The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University won congratulations Monday after a survey ranked the schools' civic partnerships in the top 20 nationally.
"This honor is not taken lightly -- it's reflective of the energy we have here," said John Wilds, Pitt's associate vice chancellor of community and governmental relations. He cited the school's Center for Minority Health in East Liberty as an example of Pitt public service.
The 2009 "Saviors of Our Cities" named Pitt No. 2 and CMU No. 19 in the report by Evan S. Dobelle, president of Westfield State College in Massachusetts.
"This is a wonderful recognition for the university, and for all its faculty, students and staff, of what we put into our community," said Judy Hallinen, CMU's assistant vice provost for educational outreach. "It's one of the areas we spend a lot of time and deliberate effort on."
In a 2006 version of the survey, CMU placed 16th and Pitt, 18th. Ten criteria determined a school's ranking, including the length of time of its community involvement; money invested in the community; presence in the city, based on payroll, research and purchasing power; faculty and staff community service; and ability to sustain neighborhood initiatives.
Some Pittsburgh politicians praised the ranking, but still want money from the Oakland-based schools.
City Controller Michael Lamb said the institutions should pay a payroll preparation tax. They're exempt as nonprofit organizations.
The city levies a 0.0055-percent payroll tax on for-profit employers. …