News and Notes from the President
March 2013

Open Forum

The Faculty/Staff Open Forum for the spring semester will be on Monday, March 25, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the University Room.   I will provide updates on a variety of issues of importance to our campus, including the best information I have on the Commonwealth budget. I invite you to bring questions or concerns.   Please note this meeting on your calendars.  A light lunch will be served. 

Enrollment Update

As of March 22, 2013, we are slightly behind in recruitment of our incoming class.  We have deposits from 108 direct admits, 25 options, and 19 transfer students.  This compares to 125 direct, 31 options and 35 transfers at this time last year.  The Admissions staff is working extremely hard to bring potential students to campus, and I ask that you support their efforts whenever possible.  We will host another Admitted Student Days on April 8, and hope to close in on an increase in deposits before the May 1 priority deadline. 

Recruitment and retention are our most critical issues as we face the future, and I ask all faculty and staff to be constantly mindful of their role in advancing the following goals:

  • Recruit 390 or more new freshmen and 160 or more transfer students.Return to a freshmen-to-sophomore retention rate of 74%.Using the 2005 cohort as a baseline, increase our four-year graduation rate from 26% to 30%; increase our five-year rate from 43% to 45%; increase our six year rate from 47% to 50%

Housing Update

Based on enrollment projections for Fall 2013, it appears that we will not need ancillary housing at the Best Western.  We expect to be able to accommodate all students in campus housing.  However, we are moving ahead with our strategic initiative to phase out the aging Townhouse Apartments and replace them with suite style housing.  This will require a three-phase plan.  In Phase I, we will build a 107-bed residence hall in the green space across Campus Drive from Fesenmyer House which will allow us to reduce the number of students in the Townhouse Apartments from five to four.  We anticipate this residence hall will be open for Fall 2014.   

Annual Planning Document

We submitted the Annual Planning document to the Office of the Provost.  This comprehensive document requires us to report on the progress in implementing our strategic plan, as well as to report on benchmarking data with peer and aspirational institutions.  As is our practice, I will share the Annual Planning document with the Planning and Budgeting Committee this spring.  

Annual Leadership Retreat

Every year, campus leadership, including the Cabinet, Division Chairs, the Presidents of the Faculty Senate and Staff Association, meet for a two-day retreat to discuss topics of critical importance and to identify priority strategic initiatives for the upcoming year.  I encourage you to talk within your responsibility center and to communicate thoughts and ideas to your representative. 

Faculty and Staff Updates
There have been a number of changes in positions:

New Hires:

  • Sofia Brien, HR/Payroll Assistant, Office of Human Resources
  • Beth Fantaskey, Administrative Assistant, Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development

Transfers:

  • Jackie Bosworth, moved from her position in the Office of Student Activities to the Administrative Assistant, Office of Facilities Management
  • Laurie Dennis, moved from her position in the Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development to the Administrative Assistant, Division of Biological and Health Services
  • Donald Robbins, moved from his part-time position in Facilities Management to the Laboratory Technician for the Biology and Chemistry Departments

Finally, I announce that Liza Greville, Executive Assistant to the President, has resigned in order to return to her profession as a clinical social worker.  Liza will remain at Pitt-Bradford as a part-time counselor in Counseling Services, and she will also work as a part-time outpatient therapist at Deerfield Behavioral Health beginning May 15.  Liza will remain in my office to aid in the transition while we launch a search.

Save the Date

Please mark your calendars for a few upcoming events:

  • Friday, April 12 – Honors Convocation, 11:00 a.m., Bromeley Family Theater
  • Sunday, April 28 – Commencement, 2:00 p.m., KOA Arena

POLICY UPDATES:

Salary Reconsideration Procedure

To ensure consistency in requests for reconsideration of salary increase decisions, we have adopted a procedure which is available on the Faculty and Staff page of the website:  http://www.upb.pitt.edu/facultyandstaff/

Registration of International Travel

Events around the world have made it important for us to be able to quickly identify University personnel abroad in order to improve our chances of reaching them in an emergency. Also, we want to be able to provide an overview of the countries and regions where Pitt people are working and studying. Consequently, the Council of Deans adopted a policy that requires registration of international travel for all University students and staff and strongly encourages registration for faculty. Undergraduate travel for course credit is already registered through systems maintained by the Study Abroad Office. The site is accessible from the my.pitt.edu portal. 

The process is:
• Log into my.pitt.edu
• Point to My Resources to expand the drop down
• Click on Travel Registry
• Read the material and click on the link in the upper right, labeled Register Your Trip Now

Protecting Children from Abuse

On January 3, the University adopted an updated policy on protecting children from abuse.  The policy, and accompanying procedure, #06-04-01, is available at  http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/policies/policies.html   Laurel Phillips is in the process of working with employees who are required to have background clearances to secure that documentation.  Please note the following language regarding the reporting responsibility of all employees:

REPORTING - Anyone who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, that is connected in any way to the University shall report it. At a minimum, someone who suspects such child abuse shall immediately report the matter to the University police and the Chancellor or Executive Vice Chancellor. The University police shall also notify the Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Office of General Counsel. The Chancellor or the Executive Vice Chancellor shall notify the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and any other governmental unit or person as may be required by law. Retaliation is strictly prohibited against anyone who makes a good faith report of suspected child abuse or who participates in a related investigation.

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 under My Resources in the upper right, add your contact information and hit submit. Also, our Emergency Response Plan is available on our website.

University Policy on Crime Reporting

The University’s standing policy on Campus Crime Awareness: Crime Reporting, Crime Alerts and Emergency Notification appears at the following link: http://www.cfo.pitt.edu/policies/policy/06/06-03-02.html

Please review this policy and note the expectation that faculty, staff and students will promptly report all criminal incidents occurring on campus, or that involve the University community, to Campus Police.