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 Extraordinary Freshman Class Predicted as SRU Trustees Review Enrollment, Diversity, Achievements 



March 14, 2003

CONTACT:  Ross Feltz (724) 738-2919; e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. --- Slippery Rock University trustees heard Interim President Robert Smith predict that this fall’s incoming freshman class may prove to be “the most extraordinary in SRU’s modern history.”

           Enrollment records at this stage already project a 43 percent increase over last year in the number of students who are in the top 25 percent of their high school class. The average SAT score for those who have paid a deposit to hold a space for enrollment is 1018, up from last year’s 977.

           With new student commitments at 92 percent of last year’s actual freshman class, the university is projecting a 4 percent overall growth in enrollment for next year, Smith told the trustees in the quarterly meeting held today on campus.

           He told the trustees growth will be managed so that the learning environment is enhanced with appropriate class sizes, some faculty additions, renovated auditoriums, and new standards to enhance the academic requirements for graduation.

Diversity achievements

           “The university took significant steps to raise awareness about the importance of diversity to our campus,” Smith told the council.  He noted the hiring of 10 new full-time minority employees: eight faculty and two administrators in the last five months.

           He also reported that a Continuous Improvement Project Team on Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color developed a number of recommendations that are being implemented on campus.

 Technology enhancements

           The university’s plan for expenditure of the State System of Higher Education Board of Governors newly approved technology fee was implemented with an initial expenditure of$704,531.

           Departments benefiting include: geography, geology and the environment; chemistry and physics; English; Bailey Library; music; information technology; communication; government and public affairs; the School of Business; sociology, anthropology and social work; and biology.

Trustee action

           Trustees approved the independent auditor’s report of the university’s financial statements, which concluded that SRU’s financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the University as of June 30, 2002.”

           “We are very proud of the fact that we have had successive clean audits for 16 years,” says Dr. Charles Curry, vice president for finance and administrative affairs.

           The Division of Student Affairs recommended and the trustees approved a $23 increase in the basic 14-meal plan (from $977 to $1000 per semester) and a $47 increase in the standard double-occupancy housing (from $1,172 to $1,219) per semester fee.  The housing fee for rooms in the air-conditioned residence halls was increased an additional $75 per semester to offset increased operating costs. The student ID card fee was increased to $15.

           Various other housing options and meal plans were adjusted proportionately and in line with the above fees.

           “We continue to hold our residence hall and meal fees among the lowest in the state system,” said SRU Vice President for Student Affairs Robert Watson.

           Trustees also approved various contracts and purchases by the university.


           Trustees acknowledged the following retirements:

           Dr. E. H. Hunter Davis, associate professor, English, of Slippery Rock, with 34 years of service;

 Dr. James Fearday, professor, chemistry and physics, of Grove City, with 32 years of service;

           Donald Croll, facilities and planning, of Butler, with 25 years of service;

           Leo Geibel, university police, of Hilliards, with 26 years of service;

           Janie McFarland, staff, exercise and rehabilitative sciences, with 22 years of service;

           James Rihel, staff, facilities and planning, with 31 years of service;

           Pearl Stewart, staff, ROTC, with 20 years of service;

           Nancy Stinnett, staff, facilities and planning, with 23 years of service;

           and Donna Tiche, staff, College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, with 17 years of services.

The next quarterly meeting of the trustees is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13, 2003.


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