University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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A Call to Campus Conversations

A Call to Campus Conversations

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Dear UPJ Community:
I would like to thank you for the warm welcome I have received since I arrived on campus. I am especially grateful that you have been so generous with your time as you have answered my questions, proffered much-needed advice and given me directions about everything from getting around our many boroughs to the best eateries.

As we begin another exciting year in the history of UPJ, there's much for which to be grateful and even more for which to look forward. For one, we are going to be celebrating our 80th Anniversary this year, a rich legacy symbolized by the tremendous accomplishments of many generations of students, faculty, staff and alumni. We have come this far because of your dedication to excellence, your indefatigable commitment to serving our students and your aspirations for our communities, our world and our shared future. Thanks to your collective efforts past and present, we continue to occupy a most enviable niche: being part of a world-class research university while benefiting from the advantages of a close-knit - and unusually picturesque - college community.

This new year will also be an opportunity to assess the efficacy of our institutional endeavors, to redouble our efforts towards optimizing educational quality, and to pursue more untapped opportunities. To that end, we will undertake a forthright analysis of our strengths, limitations and opportunities as we embark on our steady march towards greater distinction and prominence. Through formal and informal discussions about our history, our present circumstances and our future, we will review our institutional plans, goals and strategies for success. The unfolding process of Strategic Assessment should involve our entire community as we examine our values, core assumptions, distinguishing traits, core competencies, positioning and priorities for the future. I envision that such a process will help us refine our 'brand' of undergraduate education and further position our campus for greater academic excellence and student-centeredness. I am confident that our Strategic Assessment will also culminate in and generate even greater awareness, visibility and enthusiasm for our distinctive Pitt-Johnstown signature.

Already, several of you have met with me over the past two weeks to provide advice, input, guidance with regard to our strategic direction. I welcome such contributions and my office will schedule many opportunities for discussion in the coming months. I urge you to avail yourself of numerous avenues to offer advice, suggestions and ideas about how to make this a better university for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as for our surrounding communities.

Finally, the 80th Anniversary celebrations scheduled for the week of September 23-30 will also provide an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for the people of the Johnstown region. From our early beginnings at Johnstown High School and at the Asphalt campus in Moxham, area residents have donated their time, talents and resources to this institution; it is only fitting that we use this milestone to honor them as we build on their legacy. In the years ahead, we will intensify efforts to engage our local, regional and global communities, to ensure that UPJ is a relevant, responsive and robust partner.

Thank you for welcoming me into this fine community of passionate learners, educators and scholar-citizens. I look forward to our work together as we build on our 80-year strong foundation of excellence and service to our communities, the region and our world.
Posted by Sernell, Jeff on 8/22/2007 11:25:00 AM