Academic Year 2019–2020 Will Be the Year of Creativity

April 30, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that 2019–20 will be the Year of Creativity at the University of Pittsburgh. Creativity unites all of the University’s intellectual and artistic endeavors, from neuroscience to sculpture, from legal scholarship to computer science, from music to pharmacogenomics. No single virtue better describes what humans do best than creativity. I look forward to a year devoted to encouraging the creative spark in all of us.

My first year as provost has been the Year of Pitt Global, the fifth in a series of themed years. And what a successful year this has been, as demonstrated by the showcase in Posvar Hall on April 24, which highlighted a wide range of funded projects. Throughout this year, I’ve been collecting input on whether Pitt should continue the Year of …  program or whether the idea had run its course.

Here’s what I’ve learned: There is wide-ranging and enthusiastic support for the program. Students find it exciting. Faculty and staff feel it makes Pitt unique. Having a Year of … theme serves as a rallying point, focuses team efforts, and encourages members of the Pitt community to work together across departmental and school divisions. In short, it brings the Pitt community together. For these reasons, I’m pleased to put my wholehearted support behind the program.

As in previous years, a committee of faculty, staff, and students is being formed to coordinate the Year of Creativity. I have asked Jeanne Marie Laskas, distinguished professor of English and founding director of Pitt’s Center for Creativity, and Kit Ayars, the Center for Creativity’s Director of Strategy and Partnership, to serve as co-chairs of this steering committee. More information—and a website—will be coming later. As in years past, the Provost’s office will provide matching funds (up to $5,000) to support events and projects related to creativity. Please start thinking of how you, your department, or your school would like to get involved.

I anticipate a lively year of student, faculty, and staff involvement in celebrating the human impulse to create. Please share this information with your faculty and staff and let them know to watch for more information about how to participate in the Year of Creativity


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor