University Senate

The purpose of the Senate is to create and maintain communication channels among students, staff, faculty, administrative officers, and the Board of Trustees for discussion and consultation on all matters affecting the welfare of the University. At least one general meeting of the Senate is held during the academic year to discuss matters of central concern to the University community and the work of the Senate bodies.

The membership of the Senate shall consist of: (1) The Chancellor of the University; (2) all persons who hold full-time academic appointments in the University of Pittsburgh or a degree-recommending unit with the titles of lecturer, senior lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor or professor; (3) all part-time tenured faculty; (4) all persons who hold full-time appointments at the University of Pittsburgh as faculty librarians; (5) those part-time untenured faculty who annually indicate to the Director of the Senate Office their desire for membership and who, during each of the two academic years previous to the desired year of membership, have taught a minimum of six credits per year for remuneration; (6) eight administrators who are members of Senate Council; (7) four additional administrators designated by the Chancellor; (8) the Deans; (9) student and staff members of Senate Council and of Senate Standing Committees; (10) those emeriti and retired faculty and librarians who were Senate members at the time of their retirement and who indicate to the Director of the Senate Office their desire to remain members; and (11) such other individuals as shall be elected by the Senate.

Senate recommendations are usually expressed through two deliberative bodies, the Senate Council and the Faculty Assembly. The Council is composed of elected faculty members (see below), the Chancellor, administrative appointees designated by the Chancellor, three staff members, and students representing various graduate and undergraduate constituencies within the University.

The Faculty Assembly is a representative forum of the faculty whose membership is established by election from across the University's several schools, divisions, and campuses, and also includes Standing Committee Chairs. The elective process for faculty provides for a three-year term for membership on the Faculty Assembly; the second and third years of the term include membership on Senate Council. The Senate Council and the Faculty Assembly meet at regularly stated times that are published in the University's Academic Calendar. Meetings of both are open to members of the University community as observers.

The Senate has three elected officers: President, Vice President, and Secretary. Each officer's term is one year. An officer can serve no more than three consecutive terms. These officers, along with the most immediate Past President and the Director of the Office of the University Senate, both of whom are non-voting, ex officio members, form the Executive Committee and are responsible for supervising the affairs of the Senate, including the setting of meeting times and agenda.

Recommendations from Senate bodies are made to the Chancellor of the University or other appropriate University officers on policy matters including (but not limited to): education; tenure; academic freedom; student affairs; physical plant (including expansions); substantive and procedural budgetary matters; health and welfare of the faculty, students, and staff; athletics; admissions; nondiscrimination; creation, termination, or merger of schools or major academic divisions; creation or termination of major administrative units; the University-wide mission and plan; and other matters of University-wide concern. It is the responsibility of the administrative officers to consult with and seek the advice of the Senate on major changes that affect the faculty in these policy areas.

Standing Committees of the Senate are: Admissions and Student Aid; Anti-discriminatory Policies; Athletics; Benefits and Welfare; Budget Policies; Bylaws and Procedures; Commonwealth Relations; Community Relations; Computer Usage; Educational Policies; Library; Plant Utilization and Planning; Student Affairs; Tenure and Academic Freedom; and University Press. Special committees may be formed by the Council and the Faculty Assembly as each body deems appropriate. Special ad hoc committees may be formed by the Senate Executive Committee, the Council, and the Assembly as each body deems appropriate.

The Office of the University Senate, 362 Cathedral of Learning, assists in coordinating the activities of the officers, the committees of the Senate, and its deliberative bodies. Further information on the organization of the Senate is available from the Office of the University Senate, telephone 412-624-6505, or visit the Website at