February 2010 News and Notes

University News – Provost Maher  

As has been reported in the University Times, Dr. James V. Maher is stepping down as Provost. During his tenure as Provost, Dr. Maher has provided critical support to our campus by approving 23 new academic majors, six new minors and allocating more than $30 million in University funds for our building projects. Dr. Maher has approved financing for thirty-five projects for a total investment of more than $71 million in Pitt-Bradford’s campus since 1994. Our campus honored Dr. Maher during the annual spring retreat of the Advisory Board on February 22 by presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Distinction.

New Hires and Upcoming Searches  

As we emerge from the hiring freeze of last year, we have filled two positions with excellent individuals and have several other searches under way.

Ms. Jessie Blackburn has accepted the position as Coordinator of English Composition. Ms. Blackburn has considerable experience in college writing program administration at two different colleges, and she is currently a Senior Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Arkansas as she completes her Ph.D. Dr. Matt Kropf has accepted the position of Director of the Energy Institute.

Dr. Kropf holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Penn State University and will join the staff at Pitt-Bradford in late spring.

Searches for faculty members in Nursing, Athletic Training and Math are under way.

A search is under way for an Administrative Assistant in Communications and Marketing to replace Ms. Martha Simmons who resigned in January.

A search is under way for an Administrative Assistant in the TRiO Student Support Services program to replace Ms. Karen Pomeroy who resigned in January.

Searches will be launched this spring for the following positions:

Lab Technician - to assist faculty in the science labs,

Resident Director - to join the Residence Life staff in the new residence hall,

Web Programmer – to enhance the interactive features of our Web site, among other tasks in the Office of Communications and Marketing,

Women’s Basketball Coach – to replace Allan King who resigned in December 2009,

Admissions Counselors – two new counselors will be hired to replace Mr. Brady Colyer who resigned in 2008 and Mr. Bobby Wyant who resigned in January,

Director of Auxiliary Services – to fill the position vacated by Dr. Bridgett Passauer who resigned in December 2008,

Director of Outreach Services – after receiving the recommendations of a consultant who reviewed the operations of Outreach Services and Conference Services, these two units will be joined under the same organizational umbrella in order to maximize opportunities for program development and engagement with industries in the region. The Director will be a senior administrator who will report directly to the President.

Clearly there will be many new faces at Pitt-Bradford this spring and summer, and I encourage you to extend the welcome that makes this campus a special place to work.

Commencement 2010  

This year’s commencement will take place on Sunday, May 2, and Mr. Dave Wannstedt, coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team, will give the address. This year will feature a new format for the Graduate Celebration event. While in previous years, graduates have gathered for a dinner the Saturday evening before commencement, this year’s event will be a reception in hopes of drawing more students and their families. The event will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. with the program at 6:30. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and wish our graduates well. More details will be forthcoming.

Capital Project Updates  

We continue to grow each year, and I can provide the following updates on our current – and planned – projects.

Renovations to Fisher-Hall science labs – I am extremely pleased to report the University of Pittsburgh has allocated $5.9 million to this project, which will enable us to complete renovations to the biology and chemistry labs in one phase. Construction/renovation will begin as soon as possible after the end of the spring term and will extend into the fall term. Academic Affairs and the faculty in Fisher Hall are engaged in planning to minimize the disruption to faculty and students during the renovations.

Chapel – The Harriett B. Wick Chapel is well under way and on schedule for a September 1 opening.

Residence Hall – The residence hall is also progressing well, and we anticipate an August 15 opening. As long as the project remains on schedule, we do not plan to house students at the Best Western Bradford Inn next fall.

Parking – The new lot off Taylor Drive is functional, and will be paved as soon as spring weather permits.

Science in Motion  

Funded exclusively by the Commonwealth, the Science in Motion program has been at the mercy of the legislature and Governor Rendell all year. While funding for the program was completely eliminated by the Governor in mid-year cuts, 90% of the funding has been restored. Mr. James Baldwin plans to continue to operate the program, focusing primarily on equipment lending to participating school districts. Ms. Brenda Brandon who served as the Administrative Assistant for SIM has accepted a position as Administrative Assistant with the Center for Rural Health Practice, and will continue to provide support to SIM as able.

Congratulations to Faculty Honorees 

The following faculty members were honored for their years of dedicated service to Pitt-Bradford at a dinner at Kelly’s Restaurant in January. Dr. Marvin Thomas , professor of history and senior member of the faculty, was honored for 40 years.

Dr. Richard Frederick , professor of history, was honored for 30 years.

Honored for 25 years service were Dr. Assad Panah , professor of geology, and Dr. David Soriano, associate professor chemistry.

Betsy Matz , associate professor of business management, and Dr. Hashim Yousif, professor of physics, were honored for 20 years of service.

Honored for 10 years was Dr. Stephen Robar , associate professor of political science.

Three professors were honored for five years of service: Dr. Donna Dombek, assistant professor of education, director of teacher education and coordinator of elementary education; Mark Kelley , instructor of sports medicine and director of the sports medicine program; and Dr. Jean Truman , assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the associate of science in nursing program.

Congratulations to Staff Honorees  

The following staff members were honored for their years of dedicated service to Pitt-Bradford at a dinner at the Option House in February.

35 years of service: Suzanne Dittman

30 years of service: Pete Buchheit

25 years of service: William Kline

20 years of service: Robert Dilks, Jr., Pierre Gregg

10 years of service: Michelle Buchholz, Patty Colosimo, Christina Graham, Melissa Ibañez, Alexander Nazemetz, Dr. Leslie Rhinehart, Heidi Anderson, Robert Ellison

5 years of service: Les Buhite, Angela Honeck, Amy Ward, Denise Perkins, Deborah Woodley, Patricia Demjan, Lisa Fitzsimmons, Robert Harris, Marsha Munday

President’s Activities 

As I talk with all of you, I know how busy you have been this academic year. The same is true for me, and some of my newest activities take me off campus on a regular basis. I’ve been appointed by Chancellor Nordenberg to serve on the search committee for the new Provost for the University. As I am able to share news about the search, I will do so. Also, I’ve joined the Boards of Directors for the Upper Allegheny Health System, Continental 1, the North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission, as well as the Board of Trustees for Hilbert College. These commitments represent service to the community, help me to identify ways to integrate Pitt-Bradford into regional development, and provide opportunities to share the news of our exceptional institution.

Emergency Notification Service 

If you have not already subscribed to the Emergency Notification Service, please consider doing so. As you may know, the service will enable you to receive voice and text messages in case of an emergency. To subscribe to the service, log in to the my.pitt.edu Web portal and access the Emergency Notification tab in the upper left, add your contact information and hit submit. Also, our Emergency Response Plan is available on our Web site.