- Our City/Our Campus
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher presented the final draft of the Plan for Pitt, the University’s new five-year strategic plan, at the Board of Trustee’s June 25 meeting.
Gallagher described the plan, available for public view online, as “the north star for our strategic efforts—a guiding framework that reflects the very best ideas from students, faculty and staff.”
Presented to the trustees for final review and input over the summer, implementation is expected to begin in the fall of 2021. Tom Richards, board chair, encouraged the trustees to take the time to review the plan and to provide any guidance to move it forward.
Preparation for the new Plan for Pitt began in 2019 as the University’s initial strategic plan was set to expire in 2020. The community-wide planning process, led by Melissa Schild, assistant vice chancellor for strategic planning and performance in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, with support from the Office of the Provost, was launched across the five Pitt campuses. Comments and input were solicited by way of surveys, focus groups and workshops. More than 100 Pitt community members served on steering and goals committees.
“We were thrilled with how the Pitt community embraced this project and engaged in the planning process,” Schild said. “The voices of our community members—our students, faculty and staff members, alumni and community stakeholders—helped drive the development of the new priorities in this plan.”
“Over the coming weeks, we encourage everyone to read the final draft plan. This summer we’ll begin laying the groundwork for our implementation processes, and in the fall, we will work across the University to launch specific implementation plans that will include existing and new initiatives we will take to achieve the objectives laid out in the strategy," Schild said.
Where the previous strategic plan contained six goals, the new Plan for Pitt focuses on three pillars: Our People, Our Programs and Our Purpose. The new structure, Gallagher said, “focuses on who we are: the enablers of our mission; what we do: the things that we carry out to do our mission; and finally, the impact we have: the difference we make and our value proposition.”
- Our People: We are a diverse community of scholars, learners, partners and leaders dedicated to a common cause: the pursuit of knowledge.
- Our Programs: Our initiatives and operations fuel opportunities of the highest quality in three key areas: academic excellence, research and scholarship, and community service.
- Our Purpose: We improve lives and communities—at every scale—by creating knowledge and leveraging our expertise to tackle some of society’s greatest and most pressing challenges.
A robust strategic process
Gallagher also explained that the final draft plan presented to the trustees was not, in fact, the full plan but the beginning of a new strategic process for the University. The next part of the strategic planning process will begin in the fall with implementation planning. This process takes the Plan for Pitt’s framework and develops concrete initiatives and actions that will be defined, tracked and measured, funded and executed. Schild’s planning team will serve as the backbone to this process, providing planning development, program management, budget integration and tracking.
“There will be many opportunities to participate and contribute, whether it's through the seed funding program and initiatives or school-based activities,” Gallagher said.
He also noted that the updated plan is a living document and the initiatives that help the University reach its goals will continue to evolve. The task now is to bring the plan to life and use it to answer questions about the opportunities we need to adopt or the threats we need to address to in order to achieve our mission.
Additionally, Gallagher reiterated that while the plan has changed, the mission of the University has not. “We are here to improve lives and make this world a better place, and we do this through education, research and service,” he said.