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 SRU President Tells Trustees Applications for Enrollment Increasing 



Dec. 2, 2005

Contact: Ross Feltz – 724-738-2919; e-mail:; cell: 724-679-1376


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Slippery Rock University President Robert M. Smith told the university’s council of trustees applications for enrollment are up 38 percent from last year and the acceptance rate is approximately 55 percent compared with 63 percent a year ago, reflecting more rigorous admission standards.

      Reporting today at the council’s regular quarterly meeting, Smith noted majors experiencing higher increases include exercise science, biology, chemistry and most of the education specialties. “We are delighted to see a 109 percent increase in out-of-state applicants, a 40 percent increase in international student applications and a 37 percent increase in graduate student applications, primarily in physical therapy, counseling and development, and sport management,” he said.

      He said current enrollment of 8,105 is an increase of 2.2 percent, the fourth largest increase among the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions. “Our enrollment management plan has consistently provided measured growth through retention and transfer students,” Smith explained. “We recognize much of the enthusiasm for applying to Slippery Rock University has been generated by a combination of marketing strong academic programs and the much improved physical facilities.”

      He reported the new student housing project now under construction has been an “economic spark” generating more than $13 million for Butler County contractors and employing more than 500 workers.

      On a cautionary note, he told the council as much as $3.5 million in projected expenses may have to be cut from next year’s budget. “With continuing spiraling costs of health-care coverage, contractual salary obligations and skyrocketing energy costs, we are taking a careful look at low performing academic programs and the cost of athletics,” Smith said.

Contributions to fire departments

            The council voted to contribute $15,000 to the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department, with a request it be shared with the rescue squad. In addition, it donated $1,000 to be split between the Sandy Lake and Stoneboro volunteer fire departments for availability to the McKeever Environment Learning Center.

     Trustees welcomed new trustees Grace Hawkins of Cranberry and Nick DeRosa of New Castle, and passed a resolutions thanking former council member Dr. Arlene Quinlan of Butler for distinguished service to the university.

      Recognizing that Smith represents the university, is considered a highly visible public official and has been occasionally requested to provide personal contributions to candidates seeking public office, the council voted to “recommend that the university president refrain from making any personal contributions to a candidate for public elected office or any political party or political action committee.”

      Trustees also reviewed and approved service and supply purchase orders, contracts and fixed assets.

     A donation of $250,000 from the Snyder Charitable Foundation based in Kittanning was recognized with a resolution naming the lobby of the soon-to-be-opened science building the Snyder Charitable Foundation Lobby.

     One retirement was noted: Dr. Kathleen Kellinger, associate professor of nursing, of Baden, with eight years of service.

      The next council meeting will be at 1:30 p.m., March 24, 2006.                                             


Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report