Office of the Provost


August 2, 2006

Dear Colleagues:

As part of an ongoing effort to effectively fulfill our historic mission in continuing education, we are announcing today an administrative realignment that will integrate the education of nontraditional students more centrally into University operations and policy-making and provide these students with easier access to University-wide resources.

The administration of the College of General Studies will be integrated within the School of Arts and Sciences, which will now serve three distinct groups: graduate students who are offered graduate and research programs; traditional undergraduate students who are offered academic programs in the arts and sciences; and nontraditional students who are offered specialized academic programs. All of these units will report to N. John Cooper who, since 1998, has successfully led the School of Arts and Sciences in strengthening its position as the liberal arts core of the University of Pittsburgh. He will remain the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and become the new Dean of the College of General Studies.

The mission and name of the College of General Studies will remain unchanged and CGS will continue to offer specialized services to nontraditional students, especially in the areas of advising and retention. The integration of CGS administration within the School of Arts and Sciences is designed to better align the administrative and academic resources for nontraditional students, giving them ease of access to the programs and services in undergraduate, professional and continuing education.

At the same time, the current Dean of the College of General Studies, Dr. Susan Kinsey, is named Associate Vice Provost for Continuing Education, adding continuing education to the areas of focus within my office, which already include undergraduate and graduate education, research and student and faculty affairs. Through this position, we expect to take full advantage of Dr. Kinsey’s rich experience and expertise.

Part of our long-standing mission here at the University of Pittsburgh has been to offer continuing education programs adapted primarily to the personal, professional and career interests of nontraditional students. Demographic and economic changes occurring in the region in the recent past have affected the patterns of demand for continuing education programs and services, a trend we see happening nationally as well. Dr. Kinsey will be helping us to determine the best ways to fulfill our mission in this new environment.

The College of General Studies has had a long and critical role in continuing education at the University of Pittsburgh. Since its founding, the College has graduated almost 18,000 students, who have helped to enrich the economic, civic and cultural life of the Pittsburgh region. We fully expect to continue this proud tradition.

As well, we expect to continue our tradition of partnering with the community through CGS as we build on such innovations as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success; work with businesses to develop noncredit training programs for employees; maintain strong connections with community colleges, facilitating the transfer of nontraditional students to Pitt; strengthen our distance education programs; and respond to the needs of the region’s workforce through programs and other initiatives that reflect the changing demands brought about by growth and development.

We hope you will join us as we look forward to building on our strengths in continuing education.


James V. Maher

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