The Pitt COVID Concern Connection, which allowed people to report activities that weren’t compliant with the University’s pandemic-related health guidelines, was so successful that it has been expanded into the new Pitt Concern Connection, an all-in-one reporting system that launched May 17.
REPORTING A CONCERN
Pitt Concern Connection can be accessed 24/7 by texting 412-903-3456, calling 800-468-5768 or completing an online form.
Students, faculty, staff and even community members can report issues ranging from environmental compliance to student conduct to employee relations, stalking, fraud, NCAA rules violations and much more. (Title IX and Civil Rights issues also can still be reported using the Make A Report feature on the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion website.)
Reports can be filed anonymously or you can provide contact information. Complaints are then routed to the responsible department for a case manager to evaluate and respond. Every incident reported will receive a unique case number, which can be used to follow up on the complaint.
Laurel Gift, who started at Pitt in April 2020 as assistant vice chancellor for the Office of Compliance, Investigation and Ethics, was asked to evaluate the usefulness of the AlertLine, the University’s 24/7 reporting service.
“After speaking with a number of stakeholders, what I found was that some people didn’t know what AlertLine was or that it even existed,” Gift told Pittwire. “And if they did know about it, they weren’t sure if it was for students or staff, or if it was just for reporting fraud, waste and abuse complaints. Based upon that alone, I knew we needed to make a change.”
The University worked with Concervent, a compliance software company based in Denver, Colo., to develop the COVID Concern Connection.
According to Gift, after it launched last year her office saw a significant increase in the number of COVID-related cases being reported by students, faculty, staff and members of the community. As Gift learned more about the new software, she realized its full case management capabilities and saw an opportunity to streamline campus-wide reporting.
The new system will replace both AlertLine and other reporting structures previously separated by topic. It also can be used to ask questions
According to Gift, who works closely with the Office of University Counsel, the new system could help the University identify patterns and systems that are either working or not working.
Geovette Washington, Pitt’s chief legal officer, said, “The Pitt Concern Connection will provide a central, easy to find resource for Pitt community members to share their concerns about things happening on our campuses. This resource will also provide the University with a reliable outlet for communicating details, as well as a dependable team to monitor and ensure timely response.”
Gift said the new system was rolled out now to give sufficient time to work out any kinks before AlertLine goes away in June. An education campaign is schedule for the fall to teach members of the Pitt community about the new system.