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April 30, 2015

Council approves Senate’s committee reorganization

Senate Council has approved the reorganization of the University Senate committees.

Echoing the actions of Faculty Assembly, Council at its April 22 meeting approved the formation of a University Senate standing committee on research, the merger of the Senate admissions and student aid committee with its student affairs committee, and the dissolution of the University Press committee. (See April 16 University Times.) The realignment takes effect May 20.

Elections for Senate standing committee members, including the new research committee, run through May 11. (See related story this issue.)

Chancellor’s report

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told Senate Council that Pitt will host a regional conference, “Handling and Investigating Title IX Complaints on College Campuses,” in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The daylong event is set for May 5 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

Pitt’s involvement demonstrates how seriously the University takes its responsibilities on the larger issue of sexual violence, Gallagher told the council. “I think it’s really important that Pitt play a leadership role in combating sexual violence,” the chancellor said. “It’s something that has no place on a college campus. It’s really counter to everything we’re trying to do. It’s also something that takes, really, everybody playing a role.”

Details are posted at Registration is required. Participation is free for Pitt faculty and staff, the chancellor said.


New efforts are underway to engage alumni, Gallagher said. Earlier this month, the University hosted a group of 15 alumni on campus, most of whom graduated within the past 15 years, for an in-depth alumni engagement weekend.

The purpose was to find out how the University can work with them and serve younger alumni who are at a key point in their careers, he said. “We’re hoping to build on this by extending similar invitations to other groups to make sure we’re providing the right kinds of experiences for all our alumni beyond the traditional forms of engagement,” the chancellor said.


Gallagher praised the establishment of a new diversity council on campus. The council, which includes 22 student organizations, was launched in March “to proactively address any issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in our student body,” he said.

“Due to recent events across the country, diversity on college campuses is at the forefront of a national discussion. Students here at Pitt have decided they don’t want to just be passively sitting on the sidelines of this. They’ve adopted a mentality of fostering inclusion and being prepared to handle or prevent problems that arise,” the chancellor said. “The council intends to act as a forum to alleviate differences between different University groups and communities and help recommend policies and procedures to the administration.

“I think this is great and I think it’s a step exactly in the right direction toward promoting diversity here at the University,” Gallagher said.

—Kimberly K. Barlow