By SUSAN JONES
When Pittsburgh City Council approved Pitt’s Institutional Master Plan in July 2021, it was the end of a lengthy process that involved public engagement within and outside the University. And it was beginning of putting the plan into action.
To help keep that plan on track and accountable to all the stakeholders involved, Pitt’s Office of Engagement and Community Affairs has created an Institutional Master Plan dashboard, which is accessible online to anyone.
“The dashboard is really geared toward anyone that has an interest in learning more about the University of Pittsburgh’s commitment to work with our neighboring communities,” said Jamie Ducar, director of community engagement in the office.
“The dashboard is a mix of storytelling, of numerical reporting, sort of point in time, but also telling the story of what our campus is going to look like over the next 10 years, and what our programs are going to look like over the next 10 years.”
The plan outlines 70 goals for Pitt’s Oakland campus over the next decade, organized under the broad categories of enhanced impact, responsive solutions and improved access. For instance, under improved access one goal is to grow existing community programs. The dashboard outlines how Pitt Law, the School of Dental Medicine and The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence have all provided community services in the past few years.
The dashboard has taken more than a year to develop, Ducar said, because they wanted to make sure high-level leaders knew what data was being included and that there were data stewards who would keep the site updated continuously
“This should be a living website — a place that grows as we grow, and also celebrate some of those wins as we as we step through our IMP projects,” Ducar said.
Members of the community engagement office have been spreading the word about the new dashboard at neighborhood group meetings, she said, and they are including a link to the site in their monthly updates to those groups.
People also can reach out to the office through email and phone calls, she said, “because we want to be accessible for folks if they do have questions or if they’re looking for something specific and don’t see it.”
Now that the site is up, Ducar said she’s interested in what people think about it and how they are using it.
She hopes to go out school by school and make individualized recommendations on how it can be useful to people. “Now you don’t have to go to 10 different websites across planning and sustainability and this place and that place, we’ve got it all here in one place.”
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 724-244-4042.
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