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Addressing Economic Challenges

Addressing Economic Challenges

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As you are well aware, institutions across the country are taking aggressive and even unprecedented steps, including layoffs, hiring freezes, reassignments, closures, and suspension of capital improvements, to address the severe economic challenges that the nation is facing.  Like other higher education institutions, we are monitoring enrollment trends and the potential impact of the credit freeze, rising unemployment and increasing home foreclosures rates, not to mention the ongoing demographic declines in our region.

Following the University-wide call to effectively address the situation, we have taken the following actions to adjust to this challenging environment:

  • implemented controls on spending,
  • reduced operating budgets,
  • reduced levels of hiring selectively,
  • reduced overtime,
  • implemented internal reallocations and realignment of resources, and
  • reorganized and redirected personnel resources.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, particularly the vice presidents, directors, division chairs and heads of units, who have worked so hard to realize greater savings and efficiencies.  

Prudent stewardship requires that we approach the new fiscal year fully aware that these economic challenges will linger, and even escalate. Therefore, I am asking members of our Leadership Council to continue to work with their units to ensure that, as we go into next year, we are better-positioned to fulfill the mission of this institution. I urge everyone to continue to proceed with a sense of urgency as we work together to mitigate the harsh effects of the on-going fiscal challenge in a spirit of shared sacrifice.

Finally, I am pleased to note that despite the hurdles inherent in the current environment, we continue to fulfill our mission and achieve key objectives in our strategic plan, including burnishing our record of academic excellence, building a culture of spirited student involvement in our beautiful campus, firming ties with our respective communities and constituencies, and moving on in a fiscally sound and accountable manner.  Our recent Annual Report (available at, highlights our many accomplishments over the past year.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to Pitt-Johnstown and for your daily contributions to our success.


Jem Spectar

Posted by Sernell, Jeff on 2/19/2009 2:40:00 PM