Chancellor Patrick Gallagher recapped a successful year at the University during the fall Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Sept. 28. Gallagher’s annual report highlighted the University’s accomplishments and new enterprises that launched this past year while looking forward to future initiatives:
Draft campus master plan
The draft master campus plan provides a framework for long-term campus enhancements. To find the best path forward for the Pitt community and its neighbors, Gallagher said input from faculty, staff and students as well as local community members and partners will help to further shape the draft plan. A session for faculty and staff is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. at the University Club, Ballroom B, on Tuesday, Oct. 9. (A full schedule of all upcoming sessions is available online.)
Regional campus update
Working in close collaboration with community members and leaders, the transformation is underway at the Titusville regional campus. The Titusville Education and Training Campus Hub will undergo necessary modifications thanks to funding support from Harrisburg, he said.
Innovation at Pitt
Gallagher noted that Pitt this past year recorded the highest number of invention disclosures, license and option deals and company start-ups in the University’s history. The University, he said, continues to lead on the innovation front with major developments through the Immune Transplant and Therapy Center, a vital project located at 5000 Baum Boulevard; LifeX, which brings expertise, capital and workspace to collaboration between life sciences startups and the private sector; and InnovatePGH, a unique public-private partnership focused on implementing the Brookings Institution report on Pittsburgh’s innovation economy.
Pittsburgh Public Scholars program
The Pittsburgh Public Scholars program guarantees admission and a four-year scholarship to all valedictorians and salutatorians from Pittsburgh Public Schools. It’s a “vital partnership with Pittsburgh to ensure that the very best students from our city can attend Pitt without worrying about student debt,” he said.
Looking ahead, Gallagher said the newest group of students at Pitt, the class of 2022, is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse, with more female engineers, more minority engineers and nurses and more international students than any prior class. It is also the most academically accomplished class in the University’s history.
In other news from the meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve Hari Sastry as Pitt’s new chief financial officer. Sastry is currently the director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, he manages all of the $37 billion foreign assistance budget for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. As Pitt’s CFO, Sastry will be responsible for overseeing all financial management functions at the University. He’ll start his new role here at Pitt in mid-October.