University Senate’s Fall Plenary to Focus on 21st-century Student

Issue Date: 
October 12, 2009
James V. MaherJames V. Maher

Interacting With the 21st-century Student will be the theme of the University Senate’s Fall Plenary from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 21 in the William Pitt Union’s Assembly Room.

“As academics, we divide our time between research and teaching. We are well aware of how the publishing business is changing, but we also need to think of how students are changing,” University Senate President Michael R. Pinsky wrote in an Oct. 8 invitation letter to colleagues.

Pinsky added that information technology—and students’ expectations to use it as part of their learning—is having a significant impact on the classroom, student-faculty relations, and student behavior.

Susan B. Hansen, Pitt professor of political science and vice president of the University Senate, will open the plenary, and Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will deliver welcoming remarks.

An hour-long panel discussion will address classroom behavior, professional behavior, dealing with distressed  students, and technology in the 21st century. Panelists include Mary Margret Kerr, a professor in Pitt’s School of Education; Anthony Bledsoe, a lecturer in biological sciences; James Cox, director of the University Counseling Center; and Kevin Morrison, Student Government Board president.

Students will have the opportunity to discuss the same topics during a session facilitated by Kathy Humphrey, vice provost and dean of students. James V. Maher, Pitt provost and senior vice chancellor, will deliver closing remarks.

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided, and student attendees will receive credit towards Outside the Classroom curriculum.