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October 26, 2017

From the Editor

Input Sought on University Times Redesign

In a readership survey sent to faculty and staff in July 2017, readers were invited to share feedback about the University Times. This was done in an effort to understand how our audience interacts with UTimes — Pitt’s official communication for faculty and staff since 1968.

One of the most-cited themes throughout the hundreds of survey responses focused on the format in which UTimes is delivered to readers through email and the online user experience at

“Update the ‘feel’ so it [University Times] feels like something sent in 2017, not sent in 1991.”

 “Make the email more enticing. Right now, it looks like a generic text-driven work email.”

 “The feel is very old school.”

I appreciate the time that participants took to complete the survey. The helpful and relevant candor you shared helps inform us as we move the UTimes forward. We expect to again collect survey information in the future to continue incorporating your feedback into this evolving publication.

Over the past year, the UTimes has undergone major changes in how it delivers news to the Pitt community, including its transition from a printed newspaper to an online publication.

That transition makes it possible to understand readership preferences and to learn how staff and faculty consume workplace news and information, and to identify topics and subjects that drive attention and engagement.

Seven wordmark options

Readers are invited to vote for the wordmark that they feel best represents the University Times. Click on the image above to access a larger view of the graphics.

In addition, your feedback made clear the importance of embracing the enormous opportunity in making the UTimes more accessible and engaging online for faculty and staff. I’m pleased to share that a team has been working on a prototype over the past few months, and hope to launch it in the near future.

Part of this process will be introducing a newly designed e-newsletter and website that will improve navigation of the content, no matter where or how you choose to consume the news (on your desktop, smart phone or even by printing out stories). Our new platforms are being developed to be robust and intuitive, visually pleasing and focused on topics you described as most important.

As part of a new digital experience, the UTimes website and email newsletter will get a brand-new look. The new design will need an updated wordmark – the artistic representation of the name of the publication.

We’re asking you to vote for the wordmark that you feel best represents the University Times.

The poll is open until Thursday, Nov. 2, and can be accessed by clicking the URL at the bottom of this page or by copying and pasting it into your web browser.

As editor, I look forward to ensuring the University Times serves as an accessible and dynamic resource for balanced and objective news and information, and that it reflects the unique experiences and needs of faculty and staff communities at Pitt.

I very much appreciate your participation.


University Times Wordmark Poll

Access the poll by clicking the following URL or by copying and pasting it into your web browser:


Ellie Graves is the editor of University Times. She can be reached via email at


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