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 Enrollment, accreditation successes top Slippery Rock University Trustees' report 



Dec. 15, 2006
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Enrollment, accreditation successes top Slippery Rock University Trustees’ report

     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University President Robert Smith today told the University’s Council of Trustees, “The University’s enrollment and accreditation successes are measurable indicators of progress toward our goal of continuously improving the quality and value of an SRU degree.”

     “The University has achieved accreditation or reaccredidation for every program evaluated,” Smith said. “This pays dividends in improving the quality of education our students receive and our academic reputation.” Among specific accreditations cited were those for SRU’s Exercise Science Program and its College of Education, which had all of its teaching certification programs reviewed by the state Department of Education.

     Smith said results from the 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement show Slippery Rock University students consistently rate their experience at SRU higher than do students attending peer institutions.

     “These survey data prove that ‘It’s a great time to be at Slippery Rock University,’ is more than just a tagline. We’ve made an incredible commitment to improving each student’s curricular and co-curricular learning experience and the physical learning environment. These data show students find those changes to be very positive.”

     “As a University, we are accountable to a variety of stakeholders, including parents, students, legislators, accrediting bodies, the Council of Trustees and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. This survey is just one of a wide-range of assessment activities the University routinely utilizes to help us measure our effectiveness and strengthen the learning environment.” Smith said.

     In other accomplishments, he noted, “Our enrollment is up 9.3 percent over the past four years. And, for the past three years, we have broken previous records every single year while simultaneously reducing or holding steady the size of the freshman class. During this same four-year period, our applications for admission are up 25.7 percent, and we are now accepting less than 70 percent of those students who apply. This is the most rigorous acceptance rate in anyone’s memory,” Smith said.

     The president told trustees entering freshmen have higher SAT scores and high school grades than prior classes. He also said African-American student enrollment was up 31 percent and enrollment of Hispanic and Latino students was up 138 percent in the four-year time period. “In addition, retention and graduation rates are up for all measures. Our successes have been consistent with our goals,” he said.

     Smith said the University continued to solidify its position as Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university with the opening of the first phase of the $110-million, suite-style residence hall complex. “These facilities, designed as models for living – learning communities, have already begun to change the face of the campus.”

     Fiscally, Smith told the trustees, the University benefited from receiving more than $4 million in performance funding from the state – the third highest amount among state system institutions. “This achievement is the result of the collective will of our faculty, staff and students,” he said.

     In formal action, trustees approved a resolution providing $625,000 for construction of a 4,700-square-foot locker room facility at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium. The addition will serve both the field hockey and lacrosse teams and will provide restroom facilities on the visitor’s side of the stadium.

     Retaining its long tradition of supporting fire departments that service the University and its facilities, trustees voted to donate $15,000 to the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department, to be shared with the rescue squad. The council also approved a $1,000 donation to be shared by the Stoneboro Volunteer Fire Department and the Sandy Lake Volunteer Fire Department, which provide fire protection at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center operated by SRU.

     In routine action, trustees approved service and supply purchase orders, contracts and fixed assets reports. Trustees were told of 20 instructional appointments for spring semester and two substitute instructional appointments. A senior professional appointment was announced along with six state university administrator appointments, three grant-funded coordinator appointments and 26 support staff appointments.

     Trustees were informed of seven retirements: 

* Terry Steele, associate professor of music, 32 years of service

* Michael Stowe, associate professor of sociology, 25 years of service

* Richard Kerr, computer operations manager, 34 years of service

* John McGallis, systems analyst, 32 years of service

* Delores Laderer, custodial worker in facilities and planning, 12 years of service

* Joan Lutz, clerk stenographer 3 in the SRU Counseling Center, 22 years of service

* Clifford Miller, utility plant operator 2 in the heating plant, 15 years of service

     It was announced that John Nichols, who retired last June, had been granted professor emeritus status. Nichols was a history professor for 40 years at SRU.

     Council will hold its next quarterly session at 1:30 p.m., March 9.


      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.





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