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Chancellor Gallagher recommends that Trustees change name of Parran Hall


On Monday, June 25, Dean Donald S. Burke shared a memo with the school community, saying

Today Chancellor Gallagher released a memorandum to the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees (Board) conveying his recommendation that the Board remove the name of Dr. Thomas Parran Jr. from the main building of the Graduate School of Public Health. This recommendation is now with the Board for their consideration and action.

The recommendation to remove Dr. Parran’s name from the building was based on a report delivered to the Chancellor by a review committee under the direction of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Members of the review committee were chosen to represent the broad interests of the University Community and followed the democratic deliberation approach to decision making. The committee report summarizes the process and community input for the decision, the points of consensus, and the recommendations.

Both Chancellor Gallagher’s memorandum and the committee report are posted on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website.

I would like to thank the committee for its diligence and commitment to a fair and inclusive process, as well as those in the Pitt Public Health community who participated in the discussion surrounding Parran Hall. Everyone at Pitt supports University’s core mission to create an inclusive, diverse and equitable environment, as well as Pitt Public Health’s mission to promote health, prevent disease and achieve health equity for everyone through excellence and leadership in education, research and service. The review committee observed that the Parran Hall naming issue has provided an opportunity for Pitt, as an educational institution, to reflect and educate on issues of ethics and race. I fully agree and look forward to our school embracing this opportunity.


The chancellor also shared the review committee's June 11 report which included the following summary recommendations: 

  1. "...the committee is satisfied that the institutional concern raised by Dr. Burke is one of the rare circumstances where a recommended name change is appropriate.... The committee recommends that Dr. Parran’s name be removed from Parran Hall. 
  2. "Further, this concern has provided an opportunity for Pitt, as an educational institution, to educate on issues of ethics and race.
  3. "The committee further recommends that the Chancellor encourage the GSPH to continue to educate about the Tuskegee study and Guatemala experiments so that some current benefit is gained in honor of those who have suffered."

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