Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

March 2, 1995

3 new degree programs approved

The Board of Trustees approved three new Pitt academic programs Feb. 16:

* A Ph.D. in rehabilitation science in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS). The new doctoral program will train health professionals for academic and clinical jobs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation technology. Until now, SHRS has offered only master's and bachelor's degrees. School administrators say the new program is the last major step in transforming SHRS from a training program to a comprehensive academic and scholarly enterprise.

* A master of law (LL.M.) in international and comparative law, which will be open only to graduates of foreign law schools who wish to deepen their understanding of the U.S. legal system. Law school administrators say the program also should educate the school's American students about other countries' legal systems, because the foreign law graduates will participate in many of their classes.

* A master of health promotion and education (MHPE) to be offered cooperatively by the School of Education and the Graduate School of Public Health, and administered by the education school. The program will prepare individuals for diverse positions in health promotion, health communication and health education programs. Students will have the option of continuing on for doctoral study in either educational research and evaluation or health services research and evaluation.

Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor, in proposing the new programs for board approval, said: "I would like to assure the board that these three programs are consistent with the University's long-range planning process and, in particular, with the goals the board approved at its last meeting to enhance graduate and professional education.

"Each proposed program meticulously scrutinizes both the academic and financial perspectives. Great care was given to the financial analyses of these programs and we are satisfied that all three meet practical, institutional objectives while answering the real demand of the marketplace." But state Rep. Ron Cowell, a Commonwealth-appointed trustee, criticized the three written proposals for lacking a uniform format and for focusing on the programs' additional costs (hiring new faculty, for example) rather than their total costs (for example, the salary money paid to existing faculty to teach new courses created for the programs).

Cowell also complained, "There is not a uniform institutional policy for what happens to the money that is generated by a new program…Sometimes, the operator of the program keeps a piece of it, sometimes it goes into the general fund. There seems to be a lot of free-wheeling and deal-making that goes on. That may well be appropriate, but I wish that we would be more thoughtful about it." Provost James Maher replied, "There are no private deals being cut, but each [program proposal] is looked at individually on its merits." How a school gets to spend the income generated by a new program can vary depending on the school's annual revenue stream and the priority given to the school in the University's long-range plan, Maher said.

According to Pitt budget analysts, the new SHRS doctoral program will cover its costs but not generate extra income — "but since the bulk of the investment has already been made in terms of faculty appointments, it would be cost ineffective not to initiate the program," Maher wrote to Chancellor O'Connor in a Nov. 4 memorandum. Program enrollment is expected to increase from five full-time students in fall 1995 to 20 in fall 1998.

Projected tuition income from the international and comparative law program is expected to "significantly" exceed the program's costs. An initial enrollment of five full-time students is planned for fall 1995, with future, total enrollment not to exceed 15. Enrolling eight students will generate $120,000 in annual tuition income, exceeding program costs of $96,000, the law school estimated.

The schools of education and public health will cover the costs of the master of health promotion and education program under their existing budgets. A net addition to the University's tuition income is expected. Fifteen full-time equivalent students are anticipated for fall 1995, with future, total enrollment to be limited to 40 FTEs.

Also at the Board of Trustees meeting, trustees received an update from Chancellor O'Connor on affirmative action statistics at Pitt (see story on page 3), approved a new University mission statement (printed on page 3) and discussed the following topics.

Giving to Pitt Lawrence Weber, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement, reported that total giving to Pitt (excluding sponsored research) increased by 5.29 percent for the first half of the current fiscal year, compared with the same period last year.

From July 1 through Dec. 31, 1994, contributions to Pitt totaled $17.1 million, up from $16.3 million the year before. Annual Giving Fund (AGF) donations declined, however, by 5.64 percent.

Corporate gifts to Pitt declined by 14.4 percent (from $2.44 million during the first half of FY 1994 to $2.09 million in the first half of FY 1995). Gifts from foundations were down by 24.6 percent (from $7.36 million to $5.55 million). Contributions from trustees declined by 30.1 percent (from $76,736 to $53,630). Alumni giving was up by 27.7 percent (from $3.21 million to $4.1 million). Gifts from non-alumni increased by 78.3 percent (from $1.12 million to $2 million). Remaining contributions, grouped under the category of "other" gifts, were up by 61.5 percent (from $2 million to $3.35 million).

University deficit Due mainly to lower-than-expected enrollments, Pitt faces a potential $5.7 million deficit during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. But O'Connor assured the trustees that non-tuition revenues "will effect a balanced budget, if not one in the black, by the close of the fiscal year." One such revenue source is an increase in indirect cost recovery from federal research funds, O'Connor said; another is an out-of-court settlement through which HealthAmerica reimbursed the University for past overbilling.

Campus safety O'Connor said Pitt will continue to respond "openly and effectively to incidents of crime and violence on campus." Under Pennsylvania's College and University Information Act of 1988 and the federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, Pitt produces an annual report on campus crime, which it publishes in a brochure and a Pitt News insert, the chancellor noted.

"Because of the unique urban environment in which our campus is located, we undoubtedly face challenges in the area of crime prevention that would not exist if we were a more insular institution. However, I want to assure the board that we will go to great lengths to secure the safety of our students, our faculty, our staff and our campus visitors so that we can all take full advantage of all the opportunities and the resources that our institution presents." New quasi-endowments The board voted to create the Arthur C. Dick Quasi-Endowed Scholarship in the School of Engineering and the Margaret M. Dick Quasi-Endowed Scholarship in the School of Nursing. The scholarships are funded by a bequest from Arthur C. Dick, a 1930 Pitt engineering graduate.

Quasi-endowments are not permanent endowments, but the principal amount must be at least $10,000 and may not be withdrawn, in whole or in part, for at least five years.

UPT Science Center The trustees approved naming the new science and auditorium facility at the Titusville campus the Broadhurst Science Center in honor of the prominent Titusville area family. In 1994, the Broadhursts donated $300,000 toward the new center, the largest gift ever made to the Titusville campus.

— Bruce Steele

Leave a Reply