As Pitt plans for returning to its campuses, the University has drawn on one of its greatest strengths – the wealth of expertise within this world-class research institution’s own ranks.
A trio of task forces were formed to focus on education, research and employees and operations, with faculty, staff, students and administrators collaborating in working groups to address the myriad issues that make up the complex task of returning operations to Pitt’s campuses. The reports from these groups, along with input from the Pitt community, are the basis for the principles in development.
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and his senior leadership team are providing oversight of this process and assisted by the Resilience Steering Committee (RSC). The RSC, chaired by chief legal officer Geovette Washington, ensures that University leadership is able to be proactive, anticipate events and issues, and prepare appropriately to mitigate impact throughout the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. This centralized group manages and coordinates the University’s activity in the resilience framework, including ensuring University-wide coordination and communication of guidance and standards. The RSC’s position enables them to test approaches quickly and pursue the most effective solutions, allowing the University to move ahead of the changing environment.
Another key player in this process is the Healthcare Advisory Group (HCAG) — made up of experts in medicine, law, public health, occupational health and safety, epidemiology and emergency preparedness — who were formed to recommend universal health standards and guidelines, and to make recommendations to the Chancellor’s senior leadership team regarding the University’s operating status. The HCAG centered its recommendations around the best science, with an understanding as well that the standards and guidelines must be practical and workable, and that flexibility is needed in order to operate under uncertain and changing conditions.