Board approves new trustee, revised bylaws


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced in August that the University will be redeveloping its investment strategies.

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The University’s Board of Trustees approved several measures at its meeting Friday morning at Pitt’s Johnstown campus, including the reappointment of a trustee and amendments to the University bylaws. The board’s governance and nominating committee considered these items at its meeting two weeks ago.

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

The board also approved 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 to others in writing. Before the change, this legal power had extended to other individuals, including the provost and chief financial officer.

The board amended chapter two of Pitt’s bylaws 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 board unanimously approved the bylaw revisions.

The board 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, as well as the governance and nominating committee.

Pitt Alumni Association President Lisa Golden, a 1993 graduate of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, then presented an annual report on the PAA’s past year.

Golden outlined three goals for the PAA — enriching the lives of alumni and students, creating a more robust visible Pitt network and advancing Pitt’s mission.

“All of our programming should strive to accomplish these three things,” Golden said.

Golden also noted that Pitt’s philanthropy and alumni relations efforts have recently been organized, with a new vice chancellor for alumni relations, Nancy Merritt, hired by the University in August. Merritt was serving as assistant vice president for alumni relations at Carnegie Mellon University prior to her appointment and also previously spent 13 years in alumni relations at Lehigh University, her alma mater.

Golden closed her report by highlighting the PAA’s current initiatives — adopting a three-year strategic plan, focusing on alumni digital engagement, implementing career and professional development programs and aligning engagement efforts to targeted alumni audiences.

“Admittedly, our recent approach to engagement might be considered one size fits all,” Golden said. “If we’re going to move the needle on engagement, we need to create opportunities that are meaningful to an alum’s special life and interests.”