SACUA appoints new members for COVID-19 Faculty Council


The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has announced the members of a council that will meet regularly with President Mark Schlissel and Provost Susan M. Collins to bring forward ideas, discuss concerns and offer suggestions about the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The 17 members of the COVID-19 Faculty Council represent a variety of schools, colleges and disciplinary areas across campus.

Three members are returning after serving last year. They are:

  • Kirsten Herold, lecturer IV in health behavior and health education, School of Public Health.
  • Thomas Schwarz, associate professor of physics, LSA.
  • Luis Zaman, assistant professor of complex systems, and of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA.

New council members are:

  • Solomon Adera, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering.
  • Patricia Anderson, librarian for health sciences, University Library.  
  • Eric Beuerlein, lecturer II, romance languages and literatures, LSA.
  • Tom Braun, professor of biostatistics, School of Public Health.
  • Matthew Collette, associate professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, College of Engineering.
  • Theodora Danciu, clinical professor of periodontics and oral medicine, School of Dentistry.
  • Rachel S. Goldman, professor of materials science and engineering, and of electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering, and professor of physics, LSA.
  • Christian Matijas-Mecca, professor of dance, School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
  • Mary O’Riordan, Frederick C. Neidhardt Collegiate Professor and professor of microbiology and immunology, Medical School.  
  • Frank Pelosi, clinical associate professor of internal medicine-cardiology, Medical School.
  • John Pottow, John Philip Dawson Collegiate Professor of Law and professor of law, Law School.
  • Stephanie D. Preston, professor of psychology, LSA.
  • Deirdre Spencer, librarian for arts and humanities, University Library.   
  • Joanna Spencer-Segal, assistant professor of internal medicine-endocrinology, Medical School.

The COVID-19 Faculty Council engages with the administration on a wide variety of issues, including the health, safety and well-being of the campus community; the pandemic’s impact on teaching, learning and the personal and professional lives of faculty members; and issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.

Schlissel launched the council last fall, saying he recognized the need for greater communication and engagement with faculty regarding various issues, including those related to the pandemic. Members were asked to serve for one year. Faculty Senate Office Director MaryJo Banasik said the president and provost asked SACUA to repopulate the council for another year with broad representation from across campus.

SACUA contacted former members to gauge their interest in continuing to serve. It also sent a targeted email to Faculty Senate members soliciting self-nominations. SACUA voted on the nominations, and the council roster was finalized Sept. 22.


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