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 SRU Trustees Review Projections for Continued Enrollment Improvement: New Look for Campus 




Contact: Ross C. Feltz --- 724-738-2919,  cell: 412-400-6913, e-mail:


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.--- Slippery Rock University’s Council of Trustees reviewed projections for continued enrollment growth in both quantity and quality of its student body at today’s quarterly meeting. In his report to the council, Interim President Robert Smith also told the council that several projects to be completed in the summer will give the campus a “fresh and exciting look.”

       “The incoming freshman class promises to be a continuation of the extraordinary success the university has demonstrated through its enrollment management plan,” Smith said. “As of last week, applications are up 5.75 percent, offers of admission are up 10.6 percent, and those in the top 25 percent of their high school class comprise 29.6 percent of the new freshman class, which projects to have an average SAT score very close to 1000.”

               Diversity also is expected to improve with applications up 4.8 percent and deposits up 2.78 percent for African-American students. He also noted that applications from out-of-state students are up 3.6 percent with transfer applications up by 107 percent. Of out-of-state students who have made a deposit for next year, 38.5 percent have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

               Along with recent completion of a new women’s athletic facility for softball and soccer, campus projects to be completed this summer include a new pedestrian corridor through a highly used area of campus that will make it “one of the most appealing sections of campus,” he said. Other enhancements will be the new rock waterfall and a repainting of the landmark water tower with a green and white color scheme.

Aggressive campus plans reviewed

               “We will have to continue an aggressive plan of transformation if we are to meet the needs of the students we want to attract to SRU,” Smith reported. Earlier in the day, trustees received a comprehensive plan for four new resident halls, four renovated halls with 1,600 suite- or semi-suite-style rooms and 400 private bedrooms. The projected cost would be $83 million.

               He also said, “We are still pursuing a new functional student union combined with a performing arts complex to be at the ‘crossroads’ of the campus as a signature statement about the special relationship between student life and academic achievement.”

                “These are ambitious changes for the campus,” Smith pointed out.

Two new trustees welcomed

               Two new trustees, recently appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell, were welcomed:

Richard Christofer, former mayor of New Castle and current manager of the New Castle Sanitary Authority, and Robert Taylor of New Hope, an attorney and president and CEO of the Cameron Companies, LLC, a business consulting firm.  Taylor is a 1978 graduate of SRU.

Fee increases approved

               Trustees approved a 5-percent increase in residence hall fees and a 2.3-percent increase in campus meal plan fees for the next academic year. Various residence hall charges will range from $1,280 per semester for a double room to $2,045 for single room in the Rock Apartments compared with the current year’s range of $1,219 to $1,948, respectively. Meal plans will range from $562 for a flex plan to $1,077 for a 19-meals-per-week plan compared with the current range of $549 to $1,052.

               The council approved a $2 million capital project financing for the purchase of new telephone switch equipment and reviewed contracts, fixed assets, and service and supply purchases.

               As part of their recommendation of the university 2004-05 capital budget request to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, trustees are requesting $16.6 million for renovations to Vincent Science Hall and $21.6 million for a proposed performing arts center.

Equestrian center named as requested by donor

               Trustees enthusiastically expressed their gratitude for a $250,000 gift from Mrs. Ethel Carruth of Houston, Texas, and authorized its use for construction of a 20-acre equestrian center to enhance equine facilitated therapy as a signature program in adapted physical activity and therapeutic recreation.

Council expressed its appreciation to Mrs. Carruth and her daughter Dr. Carolyn Rizza, a retired SRU faculty member who has provided leadership and advisory contributions for the project, by voting to name the new facility the Storm Harbor Equestrian Center.  Storm Harbor is the name of  Dr. Rizza’s well-loved showhorse and fox hunter that has been highly successful in regional hunter and jumper shows.

Long-time bookstore manager honored

               Tom McPherson, manager of the Student Government Association bookstore was honored with a resolution thanking him for his 36 years of “distinguished and extensive service to Slippery Rock University.” McPherson, of Slippery Rock, has had “significant positive influence on our students, especially in developing enthusiastic support for athletics and other important events on campus,” said Smith.

Professor emeritus status

               Trustees were informed that professor emeritus status has been granted to retired Assistant Professor, Fred Powell, physical education and sports management, of Slippery Rock, with 35 years of service.


               Trustees acknowledged the following retirements:

               Dr. Donald Stauffer, professor, special education, of Mercer, with 35 years of service;

               Barbara Bovard,  facilities and planning, of Forestville, with 34 years of service;

               Ralph Colosimo,  facilities and planning, of Boyers, with 35 years of service;

               Carolyn Leslie, career services, of New Wilmington, with 35 years of service;

               and Michael Ross, staff, facilities and planning, of Slippery Rock, with 14 years of service.

The next meeting of the council of trustees will be June 11, 2004          

 PN, PgN,

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