Administrative Functions Of Bradford, Titusville Campuses Realigned

Issue Date: 
May 14, 2012
Livingston Alexander

As part of the University of Pittsburgh’s ongoing efforts to reduce costs in the face of sharply declining state support, a significant administrative realignment is taking place at the University’s Titusville and Bradford regional campuses, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson announced May 7. Effective immediately, both campuses will report to Livingston Alexander, who, as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford since 2003, has been credited with strengthening that campus’ position as an institution that provides access to students and fosters success among first-generation college students. Alexander will remain at the helm of Pitt-Bradford and also will become president of the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville. In addition, other major administrative functions for the two campuses will be centralized at the Bradford campus. David Fitz, currently the vice president for academic affairs at Pitt-Titusville, has been named interim campus dean at Pitt-Titusville, responsible for the campus’ day-to-day operations and reporting directly to President Alexander. “This realignment of administrative functions is a first step to reduce costs of operation and assess the viability of the Titusville campus in a time of dramatically reduced state support,” Beeson commented. “We did not make these decisions lightly,” Beeson said in issuing her announcement. “As the result of unprecedented cuts from our Commonwealth appropriation this year and a proposal for further cuts in the coming year, we have been forced to examine areas of previous commitment, including our historic commitment to bring education to various regions and populations of Western Pennsylvania. We hope that by combining key administrative functions of these two regional campuses, we will be better positioned to continue providing educational opportunities in Titusville.” William Shields, who has served since 2005 as president of Pitt-Titusville and who also served as interim president of Pitt-Bradford, is being named an associate vice provost. “We expect to take full advantage of the rich experience and expertise of Dr. Shields in his new role as he works with my office, the regional campus presidents, and the deans of the schools on the Pittsburgh campus to improve the coordination of academic programs across all five campuses,” Beeson stated. The University of Pittsburgh offers programs on five well-established Western Pennsylvania campuses—in Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. Pitt-Johnstown was established in 1927, and the Pitt campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, and Titusville were created in 1963. Cuts to state support for Pitt in the current academic year totaled approximately $67 million. Those cuts included a 19 percent reduction to the University’s general appropriation and a 50 percent reduction to its academic medical center appropriations at the July 1, 2011, beginning of the fiscal year. These cuts exceeded $40 million and represented a 22 percent reduction in the University’s combined appropriations. Late in the fall, the University was notified that its capital projects support also would be reduced by 50 percent, or $20 million. Then, in January 2012, the University was directed to put another 5 percent, or $7 million, into “budgetary reserve,” the equivalent of a midyear budget cut. The budget proposed for the next fiscal year would further reduce Pitt’s general appropriation by an additional 30 percent and its academic medical center appropriations by an additional 10 percent. When added together, these proposals would bring nearly $42 million in additional cuts. These cuts would reduce Pitt’s state appropriations, in absolute dollars, to levels that have not been seen since the mid-1980s, more than a quarter century ago and when the state’s overall budget was about one-third its current size. These cuts would reduce Pitt’s state appropriations, if adjusted for inflation, to the lowest level since Pitt became a public university in the mid-1960s. The budget proposed for the next fiscal year also would completely eliminate a decade-old program that has allocated a portion of the Commonwealth’s recovery from the tobacco settlement fund to forward-looking, health-related research. That program not only has advanced the cause of human health but also has stimulated economic growth throughout Pennsylvania by supporting research work in dozens of institutions. Through two competitive programs, one tied to levels of National Institutes of Health funding and the other tied to specific grant proposals reviewed by the state, Pitt has received research support of approximately $13 million per year from the tobacco settlement fund. The two-year total of cuts made and proposed for Pitt, then, is approximately $120 million. With nearly 36,000 students enrolled in its programs, Pitt is the largest provider of undergraduate, graduate and professional education in Western Pennsylvania. This spring, some 6,000 degrees were awarded in commencement ceremonies on its five campuses. The University also sits at the heart of what the U.S. Department of Labor calls the education and health services “supersector.” This sector, also known as the “eds and meds,” now is the largest employment sector in the Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. With nearly 13,800 employees, the University of Pittsburgh is the second-largest employer in the Pittsburgh region, trailing only UPMC. In rankings recently released by the National Science Foundation, Pitt was one of the top five recipients of federal science and engineering research and development support—joining Johns Hopkins, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania in that select group. During the last fiscal year, Pitt’s annual research expenditures exceeded $800 million. Through those expenditures alone, Pitt supported, directly and indirectly, more than 28,000 local jobs. Pitt research also is viewed as one of the Commonwealth’s most promising sources of new companies and new jobs as Pennsylvania moves further into the innovation economy of the 21st century. Livingston Alexander Livingston Alexander was named the third president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on April 24, 2003, and officially began his duties on Aug. 1 of that year. Within a matter of weeks after assuming the presidency, Alexander had launched a campuswide strategic planning effort that resulted in a new vision for Pitt-Bradford, eight major strategic directions, and action plans to advance a very ambitious institutional agenda. Among the major accomplishments resulting from the planning efforts on his campus were the development of new academic majors, successful completion of a $13 million capital campaign, construction of one academic building and three residence halls, major renovations of two academic buildings, development and implementation of an integrated marketing plan, and significant increases in enrollment and retention. Before becoming Pitt-Bradford’s president, Alexander was the provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Kean University in Union, N. J. During his tenure there, Alexander led the implementation of a revised general education program, widely known for its innovative features. Alexander began his career in higher education as an assistant professor of psychology at Western Kentucky University and subsequently advanced to the rank of professor. After completing an American Council on Education Fellowship in higher education administration at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he assumed successive positions as department head at Georgia Southern University, associate vice president for academic affairs and director of graduate studies at Western Kentucky University, and vice president for academic affairs at Troy State University-Montgomery. During his academic and administrative career, Alexander has written numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of cognition, teaching and learning, and leadership. In 1989, he published the results of his research on mathematics anxiety in the journal, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. His abbreviated version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale has been used or cited in dozens of research studies. An earlier study titled “Facilitation of Learning and Retention of Oral Instruction Using Advance and Post Organizers” and published in the Journal of Educational Psychology examined the efficacy of cognitive organizers in improving learning and retention of oral instruction. He has led seminars on the personal and interpersonal dimensions of leadership and diversity for the American Council on Education’s fellowship program and has served as chair of the New Jersey Council of Chief Academic Officers and as an elected member of the American Association of University Administrators’ Board of Directors. Alexander is a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, the American Council on Education Commission on Lifelong Learning, the Millennium Leadership Initiative Steering Committee, and the Nominating Committee for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He is a board member of Upper Allegheny Health Systems, Continental One (an interstate highway/commerce initiative), and The Center for Rural Pennsylvania as well as serves as a trustee of Hilbert College, in Hamburg, N.Y. Alexander is a native of Breaux Bridge, La. He earned his AB in philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary College in Washington, D.C., and the MEd in curriculum and the EdD in educational psychology from the University of Houston. David E. Fitz David E. Fitz became the vice president for academic affairs at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville on July 1, 2011. During his first year at Pitt-Titusville, he has worked to implement the campus’ strategic plan. With the assistance of the campus community, he has made improvements to retention practices; established a freshman-year-experience program; proposed new academic programs in applied fields of study; changed the student academic progress guidelines; conducted a review of the Learning Center, which has led to increased staffing and service improvements; evaluated and changed internship practices; and engaged in other academic activities. Fitz was the vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of political science at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. During his tenure at MacMurray College, Fitz led the successful completion of the institution’s re-accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, contributed to improvements in the athletic program, led an overhaul of the college’s assessment processes to improve student learning outcomes, led retention efforts, improved the fiscal administration of academic affairs, increased data production and data analysis and interpretation and its use in making decisions, and fostered the development of cooperative programs, sharing space with local community colleges and high schools. Before becoming MacMurray’s vice president for academic affairs, Fitz was the college’s assistant vice president for academic affairs, interim chair of its Division of Education, chair of the Department of History and Political Science, and a faculty member who taught extensively in the areas of American and international politics. He began his career at Eastern Illinois University as a visiting assistant professor and was an assistant professor at Macon State College before becoming a faculty member and administrator at MacMurray. In Jacksonville, Fitz served on the boards of directors of The Nursery School, 4 Counties for Kids, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of West Central Illinois. A native of Pennsylvania who was born in Greensboro and raised in Orwigsburg, Fitz graduated from York College of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies, and from the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his PhD in political science. University of Pittsburgh at Bradford The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, founded in 1963, is a four-year regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh system and offers 41 majors, several preprofessional programs, and hosts two University of Pittsburgh graduate programs, the Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Social Work. The most popular majors are business management, nursing, education, criminal justice, and biology. Pitt-Bradford’s professional programs include accounting, broadcast communications, computer information systems and technology, hospitality management, and petroleum technology. Many students take advantage of internships or research opportunities owing to the number of partnerships Pitt-Bradford has with area businesses and industries. The campus, which comprises 24 buildings, is on 317 acres nestled at the foothills of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains in Bradford, McKean County, 189 miles north of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Bradford has been listed among the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report in its “America’s Best Colleges” publication and was named to the list of “Best Colleges in the Northeastern Region” by the Princeton Review. It also was recently named one of 150 “Best Value Colleges” in America by Princeton Review. Pitt-Bradford successfully recruits students from many counties in Pennsylvania, including the urban centers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as well as from 24 other states and 13 foreign countries. The campus, which boasts 14 athletic teams, serves approximately 1,600 students and has more than 9,300 alumni. University of Pittsburgh at Titusville The University of Pittsburgh at Titusville, founded in 1963, is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh system and is a comprehensive two-year college. It offers eight associate degrees and access to more than 100 majors and pre-professional tracks with transfer programs provided for students pursuing baccalaureate degrees. Its degree programs are in such professional areas as nursing, physical therapist assistant, business, and human services. It also offers preparation for engineering as well as medicine, pharmacy, and other health-related professions. Students also may elect to complete their baccalaureate degree at the Titusville campus through joint programs with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The campus, on 10 acres in Titusville, in Crawford County, is about 107 miles from Pittsburgh and serves as an educational, cultural, and economic resource for its region of Pennsylvania. It has two intercollegiate athletic teams—men’s and women’s basketball. Pitt-Titusville serves approximately 500 students. On April 28, 2012, the school awarded degrees to 80 students, making it the largest graduating class in the school’s 49-year history.