Plan for Pitt 2025 moves to next stage in planning process

Sarah Cutshall | Visual Editor

By Amanda Zelnis, For The Pitt News

Pitt students may be planning for their midterm exams, spring break, even graduation for some. Meanwhile, the University has larger plans underway.

The Plan for Pitt 2025, the University’s next five-year strategic plan, is currently under development and is in the process of seeking public comment on specific issues. The plan’s 18-person steering committee said they will present a finalized plan at the September meeting of the Board of Trustees for approval.

Strategic planning workshops, one of the first phases in the planning process, were completed in January. The workshop planners sought to gather information about what actions and outcomes the members of the Pitt community hope to see in the Plan for Pitt 2025.

Melissa Schild, the assistant vice chancellor for strategic planning and performance, said she is very happy with how the workshops went.

“We’ve had good turnout for the workshops, with over 300 people participating so far,” Schild said. “I’ve been thrilled with the enthusiasm and active engagement by everyone who has attended a workshop session.”

The next step in the process is forming goal committees based on each of the existing six Plan for Pitt goals — advancing educational excellence, engaging in research of impact, strengthening communities, promoting diversity and inclusion, embracing the world and building foundational strength. 

Nathan Urban, a co-chair of the Plan for Pitt 2025 Steering Committee and vice provost for graduate studies and strategic initiatives, said the goal committees will take specific notes from the workshops and turn them into concrete objectives and bigger picture actions.

“The goal committees will draft a set of recommendations for both outcomes to target and initiatives that can support these outcomes,” Urban said.

Although a limited amount of information has been collected so far, and the goal committees have yet to be formed, Urban said some common themes have already emerged from discussion at the workshops.

“There also has been a lot of discussion about how we can best foster the long-term success of our students — undergraduate and graduate — and connect them to each other and to the University for the long term,” Urban said. “Making campus more diverse and inclusive also comes up consistently in people’s thinking about areas that are important for our future success.”

Schild added that the plan’s steering committee will convene several focus groups in mid-February to discuss specific issues, including health/wellness, data/analytics, collaboration/partnerships and sustainability.

“[These] will enable us to explore these topics in more detail,” Schild said.

Vivian Curran, co-chair of the plan’s steering committee and a distinguished professor of law, said the new Plan for Pitt is a great way for people to help make their mark at Pitt and beyond.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the development of the University,” Curran said, “as it undertakes to preserve and strengthen a tradition of excellence and to contribute to its surroundings.”

Schild said she encouraged as many members of the Pitt community as possible to share their ideas to help directly shape the plan.

“Strong participation from everyone at Pitt will result in a plan that we all can use as a foundation for moving forward,” Schild said. “It will position Pitt to make an even bigger impact.”

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