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January 20, 2011

Pitt financial, faculty productivity report posted

Inquiring minds who want to know how faculty spend their time and how Pitt spends some of its money can get a look in a recent report filed with the state Department of Education.

Pennsylvania’s public school code requires Pitt and its fellow state-related universities, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln, to provide budget and financial information as well as reports outlining faculty salaries and workload, employee pay and benefits, retirement and tuition benefit policies, travel expenses and student headcounts, class hours and degrees each year. The universities also are required to list goods and services expenditures that exceed $1,000.

The documents are known informally as the Snyder Report, although more correctly that report contains data on instructional output and faculty salary costs; the financial reports (sometimes called the Stairs Report) should be referred to as the Information Disclosure Report, according to a Joint State Government Commission staffer.

The reports, which can be found at contain a variety of facts large and small.

For instance, readers of Pitt’s fiscal year 2010 reports could find that:

• Full-time Pitt faculty collectively spent 41,644 hours a week on research during spring term 2010.

• Engineering offered 101 classroom courses (undergraduate and graduate) during summer term 2009.

• Pitt-Titusville spent $1,090 on supplies and equipment at Wal-Mart.

• Athletics paid $15,000 to Zambelli Fireworks for professional services.

• Facilities Management paid $29,361,008 in utilities expenditures to Duquesne Light Co.

However, digesting the entire submission would require patience. The main report on faculty costs and workload is 498 pages. The financial reports add another 679 pages, posted online in two parts. And that’s just Pitt’s report. Hundreds more pages of information on Penn State, Temple and Lincoln are posted as well.

The Joint State Government Commission has the job of analyzing the schools’ submissions and preparing an annual report. The summaries, which are useful in particular to education committee and appropriations committee members in the state House and Senate, are posted in the publications section at The FY10 analysis is expected to be online in February or March.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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