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Board of Trustees Highlight Importance of Branch Campuses

by Austin Zagorac

“Pitt is one university with five campuses, each with its own personality and advantages,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said to the crowd in Smith Hall, and those watching the Board of Trustees meeting via video feed in the Ferguson Theater on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 23.

The University of Pittsburgh’s trustees made their presence known au of pittt the Pitt-Greensburg campus on Wednesday, Oct. 21. On Thursday, Oct. 22, a private retreat was held in Millstein Library, and brunch was held in Wagner Dining Hall, where trustees mingles with students and staff.

This three-day event was the first time the Trustees’ Retreat was held on the Greensburg campus in over 20 years.

During the first half of the meeting, the board discussed construction projects and leases pertaining to the Pitt-Oakland campus. After, the trustees congratulated all Pitt campuses on being consistently ranked among the best value colleges on both state and national levels.

Later, Pitt-Greensburg President Sharon Smith spoke of the importance of a liberal arts education in today’s world.

“Pitt-Greensburg is a dynamic laboratory of experiential education,” Smith said. “The students and faculty are adapting well to the way that digitalization and globalization are changing education as a whole.”

Livingston Alexander, president of the Pitt-Bradford campus, spoke next.

“We strive to make our programs unique,” he said.

He talked about Pitt-Bradford’s successful Criminal Justice program, which makes use of an interesting “CSI House.” The building is used to recreate crime scenes and give students real-world crime tech experience, like taking fingerprints, analyzing DNA, and observing blood spatter patterns.

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar was unable to attend the meeting, but spoke to the congregation via a pre-recorded video presentation.

“We have created a warm, friendly and civil culture here,” he said.

Spectar also announced that Pitt-Johnstown will begin to offer a chemical engineering program during the Fall 2016 term.

President Smith likened the qualities of Pitt-Gr
eensburg’s campus to those of its mascot.

“Bruiser the Bobcat is a fitting mascot [for our campus],” Smith said. “He is small, yet powerful, but most importantly, he is agile.”

These qualities make Pitt branch campuses stand out. Chairman of the Board Eva Blum recognized this statement.

“With the help of the regional campuses, hopefully [The University of] Pittsburgh can remain one of the finest universities in the world.”

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