March 2007 News and Notes

Staff recognition

In February, we recognized several members of the staff who are celebrating anniversaries. I want to congratulate and thank them for their hard work and dedication to the university. I hope that when you see them on campus you will offer congratulations as well.

30 years:
Cindy Cavallero, administrative assistant for residential life and housing
Dr. Jim Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs
Tom Sheeley, maintenance worker for residential life and housing 

25 years:
Dr. Holly Spittler, associate dean of student affairs and director of career services

15 years:
Linda Delaney, manager of payroll/grants administration

10 years:
Rhett Kennedy, associate dean of student affairs and director of residential life and housing
Cathy Reiley, coordinator of user services for CTM
Dan Songer, director of campus police and safety
Betty Spindler, switchboard operator and secretary for campus police and safety

Five years:
Karen Branch
, enrollment services assistant
Brenda Brandon, administrative assistant for Science in Motion
Greg Clark, sports information director
Cathy Holzwarth, administrative secretary for the Division of Biological and Health Sciences
John McGriff, maintenance worker
Mick McMillan, director of recreation, intramurals and aquatics
Jody Randolph, administrative secretary for the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dennis Siepierski, academic technology integrator

Go Beyond Brand Party

Our first ever Go Beyond brand party provided an opportunity to thank all of you for living our brand promise: The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is a safe, friendly institution for students who want to earn a world-renowned degree in a personalized environment.  

The highlight of the event was the "How I Go Beyond" presentations from our students. They gave excellent examples of how they go beyond and how Pitt-Bradford's faculty and staff have helped them on their educational journey.

All of the students should be commended:
Torrey Frederick, a business management major from Duke Center, who captured first place
Brandolon Barnett, a communications major from Dallas, Texas, who received second place
Ryan Race, a business management major from Bradford, who took third place
Jim Colestro, a business management and economics major from Bradford
Amy McCoy, a public relations major from Kittanning 

Congratulations also goes to the Department of Nursing and the Office of Enrollment Services, who were chosen as this year's "Brand Champions" for best outwardly living the brand. Their consistent attention to providing student-centered instruction and service provides us with models as we strive to exceed the expectations of those we serve.  I will be treating them to lunch, and their office/department names will be added to a plaque that will hang in the Office of Communications and Marketing.     

The brand party will be an annual event; I hope to see you there next February.  

Capital Building Projects

At the annual spring Advisory Board Annual retreat, Dr. Maher announced the approval of both of our proposed capital projects, the renovation of Swarts Hall and construction of a new residence hall.  The final approved projects include all that we were seeking in each design.  Obviously, this was great news and precisely what we had hoped to hear.  We hope to begin renovations of Swarts Hall on May 1 and project a completion date in December.  Groundbreaking for the residence hall is also slated for the spring.

A committee of faculty and staff is currently meeting to recommend a plan for office and classroom relocations during the Swarts Hall renovations which will involve using space on campus and in the Seneca Building.  While some disruption is inevitable with a project of this scope, I am asking that individuals and departments respond with a cooperative spirit and remember the temporary nature of the inconvenience. 

Annual Planning Document

Each February all units of the University of Pittsburgh are required to submit an Annual Planning Document to the Office of the Provost, and a copy of the complete document (including appendices) is on reserve in the Hanley Library.  This document is constructed according to instructions that prompt thorough analysis of the relationship of our activities to our mission, and deliberate reflection on the stewardship of the fiscal resources that enable our progress. 

This year we were asked to address our efforts to develop "a stronger culture of assessment".  The call for greater investment in assessment comes not only from Oakland.  Our accrediting organization, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is turning greater attention to assessment, and the United States Department of Education's report authored by the Commission on the Future of Higher Education challenges higher education to show greater accountability for student outcomes.  

I've asked Dr. Hardin to work with the chairpersons of the academic divisions to develop a plan to provide adequate support to program directors as we develop our strategy.  When done well, assessment is less about demonstrating performance to an external observer and more about building internal capacity for refelction and dialogue about program improvement.  I am looking forward to working with Academic Affairs as we continue to build the strength of our programs. 

Commencement speaker

Many of you may already know that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell will be addressing our graduating class during commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29.

We are honored to have Governor Rendell speak to our graduates, who will have the opportunity to share this special day with such an esteemed public servant. We are also grateful that he has agreed to speak on our campus, which indicates that Pitt-Bradford's reputation for excellence is spreading throughout the region and the state.