Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

November 30, 2017

Senate Discusses Impacts of Tax Reform, Approves Community Engagement Classification Resolution

After lauding efforts to secure state funding for Pitt, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher cautioned those in attendance at the Nov. 15 Senate Council meeting of another challenge facing the University: federal tax reform.

The proposed legislation, he said, would have a negative impact on higher education, both on students and also on the institutions. According to Gallagher, colleges and universities would see their nonprofit status shrink and their operating costs expand.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are circulating different bills, said Gallagher, who was in Washington, D.C., Nov. 14. He added that both bodies are trying to reconcile their legislation.

“We do need to watch this and, I think, make sure we’re heard,” he said.

Amber Griffith, president of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Organization (GSO), raised the concern of other graduate students who wonder if Pitt has a contingency plan in the event the legislation is approved.

“Vice Provost [for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives] Nathan Urban is actually quite engaged and looking at how we can position it so that the graduate students are least damaged by the change to the tuition tax situation,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson.

The University community can read more about the extent of the potential legislation’s impact and share feedback with lawmakers by visiting

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Resolution Approved

The Senate passed a resolution to consider applying for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The resolution was proposed by the Senate community relations committee.

According to the resolution, the Carnegie classification “would demonstrate our commitment to making community engagement a center of excellence at our university for integrating our service mission with our missions of teaching and research.”

Pitt’s present reporting capacity will ease the process of measuring the University’s efforts in community engagement, such as PittServes and the Community Engagement Centers, said Tracy Soska, committee co-chair and a faculty member in the School of Social Work.

Beeson asked Soska if the resolution applied to all campuses or just the Pittsburgh campus. Soska clarified that the resolution was meant for the Pittsburgh campus. Beeson suggested possibly considering the regional campuses as part of the application process.

Senate Praises Beeson

During his report, Gallagher praised Beeson, who announced Nov. 7 that she would step down from her administrative role and return to Pitt’s economics faculty.

“For many faculty who consider administrative work a trip to the ‘dark side,’ you’ve been on the dark side a long time, Patty, but working with a passion and love for this university that is palpable and genuine,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by student leaders and Senate President Frank Wilson, who highlighted their ability to compromise on issues.

“I look forward to the day,” he said, “when we can argue as economist versus sociologist.”


Katie Fike,, 412-624-1085


Filed under: Feature,Volume 50 Issue 8

Leave a Reply