Strategic Planning

Planning Development

The development and implementation of the plan is based on a set of environmental scans conducted with constituents from throughout the University. The purpose of the scans was to prioritize key opportunities and threats to be addressed through the design and implementation of the plan. The constituents consulted span all five campuses and include:

  • Board of Trustees
  • Chancellor’s Senior Leadership Team
  • Council of Deans
  • Planning and Budgeting Committee Members
  • Faculty Assembly
  • Student Leaders
  • Staff Association Council
  • Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Four major themes emerged from the scans, each of which posed threats and opportunities for Pitt. The four themes were:

  • Financial Stability
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • Technology
  • Diversity (in race, ethnicity, thought, background, perspective, expertise, etc.)

A summary of specific issues raised under each theme is available here.

Benefitting from input obtained through the scans, conversations between the Chancellor’s Senior Leadership Team and the Council of Deans led to the identification of the drivers and values featured in the strategic planning framework. The framework was presented to the Board of Trustees on February 27, 2015.

Input on the strategic planning framework from the University community was gathered and used to inform discussion of strategic goals and initiatives by the chancellor's strategic leadership team and the Council of Deans. The June version of The Plan for Pitt was presented to the Board of Trustees on June 19, 2015.

Chancellor’s Statement on Planning

The tremendous progress the University of Pittsburgh has achieved over the past two decades owes greatly to careful planning and a commitment to excellence. As we move forward, we have strong aspirations to build on this progress. We also face new challenges and opportunities stemming from our rapidly changing region and the global landscape of higher education. Thus we are embarking on a University-wide strategic planning initiative that will lay the foundation for our future as a great university.

The structure of the current planning process has three components: the clear mission statement established in 1995, the Statement of Aspiration and Strategic Priorities updated in 2014, and the Planning and Budgeting System updated in 2003. Through this new initiative, we are seeking to complement this structure with the development of a strategic planning framework that will strengthen our capacity for advancing strategic priorities and better align unit-level planning with these priorities by uniting the University in pursuit of common objectives.

Last fall, we consulted with constituents from across the University community, seeking to prioritize key challenges and opportunities to be addressed in developing the planning framework. This led to the identification of a set of cross-cutting drivers designed to strengthen our capacity for advancing strategic priorities, as well as a set of values which collectively characterize aspirations for the culture of our community. Incorporating these drivers and values into our existing planning structure produced the framework that was presented to the Board of Trustees on February 27, and is now approved for presentation to the public.

In the next stage of the planning process, we will gather input from the broad University community. We are interested in your reactions to the progress made to date, and guidance in moving forward. With the benefit of this feedback, we will work to identify unit-specific and University-wide strategic initiatives. This work will be conducted within the context of the broadly inclusive Planning and Budgeting System, and the resulting initiatives will be designed to advance our mission, broaden core competencies and leverage strengths, and enhance institutional uniqueness while advancing strategic priorities. 

This marks an exciting time for Pitt, and our 34,934 students, 5,271 faculty members, 6,976 staff members, and 313,582 living alumni. I look forward to our joint efforts in plotting our course, and laying the foundation for continuing our record of achievement. Hail to Pitt!

Patrick D. Gallagher



Part I: Operational Plans

In this phase, Working Groups are identified and charged with moving the strategies from concepts to operational plans. Strategies and actions for each initiative will be identified and documented as a means to move the Strategic Plan forward in all the areas determined to be critical to achieve the vision and ensure success for the University.

Part II: Gaining Involvement, Buy-in, and Commitment

Throughout development of the operational plans, various units will be identified to carry out specific strategies and actions. In Part II, this information will be presented to those units, providing opportunity for discussion and garnering involvement, buy-in, and commitment in order to effectively move forward with the operational plan.

Part III: Action Planning

The responsible unit(s) for each Strategy/Action identified in the Operational Plan, once on board, will create and submit an Action Plan outlining the action steps, timeline, measures, and metrics to ensure successful completion of the Strategy/Action.

Part IV: Execution

To ensure effective execution and ongoing support, progress on Action Plans will be presented and reviewed on an ongoing basis as decided between unit(s) and responsibility center ownership.


  • Administrative and Business Offices
  • Schools
  • Regional Campuses
  • Centers 
  • Programs

Institutional Plans

  • University Planning and Budgeting Committee
  • Facilities Master Plan 
  • IT Plan 
  • Enrollment Plan 
  • Capital Campaign 
  • Communication Plan