The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has selected members of a council to meet 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 16-member COVID-19 Faculty Council will meet twice a month. Its first meeting is scheduled for Nov. 6. The council’s members are:

  • Cindee Giffen, lecturer II in comprehensive studies, LSA.
  • Seth Guikema, professor of industrial and operations engineering, College of Engineering.
  • Yongqun Oliver He, associate professor of laboratory animal medicine and veterinarian, Medical School.
  • Kirsten Herold, lecturer IV in health behavior and health education, School of Public Health. 
  • Julie Herrada, curator in the Special Collections Research Center, University Library.
  • Luke Hyde, associate professor of psychology, LSA.
  • David Moran, clinical professor of law, Law School.
  • Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology, SPH.
  • Sierra V. Petersen, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, LSA.
  • Elena Schiopu, associate professor of internal medicine, Medical School.
  • Thomas Schwarz, associate professor of physics, LSA.
  • Yulia Sevryugina, senior associate librarian, library research – science and engineering, University Library.
  • Kayte Spector-Bagdady, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Medical School.
  • Bonnie Wang, clinical assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care, Medical School.
  • Daniel Washington, professor of music (voice), School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
  • Luis Zaman, assistant professor of complex systems, and of ecology and evolution, LSA.

SACUA, the executive arm of U-M’s central faculty governance system, noted in an announcement that the council represents a variety of schools, colleges and disciplinary areas across campus. There are three full professors, four associate professors, three assistant professors, one librarian, one curator, two clinical faculty and two lecturers.

Faculty members were invited to apply for seats on the council. SACUA selected the members during its Oct. 19 meeting.

Members of the COVID-19 Faculty Council have been asked to communicate with their colleagues to gain perspectives and feedback that they can then share with university leadership.

The council will engage 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.
  • Issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion, including accessibility.
  • The intersection of the pandemic with other forces of unrest affecting the campus and beyond.

In a message sent to the U-M Faculty Senate last month, Schlissel said he recognized the need for greater communication and engagement with faculty regarding various issues, including those related to the pandemic.

“There aren’t simple answers in confronting COVID-19, and information can change very quickly — but we are a community that will best address this together through collaboration and transparency,” he said.

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