1. President Cassing called the meeting to order at 3:03 PM.
2. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting on February 3 were approved
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 a number of positive events
despite the challenging times. Freshman applications to the Oakland
campus are up 11% from last year. Research funding was $230 million
in 1995 and is now close to $500 million. The capital campaign continues
to progress at the pace required to reach the $1 billion goal.
· The Honors Convocation was an impressive event. Chancellor
Nordenberg spoke of the speech and honorary degree given to one of the
“faculty giants,” Dr. Peter Safar, Distinguished Service
Professor of Resuscitation Medicine and a pioneer in critical care medicine.
Dr. Safar spoke of his university experience and the values of an academic
life. Chancellor Nordenberg also noted the achievement of Pitt graduates.
Three alumni were honored as distinguished alumni fellows: Kathy DeAngelis,
a pediatrician and the first woman editor of the Journal of the American
Medical Association; Robert Dowling, a surgeon who developed the artificial
heart; and Sam Hazo, first poet laureate of Pennsylvania and director
of the International Poetry Forum of Pittsburgh. Two students received
major awards. Cynthia Kinnan received the Emma Locke Award; she also
is a Marshall Scholar. Andrew Hutelmyer, a member of the SGB, received
the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Senior of the Year Award.
· The previous Thursday the Chancellor attended a “virtual
groundbreaking” for the third medical tower. The event recognized
the Scaife Foundation’s $10.8 million donation and UPMC’s
$10 million matching contribution.
· The Chancellor noted some of the challenges facing the university.
These include the fact that several weeks ago the State made its second
appropriation cut of one percent and the fact the governor has recommend
a five percent reduction in its allocation to Pitt and other State-related
universities for FY 2004. The mid year cuts over the last few years
have added up to $8.8 million and the proposed state funding for FY
2004 is $14 million below that of FY 2001. The Chancellor did not expect
a quick return to better times. He cited three examples of other problems
facing the university. 1) The Port Authority has had its State subsidy
cut and it will be looking to Pitt to raise its payment for student
and employee transportation. 2) The City of Pittsburgh faces a significant
revenue-expense gap and is to looking to Pitt for funds. The City is
very important to Pitt and we have a stake in the resolution of its
problems, but the City cannot strip schools and other institutions of
their tax-exempt status. 3) Health insurance costs will go up significantly
this year. The University faces a lot of new problems and must contend
with all of them simultaneously. The Chancellor noted that other institutions
also face serious problems. For example, Stanford has a salary freeze
and the Cleveland Clinic lost $500 billion in its endowment. Pitt has
built a level of fiscal strength over the last few years and is in a
better position to meet the hostile economic environment.
Questions and Comments
Professor Tobias congratulated the Chancellor for Pitt’s support
of the University of Michigan’s case on diversity. He asked whether
the University had withdrawn pages 21-24 of its brief in the Same Sex
Benefits Case (which attacks the validity of the City’s Human
Rights Ordinance of 1990) as requested in the January 28 resolution
of the Faculty Assembly. The Chancellor thanked Professor Tobias for
the first comment and, regarding the second matter, said that the portion
of the brief had not been dropped.
5. Report of the President of the Senate, James H. Cassing
· President Cassing observed that the Honors Convocation was
a wonderful event.
· The recent proposed Senate Bylaws changes were approved.
· At the February 24 Faculty Assembly meeting, the expedited
faculty grievance proposal was discussed. It will be reviewed by the
Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee and then will go back to Faculty
Assembly and the Senate Council.
· A resolution to the Board of Trustees regarding their decision
on salary increases for senior administrators was approved by the Faculty
Assembly and will be sent to the chairman of the Board of Trustees.
· Changes in the Faculty Medical and Family Leave Policy were
reviewed by the Benefits and Welfare Committee, which approved them.
· The Senate Elections Committee had its last meeting on February
26 and ballots will go out in April. Next year’s candidates are
Nicholas Bircher and Thomas Metzger for president, Irene Frieze and
Van Beck Hall for vice president, and Josephine Olson and Deane Root
· The Plenary Session will be held on Wednesday, March 19, at
2 PM in the Assembly Room of the William Penn Union. The topic is “University
Health Benefits: How Will Pitt Meet the Challenge?” The speaker
will be Sherman Folland, a health economist from Oakland University.
Panel members will be Nick Bircher, Nathan Hershey and Gordon MacLeod.
Chancellor Nordenberg will offer welcoming remarks.
6. Report of Student Members of Senate Council
Student Government Board
Mr. Kevin Washo, President of the SGB, reported that there will be elections
on April 10 and packets will go out on Wednesday. SGB is working on
activities to celebrate Women’s History Month. Mr. Washo congratulated
Mr. Hutelmyer on his award at Honors Convocation. Mr. Washo reported
that there were 15 student interns working for SGB and he hoped they
would continue their interest in SGB. SGB is working with the Athletic
Department for a different ticket policy for students.
Ms. Jillian Costigan reported that in February they celebrated an Excellence
in CGS event and gave awards to three faculty members and two CGS students.
Her organization is also involved in recruiting and they are working
on space allocation plans.
Graduate and Professional Students Association
Ms. Livia Langton reported that GPSA also was having elections and was
using a proxy voting system. The new officers take office on March 28
and will work with the outgoing officers in April to ensure better continuity.
GPSA is doing a financial survey of graduate students. GPSA will be
celebrating Penguin night. GPSA is helping students attend conferences;
this is in line with the idea that GPSA is educationally based, not
service based. One hundred and two grants were given for travel to conferences.
Nine supplemental grants were given to school groups with activities
that might appeal to all graduate students. GPSA is working with the
Law School for a memorial after graduation for John Carney and another
law student who passed away recently.
SCHOOLS OF THE PROFESSIONS
Mr. Chip Amoe reported on activities of various organizations within
the professional schools.
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Mr. James Tarpley reported that his organization was very concerned
about new immigration rules and their effect on graduate students. Rules
are changing very rapidly and part of INS is now in the Homeland Security
Department. They had a useful meeting with David Clubb of the Office
of International Students. They are documenting experiences of graduate
students with the former INS downtown. Tomorrow they will be allocating
funds to department activities, which might have broader appeal.
7. Report of the President of the Staff Association Council, Ms. Barbara
Ms. Mowery thanked the Chancellor for the recognition of staff at the
Honors Convocation. SAC is reviewing issues of the weather policy, salaries
and staff termination.
8. Reports by and Announcements of Standing and Special Committee
of the Senate
Budget Policies Committee, Recommendations for Amending the
Planning and Budgeting System Document, Professor Philip Wion, Chair
Professor Wion noted that the Planning and Budgeting System went into
effect ten years ago. It was evaluated five years ago and again this
past fall. After the recent evaluation report, the SBPC created a subcommittee
including administration liaisons to draft changes. These were then
taken to the full committee and then the Faculty Assembly for endorsement.
The committee is now asking Senate Council for its endorsement. Professor
Wion distributed a summary of the recommended changes, which include
changes based on the evaluation and other changes suggested by the subcommittee.
A copy of the document was e-mailed to Senate Council members and is
available in the Senate Office. Professor Wion said that the changes
should make the system more efficient, pragmatic and effective.
Changes related to the evaluation include: improvements in communication
at the university, school and department level; elimination of the requirement
that non-academic departments must have PBCs and permission for academic
units to have alternatives to PBCs with the approval of the relevant
senior vice chancellor and in consultation with the Senate President
(Prof. Wion indicated that this is one of the most significant changes);
changes in representation on UPBC allowing a Senate committee to send
a member other than just the chair; and a requirement that deans and
regional campus presidents discuss PBS activities during performance
reviews. Other changes recommended by the SBPC subcommittee include:
dropping reference to a two-year budget cycle and other timing issues;
changes in the calendar to allow more flexibility; shifts from mandates
to options; elimination of some requirements; clarification of the role
of the UPBC since many people do not appear to know what it does; and
dropping the requirement that all budget modifications be reviewed by
the UPBC. Appendices were also brought up to date.
Questions and Discussions
· Chancellor Nordenberg observed that ten years ago he and Professor
Wion and others worked on the original document. It was a good document
that put into place a good system. He has had experience with it as
a dean and as the interim provost. He said that Professor Wion deserves
a lot of credit for shepherding this document through the process and
that it is a quality piece of work.
· Mr. Colwell said that he had some questions on the document
but he had already talked to Professor Wion and they were resolved.
· Professor Pinsky called for approval.
The SBPC recommendations were approved unanimously.
Professor Cassing thanked Professors Wion and Holland (who chaired the
evaluation committee) for their good work.
9. New Business—There was no new business.
Professor Cassing announced the Plenary Session on Wednesday, March
19 at 2 PM on the subject of health benefits; the Faculty Assembly meeting
on April 1 and the Senate Council meeting on April 7.
11. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 3:58 PM.
Josephine E. Olson, Secretary