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Archive for the ‘Senate Matters’ Category


Thursday, February 4th, 2010

UNIVERSITY SENATE MATTERS/Gordon R. Mitchell Disseminating research Release of the University Senate library committee’s report on last spring’s plenary session, “Scholarly Publishing Today and Tomorrow,” refocuses attention on what keynote speaker David Shulenberger called a “crisis in the distribution of research.” Disintegration of the financial models for publishing and distributing academic research, systematic erosion of […]

University Senate Matters >

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Outreach Most of the work of the University Senate is done in committees, and most of these committees focus on matters pertaining to the University community: budget policies, benefits and welfare, student affairs, educational policies, plant utilization and planning, etc. Future Senate Matters columns will feature reports and comments on the activities of these committees. […]

Senate Matters >

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Finding common ground and shared governance in crisis We are living in a remarkable time. The juxtaposition of contrasting realities reflects amazing social/economic/technological disequilibriums. While medical science has made wondrous strides, the United States has an infant mortality rate equal to many developing countries and fully one-fifth of the U.S. population does not have access […]


Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s June 26 budget proposal would reduce Pitt’s fiscal year 2010 commonwealth appropriation by $31 million over FY09’s appropriation if it is enacted ($11.35 million from a 6 percent reduction in FY09 and $20.5 million in additional cuts). A cut that large would have serious consequences. To make up the lost revenue, […]


Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Imagine you are a full-time doctoral student and new mother, committed to continuing both your studies and breastfeeding. Since you share an office with someone else, you ask your department chair to help identify a space where you can pump. The department chair refers you to a location across campus that is not feasible for […]


Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The Senate community relations committee has helped to sponsor University Senate plenary sessions examining service in our University mission and promoting the scholarship of our community engagement. These campus-wide discussions have led to greater recognition of service in faculty work. Pitt faculty have begun to incorporate a wide variety of service-learning approaches in their courses: […]


Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The University administration has refused to release publicly last year’s annual revenue and cost attribution study, and is questioning the utility of the study (March 5 University Times). The study attributes annual revenues and expenses for each of the University’s major responsibility centers. The Senate budget policies committee (BPC) disagrees with this decision because it […]


Thursday, February 19th, 2009

A large-scale, well developed and functioning system for scholarly publication is something that many of us take for granted. We worry more about the content of our research than about the means of dissemination. But because this system is in a period of turmoil and change, it is a good time to consider recent trends […]


Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

A recent article in Perspectives on Politics was provocatively titled “Gender Equity in Academia: Bad News From the Trenches. …” Based on a National Science Foundation study of female faculty at the University of California-Irvine, it reported on a number of difficulties faced by women there and, ostensibly, elsewhere. Several of the problems related to […]


Thursday, November 6th, 2008

By now everyone is aware of the tight budget news at Pitt and other Pennsylvania state universities (see Oct. 9 University Times). The commonwealth faces a budget shortfall this year, so Pitt’s current appropriation may be cut by 4.25 percent (a loss of $7.25 million). Since this funding cut is likely to occur, Pitt’s administration […]