Discourse and Dialogue will be theme for 2023-24

The next Year of … theme will be Discourse and Dialogue, Provost Ann Cudd announced on April 27.

Kenyon Bonner, vice provost for student affairs, and Carissa Slotterback, dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, will lead efforts around the Year of Discourse and Dialogue. 

The selection of the theme follows the recent protests surrounding three events on campus featuring conservative speakers and anti-transgender rhetoric.

“We hope to probe the ways to harness the power of differing views and perceptions to enrich our campus community,” Cudd said in her announcement.

“Higher education as a whole has been at a forefront of engagement around respecting divergent viewpoints — and the right for various viewpoints to find opportunities for expression,” Cudd said. “As a public university, we must and do uphold the principles of protected speech and expression. That is a tradition and an expectation as old as the University itself — and it lies at the heart of free and open inquiry and academic discourse. Let us continue to travel along this critically important path together as a community of learners.”

Cudd also said the current Year of Emotional Well-Being has been a great success, with projects like “Don’t Be Lonely at Work,” “Joy Is an Act of Resistance,” “The Mental Health Champion Certificate” and “Writing and Healing Arts: Stories Can Make Us Whole.”

As in previous years, a committee of faculty, staff, and students will be formed to coordinate the Year of Discourse and Dialogue. More information and a website will be forthcoming. As in years past, the Office of the Provost will provide matching funds to support events and projects related to the theme.

Pitt’s “Year of …”

The “Year Of” initiative, started by Provost Patricia Beeson and continued by her successor Ann Cudd, focuses attention on one area related to the University for the course of the school year. Programs started during past years have continued and grown.

2022-23: Emotional Well-Being

2021-22: Data & Society

2020-21: Engagement

2019-20: Creativity

2018-19: Pitt Global

2017-18: Healthy U

2016-17: Diversity

2015-16: Humanities

2014-15: Sustainability