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 Student, Faculty Honors Highlight Report to SRU Trustees; Dr. Dennis Murray Elected Vice Chair 



Contact: Ross C. Feltz, 724-738-2919  -



           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. --  Slippery Rock University’s Council of Trustees reviewed reports on student and faculty honors, community service, and the university’s financial audit as part of their regular quarterly meeting today.

           Interim President Robert Smith reported on SRU’s progress in being an engaged intellectual community, a theme he introduced at September’s meeting of the council.

           Saying that the first requisite is providing “enriched learning experiences,” he highlighted the collaboration between Lowe’s Home Center employees and SRU students to construct improvements to the I CARE House in New Castle, the only on-going community service project of its kind in Pennsylvania.

 Smith reported that two SRU students earned prestigious honors in a neighboring state by being elected to leadership positions in the New York State Communication Association, an organization made up primarily of college and university faculty.  Jeff Milliner, a senior from Aliquipa, was elected Student Representative to the Executive Board and Andrea Romo, a junior from Broadview, Ohio, became the first student to be elected Director of Advertising and Public Relations.

           He also noted that SRU’s student accounting team was named one of five state finalists in the statewide business plan competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.    

             Citing the second requisite as “finding ways to determine our own destiny,” Smith said that the university has raised more than $14 million in the first three years of its campaign to raise $33 million. And, he said construction on the Regional Learning Alliance project in Cranberry Woods Corporate Park is on schedule for opening in August 2004.

            “An engaged intellectual community also must be representative of diverse opinions and different experiences,” Smith said, which is why the university has intensified efforts to attract and retain a diverse faculty, staff and student body. “We have also launched two signature programs to provide professional development to SRU women students and staff,” he said referring to the new Women in Leadership Speaker Series and the Claire R. Schmieler Leadership Institute for Professional Women.

           Smith reported on several additions to campus: A new Veteran’s Memorial contributed by alumni classes of 1951, ‘52 and ‘53; the new Leadership Reaction Course, which hosted its first executive group from Leadership Butler County; and a new rock waterfall that provides a symbolic representation of SRU’s connection to the Slippery Rock Creek. “Space determines the nature of any community and any effort to build an intellectual community has to pay close attention to the physical as well as psychological characteristics of the campus, “ he said.

          Using the acronym “Take Each And Create Hope” from the word “teach,” Smith cited three faculty who received recent honors as exemplifying the teaching excellence that fosters the promotion of hope in an engaged intellectual community.  Dr. Deborah Hutchins, assistant professor of parks and recreation/environmental education, received the 2003 Outstanding Professional Award from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. Dr. Betsy McKinley, associate professor of physical education and sport management, was named University Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. And, Dr. Christophas Walker, assistant professor of academic services and director of SRU’s Frederick Douglass Institute was named on of the top 40 upcoming area professors by the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper.

            Smith also told trustees that the university’s enrollment management strategies and its success were featured as part of the national Strategic Enrollment Management Conference in Boston and that its marketing and branding efforts were featured at a national American Marketing Association symposium.

            He also reported that he recently addressed the Eastern Region Commanders Conference of the U.S. Army to describe how the university rebuilt its Army ROTC program from one of the weakest in the country to one of the strongest.

Dr. Dennis Murray elected vice chair

            Dr. Dennis Murray, of Hollidaysburg, was elected vice chair of the council replacing Howard Meyer whose trustee term recently expired. Dr. Murray has been a trustee since 1997.

           Financial statements for the year ended June 30,2003 were audited by the outside firm ParenteRandolph, whose report was presented to the trustees. “In our opinion,” they wrote, “the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the University.”

Fire department contribution

            The council approved a $15,000 contribution to the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department and requested that it be shared with the rescue squad. Earlier this year, the university contributed $100,000 for a new ladder truck. Trustees also approved a $565 donation to be split between the Sandy Lake and Stoneboro Volunteer Fire Departments for the availability to the McKeever Environmental Learning Center.

            In other action, the council approved contracts, service and supply purchase orders, and fixed assets.


           Trustees were informed of the following retirements:

            Dr. Hannah Case, professor, modern languages and cultures, of Washington Court House, Ohio, with 33 years of service.

            Dr. William Chapman, professor, geography, geology and the environment, of Slippery Rock, with 32 years of service.

            Susan Geiger, assistant professor, government and public affairs, of Allison Park, with 18 years of service.

            Dr. Barry Hammond, professor, government and public affairs, of Butler, with 35 years of service.

            Debra Gould, office of the assistant vice president, student development, of Butler, with 22 years of service.

            Nora Long, Bailey Library, of Harrisville, with 34 years of service.

 The next meeting of the council is 1:30 p.m. March 19, 2004.


Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report