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May 25, 1995

Faculty retirement plan to be studied

Under federal law, mandatory retirement ages for faculty have been illegal since Jan. 1, 1994. Pitt has offered a series of early retirement incentive plans to its tenured faculty since 1982.

For those two reasons and others, Pitt's administration can only guess how many professors will retire in a given year, and how those retirements will affect academic units — a vital consideration for the University's current long-range planning effort.

And faculty members themselves can find it difficult to plan for their retirements years in advance.

In an effort to remove some of the uncertainty, Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor has appointed a committee to identify the "adequacy and appropriateness" of Pitt's current faculty retirement program, to study faculty plans at other universities, and to recommend changes in the Pitt plan.

"The end of mandatory retirement for faculty has created a new environment that we must understand more fully if we are to serve the needs of our faculty and University community," O'Connor said in announcing the committee at the May 17 Senate Council meeting.

The committee is to report its findings to the Chancellor's office by Jan. 31, 1996.

The 13-member committee will be chaired by Jack Ochs of economics. Other committee members are Julian Andelman, Graduate School of Public Health; David Burgess, biological sciences; Herb Chesler, economics; Robert Dunkelman, special assistant to the chancellor and secretary of the University; Darlene Lewis, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources; Gerald Massey, director of the Center for Philosophy of Science; Kenneth Metz, dean of education; Ellen Rudy, dean of nursing; Norman Scanlon, dean of Academic Affairs at Pitt's Greensburg campus; Vijai Singh, vice provost for Faculty Affairs; Anne Weis, chairperson of history of art and architecture, and Julius Youngner, molecular genetics and biochemistry. Jeffrey Liebmann of the Provost office is staffing the committee.

In formal action at the Senate Council meeting, members endorsed a new policy on dealings between University lawyers and employees in fact-finding investigations (see page 2) and approved a plan to evaluate the University Planning and Budgeting System (PBS) this fall.

Evaluating PBS will be an ad hoc committee representing the same constituencies that have members on the University Planning and Budgeting Committee, but excluding people who served on UPBC during the period under review.

The review committee will have about as many members as the 22-member UPBC itself. "That's a little large, but as with the UPBC, it's important to have representatives of various University groups" to ensure diversity and wide representation, said Philip Wion, chairperson of the Senate budget policies committee. Wion's committee proposed the PBS evaluation procedures.

— Bruce Steele

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