University of Pittsburgh
Senate Council Meeting
Minutes of February 3, 2003
1. President Cassing called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.
2. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting on December 2, 2002 were
approved as written.
3. President Cassing asked for new items of business for the meeting.
There were none.
4. Remarks of the Chancellor, Mark A. Nordenberg:
· Chancellor Nordenberg reported on the loss of members of the
University community since the last Senate Council meeting. These included
three students: David E. Barry, Jr., David Sanberg and Thomas Vandora.
Four distinguished faculty passed away: Hank Bahnson, of the Department
of Surgery; Corrine Barnes of the School of Nursing; Wilfried Daehnick,
of the Department of Physics and former vice provost for research; and
Willard Korth of the School of Education and LRDC. Also deceased are two
former members of the administration: Lawrence Lunardini from Budget and
Finance; and Nathan Stark, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences
from 1974 to 1984. The Chancellor asked for a moment of silence in their
· Honors Convocation will be held on Founder’s Day, February
28. Professor Peter Safar will be the principal convocation speaker. The
Chancellor noted that Professor Safar is one of Pitt’s most distinguished
faculty members. Among other things, he is known as the “father”
of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; the founder of the science of critical
care medicine; a pioneer in the concept of the mobile critical care unit;
and the developer of the first corps of inner-city EMT-trained rescue
professionals. Dr. Safar was the founding chair of the Department of Anesthesiology
and Critical Care Medicine and also founded the Safar Center for Resuscitation
· At the Honors Convocation, the following winners of Chancellor’s
awards will be honored: The Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award
for Staff: Christine A. Chergi, Student Activities; Betsy A. Goenner,
UPJ; Joseph P. Healey, Receiving Services; Dean M. Julian, College of
General Studies; and Cheryl Ruffin, Human Resource. The Chancellor’s
Distinguished Public Service Award: Robert Bowser, Department of Pathology,
School of Medicine; Ronald A. Brand, School of Law; Carrie R. Leana, Katz
Graduate School of Business; and Edward Sites, School of Social Work.
The Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award: Jeffrey H. Schwartz,
Department of Anthropology; Chair S. Wilcox, Department of Chemistry;
Isabel L. Beck, School of Education; Kay M. Brummond, Department of Chemistry;
Jeffrey Lawrence, Department of Biological Sciences. The Chancellor’s
Distinguished Teaching Award: Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, School of Dental
Medicine; Rodney H. Eatman, UPJ, Humanities: William C. de Groat, Department
of Pharmacology, School of Medicine; Joseph J. Grabowski, Department of
Chemistry; and John W. Kreit, Department of Medicine.
· Several members of the campus community also received external
recognition. Pitt senior and Chancellor’s Scholar Cynthia Kinnan
was named one of 40 Marshall Scholars. The Chancellor noted that Pitt
undergraduates have won
Marshall Scholarships in five of the past six years, a record unmatched
by any public university in the country. Kristy Petrosky, who graduated
from Engineering in December, was named the National Co-op Student of
the year by the American Society of Engineering Education. Tom Hales,
Andrew Mellon Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the Chauvenet Prize
by the Mathematical Association of America. He was honored for his proof
of the ancient Kepler Conjecture. Sandy Asher of the Department of Chemistry
was awarded the 2002 Pittsburgh Award from the American Chemical Society
for his distinguished service to chemistry in the Pittsburgh region. Pitt
Magazine won the grand award for best writing in the Annual Reports, Magazines
and Speeches category at the International Mercury Awards. The Pitt Chronicle
kicked off its Black History Month covered with a feature on Courage Obehi
Otaigbe, an 18-year old, who is about to receive a masters’ degree
from the School of Information Sciences. The Center for Minority Health,
led by Dr. Steven Thomas, received a $6 million NIH grant to provide funding
for a center of excellence dealing with health disparities.
· The University has created a new Center on Race and Social Problems
in the School of Social Work, led by Dean Larry Davis.
· The Capital Campaign continues to be on track as Pitt pursues
its goal of one billion dollars. $550 million were raised by the end of
calendar year 2002—no small feat in the current economy.
5. Report of the President of the Senate, James H. Cassing
· Professor Cassing congratulated all the winners announced by
· Professor Cassing announced that the Faculty Handbook, amended
with the tacit approval of Faculty Assembly, is now on line.
· The Senate Committee for Elections met on January 15. Professor
Cassing asked members to contact Professor Chesler or Ms. Czak with nominations.
· Professor Cassing mentioned that the ballot to amend the bylaws
was mailed to Senate membership on January 13. The Senate Office received
795 valid ballots, which is a 20.5% return. Of those who voted, 88.5%
voted yes to all of the proposed changes. He thanked Frank Beatrous, Chair
of the Bylaws and Procedures Committee, and the committee members for
· The spring Plenary Session will be held on Wednesday, March 19
at 2 PM in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union. The topic is “University
Health Benefits: How Will Pitt Meet the Challenge?” The keynote
speaker will be Professor Sherman Folland, Associate Professor of Economics,
at Oakland University. Panel members include: Nick Bircher, Nat Hershey,
and Gordon MacLeod.
· The Senate Budget Policies Committee met on January 24 and 31
to prepare a response to the report of the PBS Evaluation Committee chaired
by Professor Holland.
· The University has a new Web site. It can be viewed at www.pitt.edu/univsenate.
· The review of deans and chairs is moving along.
· Faculty Assembly met on January 28 and heard a health benefits
report. It also passed a resolution related to same-sex benefits at that
meeting. The resolution was presented by the Senate Anti-discriminatory
Policies Committee, chaired by Richard Tobias. It reads:
RESOLVED: Faculty Assembly asks the administration to instruct
University attorneys to withdraw the part of the brief, pp. 21-24, that
attacks the validity of the Human Rights Ordinance of 1990.
This resolution applies only to these pages and not the brief as a whole.
6. Report of Student Members of Senate Council
Student Government Board
Mr. Washo said that the SGB was working on next year’s “Arrival
Survival.” They want to involve 500 students versus 450 last year.
Student government leaders from the various Pitt campuses had a good meeting
in Johnstown recently. Issues included the desire for a fall break and
rising tuition costs. It was the first such meeting in four years. SGB
is working on the allocation of space in the William Pitt Union and is
thinking of holding a student activities fair to attract more student
organizations on campus. Mike Dawida spoke to them on how to do lobbying.
Ms. Costigan announced that the CGS students raised money in December
through the Angel Tree Network. At the end of February they will have
a CGS excellence reception where they will give out scholarships and honor
Graduate and Professional Students Association
Ms. Langton reported that her organization has been busy since the last
meeting. Graduate students have been having problems with student aid,
and her organization has been working with Vice Provost Baranger and GPARC
(the Graduate and Professional Schools Admissions and Recruitment Committee)
to resolve it. They are doing a survey of graduate students that will
go out shortly and they will do a general, broader survey later. She announced
that GPSA would have a cocktail party later in the evening. The School
of Education has an electronic journal, which they encourage students
to publish in. The Schools of Social Work and Information Sciences have
active student governments again. Another problem they are having is the
new computer system. There are problems logging on and also in transferring
information from the old to the new system.
Mr. Soulakis distributed a written report on his group’s activities.
On January 14th, several student government representatives met to discuss
attitudes and issues affecting Health Science students on campus. Issues
raised included: fitness—not all fitness facilities are open to
graduate students; parking—the new Sennott Square parking is very
expensive; computing—students are generally pleased with the Site
Licensing Services, but are disappointed that they cannot use their printing
quota at Falk; safety—students have the perception that Schenley
Park, the stairs from Panther Hollow and the Robinson extension are not
Questions and Answers
· Professor Cassing said Pitt has a good safety record.
· Professor Bircher noted that there are no outdoor facilities
such as a track for students.
· Chancellor Nordenberg explained that as part of the approval
process for Sennott Square the University agreed that the first floor
would be for commercial establishments. They had to agree to provide short-term
parking, which explains the high rates for long-term parking.
· Provost Maher clarified that some of the fitness centers discussed
are for particular dormitories. Only students who live in the dormitories
can use them and they do not have shower facilities and the like.
SCHOOLS OF THE PROFESSIONS
Mr. Amoe reported that the meeting described in Mr. Soukalis’s report
was due to the strong leadership of Livia Langton. She has done an excellent
job of reaching out and involving all graduate students groups. She put
together two meetings for the graduate students organizations and got
them talking about issues. They are now looking at suggestion that all
GSOs revise their bylaws to have their vice president serve as representative
to GPSA. He observed that many of the services that make Pitt attractive
to undergraduates are not as accessible or known to graduate students.
They need to have a packet of information for all graduates students regarding
Pitt services such as health services.
Questions and answers
Chancellor Nordenberg noted that the level of services to undergraduates
has moved ahead. It used to be that graduate students had the better services.
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Mr. Tarpley reported that at his organization’s last meeting they
discussed the electronic publication of theses and dissertations. Their
reaction is generally favorable but some students are concerned that it
may become compulsory. They are very concerned about changes in immigration
policy. Immigration interviews sound like harassment, particularly of
male students from certain countries.
7. Report of the President of the Staff Association Council, Ms. Barbara
Mr. Colwell reported for Ms. Mowery. Staff officers met with the Chancellor
and other senior administrators last week. SAC members are on the Medical
Advisory Committee. He also thanked the Chancellor for the awards to staff.
8. Reports by and Announcements of Standing and Special Committee of
There were none.
9. New Business—There was no new business.
· Professor Cassing announced that the next Faculty Assembly meeting
would be February 25, the next Senate Council meeting would be March 10,
and the Plenary Session would be March 19 at 2 PM.
· Professor Root announced the blue ribbon Commission on Academic
Integrity, chaired by Dean Cooper, would hold an open meeting on February
10 from 4 to 5 in 2P56 Posvar Hall. Anyone wishing to make a statement
should contact Linda Wykoff in the Provost’s office.
11. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 PM.
Josephine E. Olson, Secretary