Here’s the Plan (for Pitt): Our Purpose


The new Plan for Pitt examines where we are now and where we want to go next to enhance our legacy; advance our mission; and strengthen Pitt’s people, programs and purpose. These three p’s — people, programs and purpose — act as pillars anchoring our strategic plan. Under Our Purpose, we define the success of our people and programs by their impact, including their role in enhancing scholarship, partnerships and society. Let’s explore the four strategic objectives that are specific to this pillar.

Extend networks and supports to help students graduate on time, secure meaningful employment and realize early career success.

We will continue to improve key student success outcomes and achieve equity in those outcomes for all student groups. We will ensure that students and advisers have the tools and information necessary to chart an efficient path to degree completion. We will also aim to increase early professional success by providing students with enhanced career services, mentoring, coaching and networking opportunities.

A critical component of our students’ success is reducing the debt associated with their education. We will continue to strive to limit the maximum amount of unmet financial need for each student and help our graduates eliminate student debt earlier in their careers.

Enhance the professional trajectories and personal success of our alumni.

We will provide alumni with enhanced career services, networking avenues and mentorship opportunities to increase career advancement prospects, as well as offering them lifelong learning and engagement opportunities. We will expand alumni affinity networks that reflect and are inclusive of Pitt’s diverse communities. Also, we will develop and implement strategies to support our alumni’s financial security.

Fuel economic development throughout the region and economic growth throughout the commonwealth.

As we know, Pitt is a powerful engine for economic growth. Under this objective, we will continue to use our position as an anchor institution to benefit local communities. We will leverage our expertise, capabilities and research to create sustainable economic development locally and regionally.

By embracing innovation in ways that attract investments and equitable opportunities, we will create places and spaces that support the innovation life cycle, build employment and housing opportunities, foster connections, promote sustainability and ensure a high quality of life. We also will expand the pathways to enable traditionally underserved residents to participate in success and foster innovation and regional opportunity by connecting local partnerships to global partnerships.

Collaborate with communities — near and far — to improve outcomes and opportunities for their residents.

Communities are at the center of our place-based engagements, and we will ensure that we continue to partner with them in building equity and opportunities. We will translate our research into concrete solutions; leverage global partnerships to solve common and complex challenges; and include the public sector, industry, and social sector in our collaborative efforts. By strengthening partnerships across all five campuses, we will leverage the best practices, capacities and strengths of each campus to the benefit of our local communities.

Do you have questions about the Plan for Pitt or suggestions for implementation? Reach out to

Melissa Schild is assistant vice chancellor for strategic planning and performance and leads the University’s strategic planning efforts.