Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

President Brussalis announces part two of university’s strategic planning

Photo by Caleb McCartney
President Chris Brussalis speaks Monday in the PNC Theatre during the announcement presentation of the next strategic planning.

On Monday, university President Chris Brussalis announced “Pioneer Vision 2030,” the next strategic plan for the university. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the plan last week.


“Pioneer Vision 2030” is a continuation of Brussalis’ focus since his full-time appointment in July and research by the university that started in the spring of 2022. The plan focuses on three drivers of program excellence, student experience and community and three strategic enablers of growth, advancement and capacity. The goals outlined in the plan are hoped to be achieved by 2030.


“We know our purpose and that is to inspire creativity and improve overall society,” Brussalis said in an interview with The Globe. “We want to be the most dynamic urban university in America; this is our North Star.”


Sandamini Sinley, a fourth year SAEM and broadcast major and director of operations for Pioneer Records, attended the presentation and said that the strategic plan “can be amazing” if executed properly.


“If the school utilizes the right sources and keeps their ears open to students, I think it can be amazing,” Sinley said. “I think the biggest thing is we need to maintain our funding and balance time and money for students… there are so many students overwhelmed with course work because they are working multiple jobs to sustain themselves.”


Kayla Brown, a junior forensic psychology major and president of the Black Student Union (BSU), also attended the meeting and said she wanted the university to focus more on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.


“I think the presentation was effective and direct, but I am crossing my fingers that the university will make the changes it wants to,” Brown said. “We are a smaller school, which means there are limited resources, and that is something that causes students to leave… we need to focus on keeping students here and that is through supporting our students of color properly.”


A key section of the strategic plan is assessing and redeveloping the university curriculum core.


“Right now, we are not as transfer-friendly as we can be,” Brussalis said. “We need to look at our core to not only make it the best it can be but to make it accommodating for all types of students.”


Other program-enhancing steps include creating an industry-immersed advisory board for all schools by the summer of 2024, developing at least one new, in-demand program for each school, “teaching out” new programs that are no longer relevant, creating a “first-year” office and increasing transfer student enrollment by 15% by fall 2025.


Brussalis also aims to increase overall enrollment by 30% by fall 2024.


Marc Palombo, SGA president and a senior acting major, said that this is “too ambitious” and that he wanted the plan to be “more fleshed out” and detailed but that it is overall a “good step” for the university. 


“It would be great to increase enrollment by 30%, but does that mean we’re increasing staff and faculty by 30% too?” Palombo said. “We can’t bring these students in and not have the services for them… Point Park’s selling point is having small class sizes where you can have one-on-one help from professors, [and] you can meet with your school dean, not being the most dynamic urban campus in America.”


Palombo also said that the focus of the strategic plan should be retainment of students, staff and faculty.


“We [SGA] hear all the time about students and even faculty getting here and being upset for all different kinds of reasons,” Palombo said. “We need to make sure we’re solid internally before we can expand out… I think parts of the plan like curriculum and community are good for this.”


Another key section to the new strategic plan is creating a stronger sense of community within the university and within the greater Pittsburgh area. Brussalis plans to establish intramural club sports, as well as athletic teams in men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s wrestling. 


“For as small of a campus as we are, there isn’t always a strong sense of belonging,” Palombo said. “Overall, the ideas for community are good. I often hear people downtown all the time saying they don’t know about Point Park or where it even is… I think overall this plan is a good step forward and that we have a strong figurehead steering the ship.”


Brussalis plans to develop an “Academic Village 2.0” run by students, staff and faculty to “revitalize” downtown, offering in-house internship and co-op experiences.


“We’re still trying to figure out the building, but we want it to be a place where the community can come in with their concerns, and students can get real-world experience,” Brussalis said. “Getting students out and improving in the community is the ultimate goal.”


Brussalis said this space will also include a community events center for athletic and artistic performances equipped with a food court. It will also serve as a hub for small businesses. 


Another building Brussalis is looking for is one that provides “mixed-general housing” for students, post-graduate artists, Pittsburgh Scholar House single mothers and children and retirement residences. 


“One of the top things I hear students say is that they miss their families,” Brussalis said. “This will open our doors to the community and show people that we are here to help.”


Brussalis said that all residents will have a connection to the university.


Other agenda items include creating more synergy across all schools, offering more student internship experiences for all schools through the Pittsburgh Playhouse and campus renovations, primarily focusing on bathrooms for ADA compliance. Brussalis did not confirm whether bathrooms will be gender-neutral or if both traditional men’s and women’s bathrooms will be on each floor in Academic Hall. 


Senior Vice President Ted Black said in Monday’s presentation that this strategic plan will improve the university’s competitiveness. 


“We want people to look at Point Park with envy,” Black said. “That is what we are going to accomplish.”


A recording of Monday’s presentation can be found on the university’s YouTube channel. 


Brussalis said that the next steps in implementing this plan is finalizing the university’s budget.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Point Park Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *