Board committee approves revised bylaws, mission statements

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Board committee approves revised bylaws, mission statements

Pitt’s Board of Trustees met for a short public meeting on Thursday morning.

Pitt’s Board of Trustees met for a short public meeting on Thursday morning.

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Pitt’s Board of Trustees met for a short public meeting on Thursday morning.

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Pitt’s Board of Trustees met for a short public meeting on Thursday morning.

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor

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At a public meeting in Posvar Hall Thursday morning, the governance and nominating committee of Pitt’s Board of Trustees approved several measures — including the reappointment of a trustee and amendments to the University bylaws.

The committee voted unanimously to reappoint Herbert Shear, a trustee since 2011, to serve on the board until 2021.  

The committee also considered several changes to Pitt’s bylaws, such as amending the first chapter to allow for an outgoing board chairperson’s re-election for a one-year term — codifying board chairperson Eva Tansky Blum’s current special one-year term. The bylaws’ first chapter was also changed to specifically empower the board chairperson, as well as the chancellor and chief executive officer, to execute legal documents, or to delegate this power in writing. Before the change, this legal power had extended to other individuals, including the provost and chief financial officer.

Chapter 2 of Pitt’s bylaws was amended by the committee to lengthen the tenure track for physicians with clinical responsibilities in the School of Medicine from seven years to 10, matching the length all other faculty members face. The University said in the meeting book that this change was made to create “a more uniformed approach.”

With the exception of Blum, who abstained from the vote, the committee approved the bylaw revisions.

The committee also unanimously approved revised mission statements for the Board of Trustees’ athletics and institutional advancement committees, which were approved at the respective committees’ June meetings.

Five members of the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition attended the Thursday meeting. They handed out pamphlets listing the group’s demands, which center on Pitt divesting any fossil fuels investments from the University endowment.

The FFPC members spoke briefly after the meeting with Kathy Humphrey, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for engagement, who said Hari Sastry, Pitt’s chief financial officer, plans to meet soon with Anais Peterson — the executive vice president of Pitt’s Student Government Board and a member of the FFPC — about socially responsible investing at Pitt.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced in late August that the University is developing socially responsible investing strategies following the July release of a report examining several aspects of socially responsible investments.

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