Pitt to fund up to $250k in sexual misconduct prevention projects


Provost Cudd makes a surprise appearance

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor

Pitt announced Wednesday that it is making up to $250,000 available for faculty and staff to support “innovative solutions” for preventing sexual misconduct on campus.

The special cycle of Pitt Seed funding is part of a community-driven response to address sexual misconduct at Pitt, spurred by the Oct. 15 release of a survey analyzing sexual assault and misconduct on 33 university campuses.

After the survey’s release, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher wrote in a campus-wide email that its results show that Pitt’s current efforts to prevent these actions are “insufficient.”

“Our goal is — and always will be — to eradicate sexual assault and misconduct on campus and ensure that everyone feels safe, respected and supported as members of our university community,” Gallagher said. “There is simply no other acceptable option — and no other vision for Pitt worth working toward.”

University officials said the funding can be used for projects focused on prevention education, integrating prevention education with academic programs, improving relevant processes and communications, as well as developing community partnerships. The program will fund a total of five projects by January 2020, with applicants able to request up to $50,000 for a single project by Nov. 27 at 12 p.m.

With the funding, Provost Ann Cudd said Pitt is taking a step toward addressing any sexual misconduct on campus.

“As a University, we have the perfect opportunity to leverage our best thoughts to lead important work that will address one of the most significant and pressing issues, not only on college campuses but in broader society,” Cudd said. “I look forward to seeing the transformative efforts and ideas that will emerge.”

The University said it will announce grants administered by student government boards in the coming weeks.