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June 24, 1999


Help sought in search for minority health center director

To members of the University community:

I am writing to inform some and update others regarding the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH). I am also requesting the assistance of the University community in generating new directions for the center so it may better fulfill its mission of addressing health needs and the causes of the continuing gaps and disparities in minority health through research, education and training, and community service.

At the direction of Senior Vice Chancellor Dr. Arthur Levine, CMH has been designated as the lead entity within the Schools of the Health Sciences to coordinate the academic/research activities of members of the faculty and students who deal with issues of relevance to CMH.

To achieve CMH becoming a center of excellence, with resources from the senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences and this school, we are recruiting for a nationally renowned individual to serve as director of CMH. The individual selected must qualify for a tenured or tenure stream professorship or associate professorship in one or more of the departments of GSPH. He or she must have a demonstrated record of research/scholarship along with experience in course development, teaching and training and mentoring of graduate students with relevance to minority health. She or he must also be able to work cooperatively in broad-based and multi-disciplinary endeavors through linkages between GSPH, University and external professionals, and community representatives. A proven track record in developing and obtaining private and public resources is essential.

The director will report directly to the dean of GSPH. The center will have a small support staff. However, it is expected that much of its academic mission will be centered around the activities of faculty who are already engaged primarily in issues of minority health (who will be offered full CMH membership) as well as faculty whose research partially/occasionally deals with such matters (who will be offered associate CMH membership). It is hoped that CMH will serve as a catalyst to further such endeavors as well as to entice others to extend their areas of interest to include studies of relevance to minority health issues. We welcome any assistance in identifying individuals who are addressing the various aspects of minority health in research, education and training, and community service.

An advertisement for the directorship of CMH appeared in the May 27 issue of the University Times and may be found at along with more information about CMH. The goal is to fill the position by Sept. 1, 1999, but applications may be submitted until the position is filled. While this is to be a full-fledged national search, we must not overlook anyone who meets the selection criteria and that includes existing University faculty. Any suggestions or referrals you may make for internal and external candidates will be appreciated and fully considered.

Should you have any questions about the CMH, please feel free to communicate with Dr. Edgar N. Duncan, interim director of CMH (phone 383-9774, fax 624-8679, e-mail I very much look forward to your support in this major undertaking.

Herbert S. Rosenkranz

Interim Dean

Graduate School of Public Health


Is SAC really representative of Pitt staff?

To the editor:

I just finished serving a two-year term as a member of the Staff Association Council (SAC). I joined this organization to have a broader view of the University and to see what SAC is really about. From this experience, I have seen many staff members dedicate their time and their talents.

When SAC was formed, all divisions of the University's staff were to be elected. Because of low interest, it has become very top heavy, representing only a few divisions. This is because of the low interest and the necessity not to elect but to allow interested parties to automatically become members. Although these people must be commended for their commitment, does this represent a true consensus of voice for the staff community?

From this low interest, a strong core of dedicated people really run SAC. To me, this has become a very self-serving group. New voices are treated as threats, and there is a tendency to change bylaws to meet an immediate situation.

My questions are:

–How can SAC really voice the concerns of all staff?

–How can a SAC member not have a conflict of interest when he is exposed to confidential material?

–When an organization is formed and so little interest is shown and a voice becomes one of a few, is it not time to change? Down the road, a voice may be heard that truly is not the consensus of all but of a dangerous few.

Elizabeth P. Iarrapino

Internal Audit


Port Authority, drivers get high marks from frequent rider

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Daniel Hinkson's letter (June 10, 1999, University Times) regarding the Port Authority's responsiveness to customer service issues and also the quality of service provided by the PAT drivers.

I travel the Port Authority on four different vehicles every workday and I get to see many different drivers in the course of a week. As with any high volume customer service company (health insurance providers, for example), contacting them between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. is difficult. However, I've contacted PAT about a dozen times in the last few years and I have found them to be VERY responsive to my comments.

Where PAT falls short is that they do not ADVERTISE their mailing address nor do they provide an easy-access e-mail address. I simply got through one day and asked for a customer service address. I write my comments and have always gotten an appropriate response.

As for the quality of the drivers, as I said, I use PAT quite a bit and I find the vast majority to be good at their job. The ones that fall short, I report.

The drivers do what I would rather not do: fight traffic and the elements to get me to work on time. That's a tough job no matter who's doing it.

Douglas Marvin

Student Appeals Office

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