The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy, and it is one of the oldest institutions of the United States. 'Pitt' ranks in the top 10 percent in teaching, the top 20 percent in research in the 2016 edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of the world's top 800 universities.
Pitt's Department of Linguistics has an international reputation and is particularly strong in the areas of second language acquisition, applied linguistics, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and sociolinguistics. The Department is also home to the English Language Institute, Robert Henderson Languaguage Media Center, and the Less-Commonly Taught Languages Centre. Karen Park, Assistant Professor in Linguistics, is a Co-I for Strand 2, Creating a Meaningful World: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth.