University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown
How does a world-class university serve a mid-size community in a down economy?
How long has Pitt had a campus in Johnstown?
Actually, since 1927. We moved ten miles in 1967 from the city of Johnstown to 655 picturesque acres in Richland Township. Our enrollment is 3,000 students, mostly aged 18 to 22, of whom 65 percent live on campus. In addition to strong academics, we have established a rich legacy of athletics excellence with many nationally ranked sports teams, including basketball and wrestling..
What have you learned about the community in your three years as president?
I am impressed by the resilience of the people of Johnstown. I've learned that it comes from a strong work ethic mixed with pride. Flooding, steel shutdowns and population decline have affected the area at various times but Johnstown is bouncing back. We're seeing growth in health care, alternative energy technology and defense-related technology. That growth is a combination of jobs moving in and local residents expanding their skills and credentials.
In what specific ways does Pitt stimulate the local economy?
We place engineering graduates in jobs with local employers. We train teachers and nurses. Our annual payroll of $24 million keeps 500 people at work every day. Our overall impact on the local economy exceeds $60 million. In addition, Pitt employees devote hundreds of volunteer hours to community activities.
What percentage of Johnstown high school seniors can afford to attend Pitt?
With a good mix of funding sources, including financial aid, grants and some loans, virtually all high school students can attend here. Average annual tuition for a full-time student is $11,000. A year in our residence halls with meals is about $6,500. We have met our enrollment target for fall 2009.
What other colleges are in their shopping mix?
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Seton Hill University, Penn State-Altoona, Mt. Aloysius College, St. Francis University.
What is your marketing edge?
We are successfully delivering a Pitt-branded and Pitt-quality education in the local region. Our academic quality, excellent faculty and dedicated staff provide a fine educational experience in a beautiful setting that's appreciated in Johnstown.
What are you doing for recent graduates as they look for jobs?
By launching an ambitious initiative called "100 days for 100 percent," we've transformed our career services office into an aggressive job-placement firm. Our staff have an arsenal of tools that help them work effectively on behalf of each graduate during the hundred days immediately following graduation. After one year we're achieving employment success at rates well above national averages.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I'd like to be right here as the leader of a campus with a well-deserved reputation for quality both locally and nationally. I'd also like Pitt-Johnstown to be a solid leader in academics with excellent programs responsive to our students' and communities' needs, as well as an enhanced collegiate environment symbolized by our signature RealWorld Action Program.