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November 7, 2013

Anti-discriminatory policies:

New name, new mission?

The University Senate anti-discriminatory policies committee’s (ADPC) may be no more, pending a vote of Senate Council. If the committee has its way, its focus will remain, albeit under a new name and with an expanded mission.

ADPC is seeking to change its name and mission statement as part of its efforts to be more proactive, ADPC co-chair Claude Mauk told Faculty Assembly Oct. 29.

Faculty Assembly endorsed unanimously the changes in name and mission. The matter was to be presented to Senate Council yesterday, Nov. 6, after the University Times went to press.

ADPC’s new name would be the equity, inclusion and anti-discrimination advocacy committee, or EIADAC.

Members recognized that the committee typically has reacted to issues as they arose, Mauk said. The changes reflect their desire to be proactive: “Being aware of potential issues and trying to mediate them if possible before they become major issues that become problematic for the University,” he told Faculty Assembly.

Some ADPC members felt the old name seemed to anticipate negativity, Mauk said, adding, “We wanted to allow ourselves the possibility of having more positivity in the group rather than finding something negative to worry about.”

Mauk said the committee is expanding its mission but not making a major change in course.

The new name retains the anti-discrimination aspect of the committee’s ongoing mission and the term “equity and inclusion” mirrors terminology used elsewhere in the University, he said.

The committee has developed a four-fold framework for action that will utilize working groups within the committee. “We found we weren’t in possession of a very good infrastructure for being proactive,” he said. “We needed some mechanics to be able to do that.”

The first step starts with gathering data from the University community. “We want to be able to figure out what’s happening in the community to anticipate potential problems,” Mauk explained. From there, the committee will identify issues and opportunities for action. Next, it would recommend initiatives — either to address negative areas in hope of correcting problems, or to encourage positives that should be enhanced. The fourth step would bring the recommended initiatives before the Senate to be implemented by the appropriate entities.

Mauk said the committee would review outcomes, bringing the cycle full circle to the initial information-gathering step.

Details are posted in the documents section of the ADPC committee page at

Senate past-president Thomas C. Smitherman commended the committee for its efforts. “The final work is thoughtful and excellent and I know how much diplomacy and negotiation and compromise went into it,” he told Mauk. I think it’s an excellent job and an excellent outcome.”

University Senate President Michael B. Spring noted that the change “signals an effort to move to the next generation of equity and inclusion — not just to eliminate discrimination but to make sure things are as good as they can be for all of our constituent members.”

BPC report

Senate budget policies committee chair John J. Baker reported on BPC’s major activities over the past year, including its annual budget recommendation and faculty salary reports.

He also detailed the committee’s rationale underlying several points in its recent report on whether the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences proposals to suspend graduate programs in classics and German and to terminate the religious studies graduate program followed University academic planning guidelines. (See related story, this issue.)

New business

At the request of assembly member Seth Weinberg of dental medicine, who called email quotas “antiquated,” the Senate will inquire about why faculty have caps on the size of their University email accounts.

President’s report

• Spring invited comments on the Senate plant utilization and planning (PUP) committee’s recently updated mission statement.

The new mission statement, which was modified Oct. 24, is posted at

• Assembly members observed a moment of silence in memory of Barbara Shore, Distinguished Service Professor emerita and former Senate president, who died Oct. 23, 2013. (See obituary, this issue.)

• University Center for International Studies (UCIS) constituent faculty have been invited to nominate candidates for four faculty slots on the director search committee following UCIS director Lawrence Feick’s decision to step down on Aug. 1, 2014. Details, including a link to a list of faculty eligible to vote and to serve as Senate representatives on the search committee, are posted at

Spring said he and Senate members Cindy Tananis and Jerome McKinney will serve as the Senate nominating committee for the election.

Spring told the University Times on Nov. 5 that ballots had been mailed to UCIS constituent faculty and voting was expected to end early next week.

Nominees for the four slots are Nancy Condee of Slavic languages and literatures; Rebecca I. Denova of religious studies; Giuseppina Mecchia of French and Italian languages and literatures; Scott Morgenstern of political science; Josephine Olson of business; Aníbal Pérez-Liñán of political science; Gayle Rogers of English, and Andrew J. Strathern of anthropology.

• The Senate’s expanded executive committee met Oct. 14 to review the past year and plan the upcoming year, Spring reported. The Senate plenary session focus will be on higher education in the digital world. In addition, cross-committee issues, committee coverage of research concerns and public and executive sessions in committee meetings were discussed.

• Spring announced that a forum will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 19 in the O’Hara Student Center ballroom on “The Future of Our Region,” featuring Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor-elect Bill Peduto.

RSVPs are due by Nov. 8 to

• Mark Redfern, vice provost for research, is scheduled to attend the next Faculty Assembly meeting to discuss the current state and future of research at Pitt.

Spring invited assembly members to forward to him or the Senate office questions they would like Redfern and Senate appointees on research-related University committees to address in the discussion.

The meeting is set for 3 p.m. Nov. 26 in 2700 Posvar Hall.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 6

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