Announcing the Year of Discourse and Dialogue

April 27, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that academic year 2023-24 will be the Year of Discourse and Dialogue at the University of Pittsburgh. 

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. 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.

I also want to say that 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," the Year of Emotional Well-Being blossomed into an outstanding array of diverse activity on our Pitt campuses.

Looking ahead, in a year that the University trains its attention on progressive conversation and meaningful discourse, we hope to probe the ways to harness the power of differing views and perceptions to enrich our campus community.

I am delighted that Dr. Kenyon Bonner, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and Dr. Carissa Slotterback, Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, have agreed to lead efforts around the Year of Discourse and Dialogue. Their individual and collective expertise makes them powerful voices on this critical topic—sure to engage others and certain to motivate dynamic conversations and explorations.

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. Please start thinking of ways you, your department, or your school would like to get involved. 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 Discourse and Dialogue. 



Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh