Dear Members of the Dietrich School Community,
In light of allegations of concerns in the past and present climate of a department in our School, I want to assure you that I am actively addressing this matter and am fully committed to fostering an educational and employment environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. As the Chancellor indicated in communications to the community, the University is conducting a full investigation into the issues that were raised.
When the University reopens after winter break, my senior leadership team and I will work with faculty, staff, and students through our School Councils and department and program leadership to fashion a review of practices across the Dietrich School that will advance us further in our commitment to making the Dietrich School a welcoming, inclusive, and engaged community.
I include below the statement from Chancellor Gallagher, with further details about the steps that are being taken to investigate recent allegations and a link for reporting concerns or raising questions.
My best for a peaceful and happy winter break,
Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
December 20, 2017 Statement by Chancellor Gallagher:
Dear University Community:
As some of you may be aware, a recent blog post in Ms. Magazine alleges incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination that occurred more than 10 years ago in our Department of Communication within our School of Arts and Sciences. In light of the questions this post has raised—and the seriousness of the issue at hand—I want to take this opportunity to clearly affirm where we stand as a University and how we are responding to these allegations.
First and foremost: Our top priority and concern is the safety, security and well-being of our students and our employees. Discrimination and harassment of any kind are wholly unacceptable and run contrary to our academic mission and our values as an institution. We are working to ensure that the current culture within our Department of Communication is free from discrimination and harassment. Our Title IX Office is leading a full investigation to assess the department’s present culture and practices. In addition, we will be initiating an external review of previous claims related to the department that date back more than a decade.
Pitt is committed to promoting an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion supports this work and is home to our Title IX Office, which is dedicated to fostering a campus culture free from sexual harassment and discrimination. Any Pitt community member with concerns or questions related to sexual misconduct on campus should contact our Title IX Office at 412-648-7860, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By working together, we can ensure that our University is free from sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination.