Provost Ann Cudd’s statement on academic freedom, a principle Cudd said is important to uphold as an institution. This statement, which builds on those made by former provosts, reaffirms the right of University faculty and staff to write, teach and speak as private citizens free from University censorship. .

“I think it’s important for every provost to weigh in on academic freedom,” Cudd said. “There was a pandemic, so it took me a bit of time, but what I asked the committee to do is look at the previous statements made by the provosts, and I think that it is important to show a long-standing commitment to this as a University.”

Gallagher also discussed upcoming launch ceremonies. A ceremony will be held for the class of 2020, including professional, graduate and undergraduate students, at the Petersen Events Center on April 30. The opening ceremony for this year’s class will also take place at the Petersen Events Center on May 1. Acting Board Chair Mary Ellen Callahan will speak on April 30, while former Pitt and NFL football player Louis Riddick will speak on May 1.

Also approaching are senate committee elections, which will take place from April 27 to May 9, to elect members of each of the 15 university senate committees.

Kear also said the deadline to submit proposals for the University’s next diversity forum is now May 13.

“Please consider submitting for the forum called ‘Rewiring our systems: transforming the intersections of inequity,” Kear said. “It will take place July 25-28 and will focus on engaging intersections and social identities impacted by systemic oppression. Our Vice President Kristin Kanthak was involved in this planning.

In his final chancellor’s report of the academic year, Gallagher said he wished students and faculty a smooth and restful graduation week and looked to his future as a professor at Pitt.

“My apologies to my colleagues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, they didn’t know this was going to happen either,” Gallagher said. “I have work to do there with my colleagues to talk about it at some point, but like I said, a year and a half. We still have a lot to do and I’m excited and motivated to do it, and I look forward to working with all of you.

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