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Dec. 7, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

SRU trustees honor retiring Provost William Williams

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University’s Council of Trustees today, as part of their quarterly meeting, honored William Williams, retiring provost and vice president for academic affairs, for his 31 years of service and leadership to the University.

A resolution recognizing Williams noted, “He has served as a valuable member of Slippery Rock University throughout his 31 years of outstanding service, providing expert leadership, advice and counsel to the university community.”

Trustees acknowledged Williams’ nine years of leadership as president of the SRU chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties in which he represented “his colleagues with a deep understanding of the importance of promoting excellence in the classroom and a commitment to enhancing the academic environment.”

At SRU, Williams has also served as a professor of English, department chairperson, and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. He has announced he will retire in early-spring semester.

Trustees said he “exemplified the highest standards of professionalism and was steadfast in his loyalty to all University interests,” while working “tirelessly in supporting our students, faculty, staff and University administration. He was a visible presence at numerous campus activities and faithfully devoted his time, energy and talents to countless University endeavors throughout his tenure.”

Courtney Baker-Schroat, a newly appointed student trustee from Brackenridge who was attending her first meeting since being appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett, read the resolution.

In accepting the resolution, Williams thanked the council. “I have received far more from Slippery Rock University than I gave. Slippery Rock University gave me the chance to become the person I am today. I am glad to have led a University that provides opportunities for many more people.”

Thomas Breth of Butler also attended his first meeting as a newly confirmed trustee. Breth was nominated for the post by Corbin and approved by the Pennsylvania Senate.

Council was informed that auditors had issued a “clean audit” of the University’s financial statement ending last June 30. The report, issued by the auditing firm of ParenteBeard, is the 26th consecutive clean audit received under the leadership of Charles Curry, vice president for finance and administrative affairs.

Cheryl Norton, SRU president, delivered her President’s Report, thanking all of those involved in welcoming her to campus and for planning her “Inauguration Week” during which, she said, “We celebrated Slippery Rock University’s tradition of excellence and our future of unlimited potential.”

Norton told trustees of recent campus accomplishments, including SRU being named a College of Distinction, which honors schools nationwide for excellence in student-focused higher education.

Colleges and universities are nominated for participation in the Colleges of Distinction program by high school counselors' recommendations as well as quantitative research. SRU was the only Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education university named to the list.

Norton cited Eric Holmes, chair of the council, for his recent selection as a “Men of Excellence Award” winner; Michael Wolf, a 1988 SRU political science graduate and former member of the council, for his selection as acting secretary to the Pennsylvania Department of Health; and reported Robert Arnhold, SRU professor of physical education, had received a $1.25-million U.S. Department of Education grant to help certified physical education teachers expand their skills in working with children with disabilities.

She also congratulated SRU athletic teams for their fall semester success, including exceeding the national average in 22 of 26 categories of the Division II Academic Success Rate report released by the NCAA.

In routine action, council approved a motion regarding approval levels for contracts, fixed assets and service and supply purchase orders required by the PASSHE board of governors, along with the contracts, fixed assets and service and supply purchase order reports.

Council was informed that Jace Condravy, a 31-year English professor, and Herbert Hunt, a 13-year assistant professor of elementary education and early childhood development and assistant to the dean of the College of Education, would retire in January. Sharon Isacco, a 37-year communication services manager in printing services, has reported she will retire at the end of the December.

The trustees next meeting is March 15.

"Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.