University of Pittsburgh
Senate Council Meeting
Minutes of April 7, 2003
1. President Cassing called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.
2. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting on March 10 were approved
3. President Cassing asked for new items of business for the meeting.
There were none.
4. Report of the Chancellor, Mark A. Nordenberg:
In the absence of the Chancellor, Provost Maher presented the report.
· He asked for a moment of silence in memory of Robert Lee (Rob)
Penny, associate professor of Africana Studies and playwright-in-residence
at Kuntu Repertory Theatre. Penny died March 16 of a heart attack; he
· Julian Bond, civil rights activist and chair of the NAACP,
delivered the inaugural lecture of the University's Center on Race and
Social Problems on March 26 at Alumni Hall. Bond's appearance was to
highlight the work of the Center, established earlier this academic
year to conduct scholarly research on race and its influence on quality
of life for Americans of the 21st Century.
· Ford Motor Company is partnering with the university to establish
the Ford Institute for Human Security. Directed by Professor Simon Reich
of GSPIA, the institute is located within the Matthew B. Ridgway Center
for International Security Studies, a joint center of GSPIA and UCIS.
The new institute is to address a broad set of challenges to human freedoms
and international security.
· The book version of US News and World Report's latest rankings
(America's Best Graduate Schools) was just released: The School of Law
was ranked 51st in the top 100 law schools. The Katz Graduate School
of Business is now ranked 50th (after dropping from the rankings last
year). The School of Nursing tied for 10th. (Nursing-Anesthesia, a specialty
not previously ranked by the magazine, tied for 6th in the country.)
The School of Engineering moved up to #52. School of Education continues
to be in the top 50.
· Trustee Dick Thornburgh and his wife, Ginny, (recent recipients
of the Henry B. Betts Award from the American Association of People
with Disabilities) have donated a $50,000 prize to the university to
establish the Thornburgh Family Lecture Series in Disability Law and
Policy (School of Law, SHRS, and in conjunction with the University
Library System's Dick Thornburgh Archival Collection). Law, SHRS, and
the Chancellor's Office will contribute funds to match the award, creating
a $100,000 endowment.
· Six university professors will be honored April 30th at the
7th annual Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence 2003. Category
winners are Joseph J. Grabowski, associate professor in the chemistry
department (University/Post-Secondary Education Award); Ronald B. Herberman,
director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and associate
vice chancellor (Biomedical Award); and Alan Russell, founding director
of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, executive director
of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, and professor of surgery
and chemical and petroleum engineering at the School of Engineering
(Catalyst Award). Honorable mention awards will go to John Mellors,
chief of infectious diseases and professor of medicine, pathology, and
infectious diseases and microbiology in the School of Medicine (Biomedical
category); Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences
and dean of the School of Medicine, and Margaret "Maggie"
McDonald, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for the health
sciences (Levine and McDonald both in Catalyst category).
· Pitt epidemiologist Lewis H. Kuller was honored with Festschrift
on March 28 and 29, celebrating three decades of contributions to the
understanding and prevention of chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular.
· Office of Public Affairs recently received 11 awards at the
2002 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District II
ceremony. The awards were given for work done in Pitt Magazine, Pitt
Med, Pitt Chronicle, and various materials produced by University Marketing
· GSPIA recently opened a Graduate Center for Public Policy and
Management in Skopje, Macedonia, after a decade of joint planning with
university, government, and business leaders in the US and Macedonia.
· The Charity Randall Theatre opened April 4th, following a $2
million renovation project made possible through the Charity Randall
Foundation. This is first comprehensive reconstruction of the Stephen
Foster Memorial Auditorium since it opened in 1937.
· Julie d'Itri, associate professor of chemical and petroleum
engineering, has received a Fulbright Award to teach and study at the
Shuit Institute of Catalysis at Eindhoven University of Niemantsverdeit
in the Netherlands this fall.
· University Library System has established the Archive of European
Integration (AEI), an e-print repository for literature related to integration
in Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. The AEI will make publicly
available policy, working, and conference papers pertaining to some
aspect of European integration. This is the second discipline-based
e-print archive at ULS (the Philosophy of Science archive was launched
in 2001). AEI is hosted by ULS and cosponsored by the European Union
Studies Association and the Center for West European Studies and European
· Pitt men's basketball team won the Big East Championship this
year and, for the second year in a row, made it to the "Sweet 16"
round of the NCAA championships (losing there to Marquette). The team's
overall record was 28-5.
· The university has been working all year on health insurance
renewal. A lot has happened in the five years during which the university
had not had a premium increase. The increase for this year was expected
to be 65 to 70 percent if no changes were made. Various committees have
been working very hard to try to maintain the same coverage and the
plan to be announced next week represents a good renewal in terms of
coverage. Mr. Cochran, who worked with the Senate Benefits and Welfare
Committee, UPBC, and a special medical advisory committee, led the effort.
It was hard to provide information on the new plan early because negotiations
went on with intensity until the end. In a couple of weeks the Human
Resource office will mail out information on the options. There will
be “sticker shock” but it represents as good a deal as anyone
can get and is attractive compared to the norm.
Questions and Comments
Professor Hershey questioned whether there had been no increases in
five years. Mr. Cochran replied that there had been no increases in
amounts paid by employees for five years although costs to the University
Professor Cassing said this was a very important issue and the Senate
and the UPBC participated in part of the process.
Mr. Colwell asked when the numbers would become public. Provost Maher
said the information would be mailed on April 15.
5. Report of the President of the Senate, James H. Cassing
· Professor Cassing said that every year we recognize someone
for outstanding service to the Senate. He consulted with many Senate
members and it was clear that the choice for this year is Nathan Hershey.
President Cassing then presented a plaque to Professor Hershey which
read “For outstanding contributions to the University of Pittsburgh
through service in the University Senate: Professor Nathan Hershey,
· Ballots for Senate Officers and Faculty Assembly are out and
are due April 21. Results will be announced in early May.
· The Plenary Session was held on March 19 on the issue of health
benefits. The speaker was Professor Sherman Folland and the panel members
were Professors Bircher, Hershey and MacLeod. Professor Cassing thanked
the Chancellor for participating and observed that these sessions are
an opportunity to get issues out.
· There is now an email hookup or listserv for university senate
presidents at the AAU universities. It is funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies
and may be a useful way of getting information from other senates.
· At its meeting last week, Faculty Assembly passed a resolution
introduced by the Senate Committee on Anti-discriminatory Policies.
The motion reads: The Senate Committee on Anti-Discriminatory Policies
moves that the Faculty Assembly again urge the administration to grant
health benefits to domestic partners.
· At Tuesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting, Professor Pinsky
reported that the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee had rejected
the fast tract grievance option submitted by the Provost’s office.
The recommendation is to keep the present system, but that delays be
addressed by the Provost’s office. A set of recommendations from
TAFC will be presented at the next FA meeting for discussion. The final
recommendations will then be forwarded to the provost for his consideration.
Questions and Answers
Professor Pinsky clarified that TAFC had not made an official decision
yet. It would meet on Tuesday and make a decision then. Provost Maher
asked the committee not to give him an unrealistic proposal for deadlines.
He said faculty members want to do things right and may argue that they
need more time to do so.
6. Report of Student Members of Senate Council
Student Government Board
Mr. Hutelmeyer reported for Mr. Washo. The SGB is working on organization
budgets for next year. Elections for SGB are this week and the inauguration
of new officers will be on April 17. All candidates for president are
currently board members.
Graduate and Professional Students Association
Ms. Livia Langton reported on a number of research conferences held
by graduate students on the various schools. GPSA will hold its Appreciation
Day and inauguration of new officers later in the evening. This was
the first time GPSA used on-line elections and they went well. Two of
the new officers were Pitt undergraduates. She introduced the new president,
Paul Danczyk from GSPIA.
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Mr. Jamie Tarpley reported that his organization held a reception at
the Bossa Nova. FAS/GSO hosted the second annual Grad Expo conference,
funded by the Provost’s office, where FAS students showcased their
7. Report of the President of the Staff Association Council, Ms. Barbara
Ms. Mowery reported that SAC officers met with Dr. Dietrich, Chairman
of the Board of Trustees. It was a good meeting and they agreed to keep
open lines of communication. SAC is continuing to work on issues of
staff termination and classification. When the new health benefit options
are announced, SAC wants to make certain that staff understand all the
options. Elections of new officers will be held soon. Kennywood Day
will be August 3.
8. Reports by and Announcements of Standing and Special Committees
of the Senate
Community Relations Committee, Professor Tracy Soska, Chair
· Professor Soska said the committee wanted to give a follow-up
report since the Plenary Session in spring 2001 on “The University
in Civic Engagement: Service in the University Mission.” Four
priorities came from the Senate Plenary Report: A) Improve campus dialog
on and coordination of community service; B) Enhance discussion/inquiry
linking service in teaching and research; C) Recognize and reward service
scholarship and civic engagement; and D) Enhance service learning opportunities
· In the absence of Dr. John Wilds, Professor Soska reported
on the Community Outreach Service Database and Web Survey. He said the
Provost has asked the deans to request their faculty to post their research
and community service on an online database survey developed by the
University Center for Social and Urban Research. Faculty and Administration
will be able to access this database to see what kind of community service
is going on. It can be used to inform the state legislature on research
and service going on at Pitt, as well as helping the community access
resources and expertise at Pitt. Professor Soska added that it is web-based
and easy to update. He mentioned the development of a Nonprofit Technical
Assistance Network developing across disciplines at the university and
that the database might also capture this community service area.
· Professor Soska reported that CIDDE is strongly supporting
service learning, and they have sponsored a number of workshops on the
topic. Teaching Times also had an issue on service learning. Some Provost
Innovations in Teaching awards went to service learning projects. CIDDE’s
Board of Advisors is very interested in service learning.
· Pitt has a grant from HUD for a Community Outreach Partnership
Center (COPC) now in its third and final year. The University is trying
to institutionalize this initiative as a “center for civic engagement”,
and Pitt’s efforts to institutionalize its COPC was featured in
a recent HUD publication.
· The committee wants to explore the idea of an employee-assisted
housing program for Oak Hill, Central and South Oakland, and Hazelwood.
A new survey will be coming out shortly to survey Pitt and UPMC employees
about interest in living where they work. Developing the homeowner versus
the renter base in these neighborhoods is an important neighborhood
revitalization strategy. Soska noted that the Oakland community groups
are very supportive of the announced new on-campus student housing in
hopes of lowering the student rental density in Oakland.
· The committee is looking into the idea of a Community Portal
on Pitt’s website. This would allow the university to have more
communications with the community and make the campus community more
a part of the surrounding neighborhood. Issues such as local shopping
and business needs, as well as community activities can be exchanged
through this web-link.
· Students live in Oakland neighborhoods, including the new Oak
Hill community, but they do not act as part of the community. The committee
wants to get students more involved in their communities. One possibility
is extending President Bush’s proposal to focus Work Study programs
on community service internships through community organizations. Faculty
will be needed to mentor students in community service and internships.
Absentee landlord issues are still a problem in Oakland. Students did
a study on Pier Street and absentee landlords. Residents and students
working with the Oakland Community Council took absentee landlords to
court to force them to maintain their property and won. The committee
hopes to plan another Oakland cleanup in the fall when students return,
as was done in 2001; last fall was a real disaster with furniture and
trash throughout Oakland.
· The committee would like to have another plenary session in
2004 to celebrate service and build the dialogue in the area of “outreach
scholarship” – integrating service with teaching and research
through interdisciplinary scholarship and applied research. Making Pitt
a place that recognizes and rewards this “scholarship” as
we develop our university reputation in this growing field would be
a plenary goal.
· Professor Maureen Porter (School of Education) and Eric Hartman
(Outreach Coordinator) along with Michael Sandy (Center Director) presented
a slide show on the Amizade Global Service Learning Center. The presentation
underscored the four key recommendations of the aforementioned Senate
Plenary report and demonstrated how the Global Service Center in exemplifying
service learning that integrates service with teaching and research,
as well as in promoting multi-cultural experiences and global learning
opportunities for students in ways that enhance learning and leadership.
As the presenters noted, Pitt has become one of the leading Research
I Universities in terms of programming and scholarship in service learning
from a global perspective. Professor Porter and Mr. Hartman stressed
the resources of the Global Service-Learning Center to help faculty
develop and modify courses for service learning in the international
arena. They were concerned that student interest is outstripping faculty
involvement in this effort, and faculty involvement was strongly encouraged.
They also presented a long list of service learning classes across many
academic disciplines that are being conducted in nearly a dozen countries
Questions and Discussions
Professor Bircher asked about student outcomes and Professor Porter
replied by discussing some of the research she has done on service learning.
9. New Business—There was no new business.
Professor Cassing announced the Faculty Assembly meeting on May 6 and
the Senate Council meeting on May 12.
11. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 PM.
Josephine E. Olson, Secretary