Pitt-Bradford seeking public input on strategic plan

In this file photo, taken before the pandemic, Dr. Catherine Koverola talks with Pitt-Bradford students. Pitt-Bradford is beginning its new strategic plan and seeking input from the community

BRADFORD — The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has launched the planning process for its next strategic plan, which will be a comprehensive and collaborative project that involves campus community members as well as neighbors in the region and beyond.

“We’re very excited to forge ahead with our strategic planning process,” said Dr. Catherine Koverola, Pitt-Bradford’s president, “which will build upon the successes of the previous plan and enable us to chart our course for the future.”

One of the initial steps in the strategic planning process is to gather insight from key stakeholders, including community members.

“At Pitt-Bradford, we value our longstanding relationships with our alumni, our donors and our friends in the community and beyond who have steadfastly supported our campus for nearly 60 years,” Koverola said. “Their contributions to this planning process are an important component to our plan.”

To collect those contributions, the university developed a form, which is available on its website at www.upb.pitt.edu, that gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts, observations and experiences that can be incorporated into the plan. The form will be available until Dec. 1.

Last fall, faculty, staff and administrators began the process to develop a new strategic plan that would build upon the previous plan, “Pathways to Excellence and Distinction,” which encompassed 2015 to 2020. However, the planning was temporarily halted in the early spring when the university had to shift its focus to develop new protocols and practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Once those pandemic-related changes were made and implemented and students successfully returned to campus in the fall, Pitt-Bradford officials were eager to return to the planning process and move forward on its “Plan for Pitt-Bradford.”

Central to the “Plan for Pitt-Bradford” are five goals: Academic and Global Careers; Whole-Person Learning; Inclusion, Equity, Justice and Access; Community Impact and Beyond; and Building Foundational Strength.

“These are the important areas we will focus on,” Koverola said, “which will help us set and reach new levels of excellence on our campus, in our local community, and in our region and beyond.”

“In addition to having clear goals, we will develop specific and measurable outcomes to ensure there is accountability built into our overall plan as well as within each goal, so we can measure our progress and our success,” she added.

To guide the planning process, a steering committee was formed, which includes 20 people from across the university community, including all senior leaders, academic division chairs, Faculty Senate, Staff Association and Student Government Association presidents, the Advisory Board chair, and the Alumni Association president. The steering committee is being co-chaired by Dr. David Fitz, vice president for institutional integration and community engagement, and Christy Clark, chief of staff and executive director of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement.

Goal committees were created to develop strategies and tactics to achieve each goal. Additionally, two supporting committees were formed: One will gather and analyze all the planning data, and the other will review and update the university’s current mission, vision and values statements.

As the various committees conduct their work, several focus groups of key stakeholders – faculty, staff, students, Advisory Board members, alumni, community leaders and donors – will convene later this fall.

The planning will be completed by the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

For more information about the strategic plan, visit www.upb.pitt.edu/strategicplan.