New deans, new digs and new eats greet faculty, staff and students

Betsy Farmer, Jimmy Martin and Amy WildermuthSummer is no time of rest for the University of Pittsburgh. There’s been plenty going on both academically and physically on campus. Here’s a rundown of just some of the changes faculty, staff and students will see this fall.

New deans

In addition to Bernard Costello, who was promoted from interim to permanent dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the end of the spring term, three more deans joined the Pitt staff this summer.

Look for Q&As with all three in this edition of the University Times.


While work continues on several floors of the Cathedral of Learning, there are few very noticeable improvements to campus.

Schenley Quad

Schenley Quadrangle Plaza: The redone space was finished up just before the start of classes on Aug. 27. The area that formerly contained some parking, now is automobile free, with green spaces and areas for students to relax and socialize. The $10.2 million project also includes renovations to the structure and garage.

Posvar Hall study area

Posvar Hall second floor study area: The ongoing Posvar renovations saw the revamping of new study areas on the second floor early this summer. Glass partitions have replaced brick around the galleria, and there are new study spaces for individual and group study.

Heinz Chapel memorial gardenHeinz Chapel garden and fountain: The design of the new garden emulates formal European parterre gardens, which are often paired with ornate Gothic architecture such as Heinz Chapel, according to a news release from Pitt Giving. Five-foot wide sandstone walkway pavers will radiate from a three-tiered fountain that aligns with the center of the chapel and acts as the focal point of the garden. 

Hillman Library fourth floor: Work was completed on the fourth floor of the library just before the start of the fall term. For more details on the ongoing project, see here.

Food n’at

  • Mobile Nom: Built by Pitt students, this app tracks the locations, menus and hours of Oakland’s food trucks.
  • Panther Grille food truck: Pitt’s very own food truck — which will service areas farther away from the dining halls — grew out of conversations with students and the business plan was developed by students in the College of Business Administration, who will continue assisting with the truck’s management as part of a learning partnership between Sodexo and Pitt Business.
  • Maggie & Stella’s Cards & Gifts: The former Oakland Avenue shop has moved next to Starbucks on Fifth Avenue, in the old Oakland Bakery and Market. The new store opened on Aug. 13, but will have its grand re-opening from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14.
  • The Forbes Street Market: The new on-campus grocery story is set to open in October, located where the 7-Eleven used to be next to the William Pitt Union. It will offer fresh, affordable local produce, meats, cheeses, sweets and convenience items.


CSSD rolled out a few new ventures this summer too.

  • Pitt App Store: The previous platform was replaced with a more user-friendly collection in AskCathy.
  • Student Computing Labs: The two labs in the Cathedral of Learning — and the adjoining classroom available to instructors — were completely remodeled, including recessed entry doors, new furniture, energy-efficient LED light fixtures, 27-inch 4K monitors, and a fresh paint job.
  • CourseWeb (Blackboard Learn): Blackboard Collaborate, in conjunction with the University Center for Teaching and Learning, was added providing accessible, mobile-friendly web conferencing to help instructors engage and collaborate with their students.


Susan Jones,, 412-648-4294