In the middle of the KOVID 19 pandemic, the planning for the autumn semester is underway. The vice president of the Reimagining Pitt Task Force on Education, Ann Cudd, said she was looking forward to an autumn semester on campus.
I remain optimistic that we’ll be on campus, Cudd said. I promise you we’ll work hard to find a way or ways to get on campus.
Cudd leads the Task Force with James Martin II, dean of the Swanson School of Engineering in the United States, and the Task Force leads the work to determine what a lousy education will look like this fall. Then part of the spring semester and the whole summer semester will be put online.
Mr Cadd reported that the working party had met on 29 April. On May 6, I will present a report to the Chancellor with recommendations based on three different pandemic scenarios from Pitt’s Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management. Cadd declined to discuss specific scenarios, but said they were developed by health professionals at the university’s emergency response center. She said that recommendations tailored to each situation would help Chancellor Patrick Gallagher make a decision on the autumn semester in early July.
We want to make a very flexible plan that can take different scenarios into account, depending on what the pandemic offers, according to Cudd. The goal is to be as open as possible and serve the disciples as much as possible.
Mr Martin recalled the importance of flexibility in today’s world.
In very challenging environments, it’s best to focus that energy on the team and the network and their ability to move dynamically from one scenario to the next, Martin says.
The Task Force is led by a management committee of 20 people and consists of five working groups, each dealing with different aspects of campus life. The Executive Committee is responsible for leading the working groups and drafting the final document for Gallagher. The group also includes three scientific advisors. Students are not part of the steering committee of the working group, but are represented in each working group.
At the same time, the other two target groups are interested in other aspects of the university. One is to develop options for the resumption of the study and the other is to make recommendations on the best way to support staff and carry out operations on campus.
Mrs Cudd stated that although there are no students on the Executive Committee, she believes that her views are heard through working groups. Chris Bonno, president of the university senate representing the faculty, was elected member of the executive committee of the Task Force. Community members can also send their comments to the online target groups. Cudd said she didn’t include more people in the working group because she didn’t want the groups to be too big.
The Executive Committee actually only has a coordinating role. I would say that the most important work is done by working groups, and in each of them there are students, Cudd said. We didn’t want the groups to be so big that they couldn’t make decisions.
She added that the working group will look at the opinions offered on the internet and studies conducted by Dr. Pitt among students.
We get a lot of information from students and teachers, Cudd said. We conduct surveys and we also have an online forum that is open to anyone who wants to think along. We’ll read it and talk about it.
Eric Macadangdang, chairman of the student council, is a member of the working group on extracurricular activities. Macadangdang said he was grateful for bringing a student voice to the task force.
I’m happy to talk about how we can plan the future from a student perspective, Mr. Macadangdang said. It is important to have a student perspective on these issues.
When asked whether he thought more student representatives should be included in the working group, Mr. Macadandang did not answer directly, but said he was happy to be included in the working group.
I don’t think I’m the only one who can answer that question. I’m just part of a bigger workgroup, Macadangdang said. I have been asked to participate in a workgroup and I am more than happy to be part of that group.
The working group has focused on collecting information from various public health officials and universities and is now making recommendations based on the Bonn recommendations.
Workgroups have started collecting information about what other schools do and what possibilities Pitt offers in this area. We also had presentations and reports from epidemiologists who explained the basis of the disease, Bonno said. We were in the investigation phase and are now entering the recommendations phase.
Bonno explained that it was difficult to combine the recommendations of the different working groups because the decisions of one group often influence the other groups.
It’s really hard, there’s not one simple answer. Everything will have to be compromised, Mr. Bonno said. What we do with university education and bachelor education depends, among other things, on what we can do with apartments and classrooms.
Mr Bonno added that the Task Force does not take university tuition fees and other income into account in its planning. He said it was important that public health was not affected.
We’re not dealing with a budget. It’s about ensuring public safety and delivering a quality product, Mr Bonno said. I think this is a good thing, because we don’t want to make financial decisions that could jeopardize public safety.
According to Cudd, the driving force behind many of the Task Force’s decisions is related to housing and the number of students that can live on campus.
The Housing and Health Workgroup is now very busy determining how airtight our housing is, how much cleaning and preparation we need, what kind of tests we might need and how we can isolate students who test positive, says Cudd.
Daniel Obisi-Orlu, president of the Student Resident Association, which represents students in student housing, said she hoped the working group would take the financial situation of students into account when discussing housing issues.
The financial burden faced by students and their families on campus housing cannot be equated with previous years and tuition fees, said Obisie-Orlu, a student in political science and growing international and regional studies who has doubled his major. The housing collection must reflect the reality in which we live, and I’m sure the Task Force will take that into account.
Until RSA is part of the working group, students will be represented by other officials, such as Steve Anderson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the Office of Residential Living, Mrs. Obisie-Orlu said.
I am a strong supporter of student representation, especially when it comes to matters that directly affect student life on and off campus, says Obishi-Orlu. Life in the Residence is incredibly varied and RSA will always sit at the table in one form or another.
Despite intensive planning, Cadd said many of the university’s final decisions are left to federal, state and local officials and laws. For example, Cadd said the working group recently learned that the State Department of Education would not allow full-time education if the Allegheny district was in the red or yellow re-opened phase.
The state and local government and even the federal government [are] really important players in determining the conditions on which we can act, Cudd.
Allegheny County is moving from a red to a yellow – or aggressive – phase in Pennsylvania’s strategy to mitigate the effects of the September 15 COWID 19 pandemic. May passes, said Governor Tom Woolf last Friday. Pitt said he would give his own guidelines on how the operation will change during the yellow phase, while ensuring the safety of Pitt members of the community.
But Bonno said that despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, long-term planning would give Pitt the flexibility that will come in the fall.
We don’t want it to be like spring when we move in a week, Bonno says. With everything on the table, we can maintain maximum flexibility, which is important in a changing pandemic.pitt provost,faculty records pitt,pitt provost office hours,pitt pathways,provost academy pitt,university of pittsburgh organizational chart,provost priorities,pitt home