New committee to implement fall reopening


Kaycee Orwig | Visual Editor

The Cathedral of Learning watches over an empty Pitt campus.

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt has established a resiliency steering committee which will help implement reopening for the fall semester. The panel will work to ensure University-wide coordination and communication of health guidance and standards.

The committee is a key piece of the three reopening postures and universal health rules for the fall that Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced Tuesday.

The three postures, which closely mirror Pennsylvania’s red-yellow-green reopening phases, provide common operating standards to plan for safe operations during the pandemic. Pitt’s Emergency Operations Center, in collaboration with the chancellor’s Healthcare Advisory Group, will monitor different criteria and recommend whether the University should switch between postures.

The 22-member committee includes various top administrators and staff, with one faculty member and no students. Students were also not present on the top-level committees that helped for the fall semester in May, but were on several subcommittees. Two students were added to subcommittees following backlash about not enough student representation in the decision-making process.

Eric Macadangdang, the president of Student Government Board, said efforts are in the works to add student representation to the committee.

University spokesperson Kevin Zwick did not directly answer questions about why no students were on the committee, but said faculty have a “crucial role” in implementing decisions and this is why University Senate President Chris Bonneau is on the committee.

“Bonneau’s status… helps to ensure the faculty are well informed of anticipated changes and how we’ll support them as we carry out our educational and research mission while helping to keep the Pitt community safe and healthy,” Zwick said.

Bonneau , a professor of political science, declined to comment on whether students should be added to the committee.

The committee’s members are:

  • Geovette Washington, senior vice chancellor and chief legal officer
  • Thomas Hitter, co-chair and the assistant vice chancellor for policy development and management
  • Melissa Schild, co-chair and the assistant vice chancellor for strategic planning and performance
  • Lila Rose, the chancellor’s deputy chief of staff
  • Lucy Russell, the provost’s chief of staff
  • Belkys Torres, the executive director of global engagement
  • Michelle Amato, the senior vice chancellor for research’s chief of staff
  • Bill Madden, the associate senior vice chancellor for health sciences administration
  • Cyndee Pelt, the chief financial officer’s chief of staff
  • Nancy Merritt, the vice chancellor for alumni relations
  • Paul Supowitz, the vice chancellor for community and government relations
  • Matthew Sterne, the vice chancellor for business services
  • Scott Bernotas, the associate vice chancellor for facilities management
  • Beth McGrew, the associate vice chancellor for planning, design and real estate
  • Cindy Wertz, the chief information officer’s chief of staff
  • Rebecca Roadman, a senior projects manager for the Office of Human Resources
  • Kenyon Bonner, the vice provost and dean of students
  • Christian Spears , the chief operating officer for Pitt football
  • Jennifer Seng, the assistant vice chancellor and deputy chief legal officer
  • Ted Fritz, the vice chancellor for public safety and emergency management
  • Dave DeJong, the acting senior vice chancellor for business and operations and vice chancellor for human resources
  • Chris Bonneau, the president of the University Senate