University of Pittsburgh
Senate Council Meeting
Minutes of November 11, 2002
1. President Cassing called the meeting to order at 3:01 PM.
2. The minutes of the Senate Council meeting on October 7, 2002 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 some recent examples of high performance
of faculty at the University.
· Drs. Karen Matthews and James Roberts were two of the 75 people
elected to the Institute of Medicine.
· Dr. Freddie H. Fu received the Chinese Hospital Annual Award
from the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco.
· Professor Graham Hatfull of the Department of Biological Sciences
was selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as one of its 20 “Million
Dollar Professors” to create inventive science education programs.
· Professor Rory Cooper won the Olin E. Teague Award granted to
a VA employee, or employees working as a team, whose achievements benefit
· Professor Eric Beckman won the Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
Chancellor Nordenberg observed that these awards reflect the kind of achievement
that distinguishes the very best universities. He also announced awards
to teams of researchers.
· A team of researchers centered around chemistry won a $9.6 million
grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National
Institutes of Health to create a national Center of Excellence in Chemical
Methodologies and Library Development.
· LRDC received a $35 million National Science Foundation grant
to co-manage a five-year NSF-funded project to reform math and science
· School of Medicine and Magee-Women’s Research Institute
received a $2.2 million NIH grant to expand women’s health research
· The Supercomputer Center will share with two other national centers
a $35 million NSF award to create a new technological infrastructure that
will harness the nation’s most powerful supercomputing center for
open research into a seamless grid.
The Chancellor noted the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Johnstown
Campus, the 30th year of Women’s Studies, Homecoming Weekend, and
the annual Jazz Seminar.
The Chancellor also announced the appointment of Jack Daniel as Vice Provost
for Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Students as part of an effort to
better align academic and student life.
5. Report of the President of the Senate, James H. Cassing
· President Cassing reported that the Senate Officers met with
Mr. William Dietrich, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for a frank discussion.
He hopes to institutionalize these meetings. He suggested that it might
be useful to have annual meetings with the officers of the Staff Association
Council and officers of the various student governments.
· The officers have received a draft of an expedited grievance
procedure from the General Counsel and it is being reviewed by members
of the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee as well as the Senate Officers.
· A Senate plenary session will be held in the spring. Topics are
being considered. One might be how the University should deal with financial
· A review of the planning and budget process is underway and Professor
Holland will report on it at the November 26 Faculty Assembly meeting.
· Nancy Brown, Editor of the University Times, would like faculty
to know that the newspaper can be accessed on-line. Professor Cassing
commented that the University Times is a very important method of communication
for the University.
· President Cassing said the Senate would become involved with
other universities with the goal to strengthen faculty leadership on intercollegiate
athletics and to open up faculty discussion for long-term athletics reform.
· A Harvard survey on governance in higher education is now available
on the web at ksg.harvard.edu/2001survey. Pitt participated in this survey.
· Professor Cassing observed the importance of Veterans’
Questions and Answers
· Professor Hershey noted that the governance report also covers
interaction of students, staff and the Board of Trustees. It should be
6. Report of Student Members of Senate Council
Student Government Board
Ms. Culliton reported that the SGB worked to get students out to vote.
About 500 voted at Soldiers and Sailors. Next week the SGB will meet with
students from Penn State regarding Commonwealth budget cuts. They are
working with Dr. Daniel on a forum for campus safety. Once the Board is
formed, SGB will survey students on their concerns.
Ms. Costigan announced that CGS volunteers raised $15,000 for Mothers
Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She attended the meeting of the Student
Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees and also the meeting of the
Board of Visitors of CGS. “Friends and Family Day” was held
the previous Saturday. There will be a CGS networking event in December.
The CGS Cabinet and the Safety Committee will hold a Women’s Issues
Forum on the next Saturday.
Graduate and Professional Students Association
SCHOOLS OF THE PROFESSIONS
Mr. Amoe announced that Diversity Week was being held in the Law School.
Seminars are being held on topics such as same-sex adoption, medical privacy,
and joint security related to the Korean conflict. Mr. Amoe commented
that he thought a meeting between student leaders and Senate officers
was a good idea.
Ms. Langton reported the memorial for John Carney, a deceased law student,
will be now be held in the spring at the Law School graduation. The GPSA
held a soccer game recently despite the rain. Their annual party will
be held at the Attic on Friday. GPSA is having a raffle for free tickets
to the Chamber Music Society concert to be held on November 25. They will
also have free tickets for the symphony later in the year. They are developing
a website for their organization.
Ms. Miller reported that her organization is working with the Health Sciences
programs to improve recruiting and increase the number of higher-quality
student applications. Outside universities are looking at our research
programs related to the usage of computers at Pitt and the simulation
centers at the Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Ms. Miller said this was
her last meeting and she would be replaced by Beth Holmes of the School
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Mr. Tarpley reported that he was retained as President of his organization
for another year. He thanked the Provost for the help that Ms. Sparks
of the Provost’s Office provided regarding health insurance applications.
7. Report of the President of the Staff Association Council, Ms. Barbara
Ms. Mowery reported that the staff workshop on the topic “Who Moved
My Cheese” attracted about 150 people. On December 4, Human Resources
will hold staff recognition day. They are working with the Provost’s
Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns to develop five staff awards
in addition to the Chancellor’s awards. Book awards for staff children
will be made in December. On December 3, the Staff Craft Show will be
held in the William Pitt Union.
8. Reports by and Announcements of Standing and Special Committee
of the Senate
Bylaws and Procedures Committee
Professor Beatrous, Chair of the Committee, said that his committee was
recommending a change in the way bylaws are revised. He explained the
present manner for revising bylaws, which requires a mailing to all Senate
members and a 15% response rate, is expensive and, because many of the
changes are small and technical, it is difficult to get 15% or more of
Senate members to reply. The new procedure would eliminate a Senate-wide
vote unless Faculty Assembly or Senate Council requests it or unless 50
Senate members petition for such a vote. His committee’s amendment
to Article VII, which was approved by the Faculty Assembly, reads as follows
(the entire report is available in the Senate Office):
(4) If the proposal is approved by both the Faculty Assembly and the
it shall then be circulated to the membership.
the proposed changes shall be published on the Senate Web Site.
The Senate Officers will inform the Senate membership of the location
of the proposed change(s). The Senate Officers may include explanatory
material with the ballot, and Senate members may include brief
position papers discussing the proposed changes. The changes shall
become effective 45 days after publication unless Faculty Assembly or
Senate Council recommends a mail ballot or the Senate Office receives
a petition signed by at least 50 members of the Senate requesting a vote
of the full membership. If a majority of the members voting,
and at least fifteen percent of those eligible to vote, approves the changes,
the proposal for Bylaw change becomes effective.
(5) If a vote of the full membership is required [see (4)], the
Senate Office will distribute ballots to the full Senate membership. The
amendment shall become effective immediately if approved by a majority
of the ballots returned within three weeks from the mailing date.
Section 2. Effective Date: An amendment which is passed shall take
effect ten days after the ballots have been tabulated, as determined by
the Executive Committee.
Questions and Answers
· Mr. Amoe raised the question of how Senate members would be notified
when a proposed amendment was on the website. Professors Beatrous and
Cassing said that the notification method is still being determined, but
a method would be developed.
The above amendment was approved by the Senate Council.
9. New Business—There was no new business.
Professor Cassing announced that a Teaching Excellence Day would be held
on Friday, November 15, from 9AM to 1PM in Alumni Hall. Provost Maher
noted a couple of reasons why faculty might want to attend this program.
Faculty who won small grants for teaching innovations will be there to
discuss their new ways to approach teaching. CIDDE will also show the
ways they can help faculty with their teaching.
Professor Manfredi said that he has been taking a course offered by the
Katz School on Academic Entrepreneurship, which deals with technology
transfer, patents and the like. He would like to get faculty input on
the topic and asked what the appropriate committee was to discuss the
issue and provide faculty input to the administration. Professor Pinsky
said he took the course when it was first offered. He also attended a
symposium on how technology transfer in the Medical School can be capitalized
on and thought it would be useful to the rest of the University. He also
mentioned that the new NIH federal law allows patents developed with federal
money to be kept within a university. This is a win-win situation for
faculty and the university. Professor Cassing recommended that Professors
Manfredi and Pinsky work with the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee.
Professor Metzger reminded everyone that the initiative for Teaching
Excellence had come from the Educational Policies Committee of the Senate.
11. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 3:52 PM.
Josephine E. Olson, Secretary