July and August 2011 News and Notes

Budget Update 

The budget deliberations in Harrisburg are nearing completion.  We will not know with certainty how the final state appropriation to the University of Pittsburgh will affect our campus until the University provides each unit with its “target letter” (fiscal 2011-2012 budget).  I expect that this will occur in July. 

What seems clear at this point is that we will have to absorb a significant reduction in the rural education outreach line item.  I will share details soon as to how we’ll adjust our budget to accommodate this reduction.   

The one bit of good news is that we have received approximately $65,000 in tuition incentive funds for the summer (2010), fall (2010) and spring (2011) terms, a result of increases in our enrollment.  These funds are added to our base budget so long as we maintain our enrollment gains.   

Faculty Departure 

I am pleased to congratulate Kong Ho who has accepted a position as associate professor of art at the University of Brunei Darussalam, a University in closer proximity to Professor Ho’s home and family in China.  Professor Ho will have the opportunity to teach both graduate and undergraduate students while pursuing his own work.  We are very thankful to Professor Ho for his service to Pitt-Bradford and our students, as well as to the surrounding communities and wish him all the best in his new ventures.  

I am also pleased to announce that Mr. Rick Minard will join us this fall.  Mr. Minard earned an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology where he provided instruction in painting and drawing.  He has taught a number of continuing education courses through JCC-Olean and the Wellsville Community Arts Center, and has ten years of industry experience as a graphic artist.   

Summer Capital Projects 

As you navigate the campus this summer, you undoubtedly notice that a number of capital projects are underway.  These include the following:   

  • Kessel Athletic Complex – A total of $2.5 million is available for this project, which will include major improvements.  Pitt-Bradford authorized the City of Bradford to award the following bids:
    • General Construction   Bob Cummins Construction Co.          $ 1,764,485
    • Fire Protection             Allied Fire Protection Systems $       7, 865
    • Mechanical                  Scobell Co. Inc.                       $      73,340
    • Electrical                      Dave Kronenwetter Electric     $    439,900 

 

  • Chapel landscape – The work will be performed by Dahlkemper (Erie) and the landscape improvements will be completed by mid-summer.
  • Sidewalks – Damaged sidewalks in the quad area are being replaced, along with sidewalks in other areas of campus that pond during heavy rains. 
  • Fisher Hall – The low bid was $693,600 by Carl E. Swanson and Sons.  The work entails renovation of the four laboratories on the first floor, the east and west entrances, window replacement, asbestos removal, painting, and sidewalk replacement.
  • Blaisdell Hall – Oakland Facilities Management will assist with the funding to repair the damage to the soffit caused by the heavy snowfall and ice build-up.
  • Stream Bank Stabilization – Permit has been issued and work will begin in mid-June.  This work is critical to prevent the stream from eroding the bank and encroaching on the land near the Sport and Fitness Center. 
  • Campus Loop Access – Access road will be milled and resurfaced this summer as part of the Kessel project.  

Academic Support Services Restructuring 

A strategy for improving retention and graduation rates was a major focus of the Campus Leadership retreat and follow-up discussions in the Enrollment Planning Task Force.  A major initiative will be to adopt a restructuring of academic support services by consolidating the reporting structure for the following units:  Academic Success Center, Disability Resource Services, Peer Tutoring, Advising Center, TRiO Student Support Services and TRiO Educational Talent Search.  The Freshmen Seminar program and Career Services unit will also maintain a “dotted-line” relationship with the academic support services area.  James Baldwin will lead this new configuration and oversee the integration and coordination of student retention and persistence initiatives.   

Enrollment Update 

As of the June 24 Admissions report, we stand at 369 paid freshmen deposits.  This is significant progress toward our goal of 390 freshmen and ahead of our deposits at this time last year (337).  In terms of transfer enrollment, we are standing at 80 paid transfer students.  Enrollment for the summer sessions is at the highest level in recent years with a total of 2163 credits generated (as compared to 1929 last year).  Additionally, 95 students will take advantage of the summer housing program over the course of the summer.  Thank you very much to Admissions and all who support our enrollment efforts! 

Website Redesign 

We have encountered a setback in the website redesign process.  Previously I had reported that a vendor had been selected.  However, complications related to contracting with this individual forced us to abandon that plan and re-bid the project.  That process is currently underway.   

New Hires  

We have welcomed new faculty and staff since the February newsletter, and their names and positions are listed below.  Please welcome these individuals -  

  • Lisa Chapman, Pre Doc Program Coordinator, Center for Rural Health Practice
  • Martha Dibble, Instructor of Nursing
  • Britt Moore, Head Coach of Men’s Basketball
  • David Pletcher,  Academic Advisor, TRiO Student Services Support Program
  • Jessica Taylor, Residence Life Coordinator, Residential Life and Housing
  • Dr. William Schumann, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Shelley Whitman, Administrative Assistant, TRiO Education Talent Search Program  

Save the Date 

Please mark your calendars for a few upcoming events:

  • Monday, July 4 – Holiday - University is closed 

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, including weather-related closures. 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 website.