Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
November 7, 2011

Public Library Funding Subject of Debate at Pitt Nov. 7

Pitt’s Department of Communication in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences will host an international public debate featuring the William Pitt Debating Union (WPDU), members of the British National Debating Team, and local guest experts from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 7 in Pitt’s University Club Ballroom.

The debate is timed to precede the Nov. 8 citywide election in which a referendum on the ballot proposes a property tax increase to create a source of funding for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Six distinguished speakers will address the pros and cons of the property tax increase. The WPDU is a Pitt student organization involved in a wide range of debating activities, including two-person intercollegiate policy debate, international parliamentary debate, and various forms of public debate.

The American Forensic Association and English Speaking Union are cosponsoring the British tour. The Pitt debate is free and open to the public, and audience questions are encouraged; refreshments will be provided.

The debate will be broadcast via a live feed at

For more information, contact WPDU Program Administrator Lauri Freund at or 412-624-2887.

—By Kerry Byrnes

Nov. 10 Senate Fall Plenary Examines Health and Wellness Partnerships

The University of Pittsburgh Senate’s Fall 2011 Plenary Session, “Community and Campus Partnerships for Health and Wellness,” will be held Thursday, Nov. 10, from noon until 3 p.m. in the William Pitt Union’s Assembly Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Michael Pinsky, University Senate president, will open the session, followed by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, who will deliver welcoming remarks. Kevin Jenkins, director of community initiatives for the Pittsburgh Foundation, will deliver the keynote address.

The plenary’s objective is to enhance the opportunities for the University and local communities to collaborate on improving the quality of life for all Pittsburgh-area residents. The event will conclude with a Showplace and Marketplace, featuring posters of current community-based participatory research and providing an opportunity to network with local organizations to identify potential areas of collaboration.

—By John Fedele

Pitt to Host The Idea Of France Conference Nov. 10-12

The University of Pittsburgh Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences will host The Idea of France (L’Idée de la France) International Conference from Nov. 10 to 12 in the Cathedral of Learning and the Holiday Inn University Center, 100 Lytton St., Oakland.

More than 75 papers will be delivered during the interdisciplinary conference that opens at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10 with Laurence Grove, French program director and director of the Centre for Emblem Studies at the University of Glasgow. His talk is titled “The Idea of France in Comics Old and New.”

For a complete list of the Pitt schools, departments, and centers that are sponsoring the conference, visit http://ideaoffrance.

—Patricia Lomando White

Pitt’s Staff Association Council to Host Fall Assembly Nov. 15

The University of Pittsburgh Staff Association Council (SAC) will host its Fall Assembly, “Effectively Using Technology in Your Job,” from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 15 in Pitt’s William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

This is the first time that the SAC Fall Assembly will hold a Technology Fair that includes workshops for Pitt staff.

“In today’s job market, it’s critical to have a technologically savvy workforce,” said Deborah L. Walker, Pitt’s student conduct officer and president of SAC, who notes that she, too, will benefit from the event. “This year’s Fall Assembly will provide an opportunity for University staff to focus on their technical skills to improve and enhance their workplace performance.”

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will give welcoming remarks, and Jinx Walton, director of Pitt’s Computing Services and Systems Development, will deliver a keynote presentation.

For a complete description of the workshops and to register, visit

—By Patricia Lomando White