Office of the Provost

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2021–2022 academic year! As the fall semester gets underway, our calendars are already filling up with events and opportunities for University of Pittsburgh faculty to participate in together. We’d like to share a few of those with you here, along with some reminders about ongoing initiatives, funding and recognition deadlines, and existing health and safety protocols.

Fall 2021 COVID Protocols

First, we want to stress the importance of following all the health guidance and mitigation protocols to keep our campuses and classrooms safe and remind you that it is imperative that you either upload proof of vaccination or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Those who do not adhere to these requirements will lose access to classrooms and campus buildings.

The health and safety of our University community depend upon everyone following all health and safety rules.

New Family Care Benefits

The Office of Human Resources recently announced a new partnership with This affiliation provides access to a network of providers to assist with after-school care, caring for a child who is home sick, caring for children while you are working from home, caring for aging parents and more. More information is available on the Office of Human Resources page.

Reminder: Type E Extension Deadline

If you are in your probationary period and considering applying for a Type E extension, please keep in mind that the deadline to apply is January 1, 2022.

Faculty Election: Key Dates and Information about the Process

As you know, on August 27 the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) mailed ballots to eligible voters to participate in the election to determine if Pitt’s faculty will be represented by the United Steelworkers. If you believe you are eligible to vote but have not received a ballot by mail, please contact the PLRB by emailing to request a ballot. (The list of eligible voters is attached to the election order.)

Ballots are due back to the PLRB on or before Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Ballots received by the PLRB after that date will not be counted, regardless of when they are postmarked. The ballots will be opened starting on October 19 at the offices of the PLRB in Harrisburg.

Questions on topics such as eligibility to vote, how eligibility was determined, and the election are addressed at Your Questions Answered and The Election Process.

Opportunities for Cluster Hire and Affiliated Faculty

In December 2020, Pitt’s Race and Social Determinants of Equity and Well-Being Cluster Hire and Retention Committee invited proposals from all Pitt schools and campuses related to qualified hires over the next four years. The initiative is supported by the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences, and the Institute for Clinical Research and Education.

The first class of new faculty hires affiliated with this initiative, who join us at Pitt this semester, will have an opportunity to participate in a range of activities—courses, workshops, and events—designed to build community, forward their professional development, and promote their success as faculty at Pitt.

Tentative topics and activities include the ins and outs of tenure and promotion; how to publish peer-reviewed journal articles, books and monographs; how to fund your research through internal, foundation and government grants; how to teach successfully both inside and outside the classroom; how and when to say “no” to service opportunities; and how to thrive professionally and personally in the City of Pittsburgh.

To gain maximum benefit from the programming provided, cluster affiliated faculty are expected to participate as fully as possible.

Race & ________ Initiative: Lecture Series

Race & ________ is the short-hand name of Pitt’s Race and Social Determinants of Equity, Health and Well-being Initiative. The Initiative includes the Race & Cluster and Retention Hire, the Race & Lecture Series, and other programs and activities over time. The lecture series will introduce and showcase the work of our faculty. Existing faculty members will have the opportunity to briefly introduce themselves and their work and then introduce one of the new faculty members. The new faculty member can then share their work for about 15 minutes, with 10 minutes scheduled for Q&A. Watch for more information to come!

Black Lives in Focus

If you haven’t already walked through it, don’t miss the chance to visit the Black Lives in Focus exhibit— assembled as part of the Black Lives in Focus initiative—that is installed on the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Walk between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel. The display features 21 large-scale artworks and 10 text responses that explore the richness and complexity of the Black experience in America. It runs through September 23, 2021.

Upcoming Workshops and Programs

The University Center for Teaching and Learning has a full slate of workshops and events on a variety of important and practical topics scheduled for the months ahead. Explore the opportunities!

Also, the Office of the Provost is hosting a faculty development workshop series on Academic and Faculty Leadership. Mark your calendars for these upcoming sessions: “Who Does What in Academic Administration at Pitt?” Oct. 12; “For Your Consideration: Academic and Faculty Leadership,” Nov. 9; and “The Paths from Professor to Provost: A Conversation with Provost Ann E. Cudd,” Dec. 7. Learn more at Faculty Workshops.

Year of Data and Society

Each academic year, the Office of the Provost identifies a theme that unites the University of Pittsburgh community. This year has been tagged as the Year of Data and Society. Faculty are invited to submit proposals for new programs, events, educational materials, research projects, creative works, and other opportunities tied to this theme and to receive up to $8,000 in support. The first of three deadlines for proposals is fast approaching: Applications for the first round of funding are due by noon on Oct. 1.

Faculty Awards Nominations Due

Nominations are being accepted for several awards recognizing faculty: the 2022 Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards with categories for outstanding public service contributions, scholarly accomplishments, teaching excellence categories; the 2022 Provost's Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring for exceptional mentoring of graduate students seeking a research doctorate; and the Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum for efforts to integrate diversity and inclusion concepts into courses and curricula at Pitt. The closing date for letters of nomination for all five awards is Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. 

In the coming days and weeks, please feel free to reach out to us at We look forward to connecting with you.

Best wishes,

Lu-in Wang
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs  

John Wallace
Vice Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity