Office of the Provost

Dear Panther Nation,

Tomorrow, November 3, 2020, is Election Day.

While many will head to the polls, many others have already voted by mail or in person at a ballot drop-off site. However you choose or have chosen to participate, your vote will help to shape our nation’s priorities and is a critical part of our democratic process. And for those who are not eligible to vote, your perspectives and contributions to our social fabric at this time are greatly valued.

As you plan for the day, please keep in mind that there is helpful information on the University of Pittsburgh Community and Governmental Relations website.

It is also essential to remember that, in the face of COVID-19, even as we participate in the election, we must work to keep each other safe as set forth in the Pitt Community Compact.

Students, I encourage you to view Dean Kenyon Bonner’s video emphasizing the importance of respect and dignity in these days.

As we think about teaching and learning on Election Day, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Lu-in Wang offered guidance here.

As well, I want to point to resources that can help us all facilitate sensitive conversations.

Without doubt, both the pandemic and the pending election can be sources of stress. We have resources in place to help as needed, including the Counseling Center for students and Life Solutions for faculty and staff.

I often reflect on the fact that ours is a country built on different—sometimes widely divergent—viewpoints and perspectives. And so it is important to remember that not everyone will share your views or have the same emotional reaction to the results of the election—and it is equally important not to assume that they will or won’t.

Now—and every day ahead— let’s recognize the dignity and voice of every person. Treat each other as you would wish to be treated. No matter how the election plays out, we will remain united around the universal values of truth, equal justice, and humanity, as we teach, learn, and grow as a University community.

Hail to Pitt!

Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor