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 Student Retention Highlighted by SRU Trustees 



June 13, 2003

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

STUDENT RETENTION HIGHLIGHTED BY SRU TRUSTEES                                                    

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. --  National awards presented for student retention and facilities innovations were highlighted in today’s regular quarterly meeting of Slippery Rock University’s Council of Trustees.         

           Interim President Robert Smith reported that SRU’s Learning Community Cluster and FYRST Seminar was honored with a National Award for Excellence in Student Retention by Noel-Levitz organization. “The award recognizes the state-of-the-art caliber work we are doing to foster student success, especially in their first year of studies,” Smith said.

           The university’s facilities and planning staff received the national award for Effective and Innovative Practices from the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, Smith also reported. SRU was recognized for success in streamlining its custodial supply chain to eliminate inventory, save on costs and increase productivity.

 Achievement milestones

           Smith told the trustees that the fiscal year will close (June 30) with additional milestones achieved in fund raising, enrollment and student journalism honors.

           Enrollment projections indicate that a more than 5-percent increase could be recorded when registrations for the coming year are complete. Market promotional activity and targeted student recruitment resulted in a 12.6-percent gain in applications and increased selectivity in admitting first-time students.

           Charitable contributions will exceed $3.4 million, which will be a record for SRU fund raising. Now in its third year, the university’s 10-year, $33 million capital campaign is at 37-percent of goal. Smith also emphasized, “We now have 324 named scholarships awarded to nearly 700 recipients.”

           The university’s student newspaper, The Rocket, captured more than 30 journalistic awards in national competitions, including first-place honors from both the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Scholar Press Associations, Smith reported.

Officers elected

In the annual election of officers: Dr. Robert Marcus, of Harrisburg and an SRU alumnus, was elected chair of the council; Howard Meyer, of Slippery Rock, was elected vice chair; and Gary Rose, of Sharon, was elected secretary.

Trustees also reviewed and approved contracts, service and supply orders, and the Annual Inspection of Facilities Report.


           Trustees acknowledged the following retirements:

Ms. Jane Scott Cleary, associate professor, library, of Grove City, with 25 years of service;

Dr. Elizabeth Curry, professor, English, of Slippery Rock with 34 years of service;

Ms. Susan Ferrandiz, assistant professor, library, of Portersville, with 17 years of service;

Ms. Hazel Hadden, assistant professor, nursing, of Hermitage, with 19 years of service;

Dr. George Highland, professor, chemistry and physics, of Grove City with 36 years of service;

Dr. Priscilla Kelly, assistant professor, English, of Slippery Rock, with 26 years of service;

Dr. Joe Normand, assistant professor, communication, of Slippery Rock, with 24 ½ years of service;

Dr. Gary Pechar, professor, exercise and rehabilitative sciences, of Slippery Rock, with 27 years of service;

Mr. Fred Powell, assistant professor, physical education/sport management, of Slippery Rock, with 36 years of service;

Dr. W.G. Sayre, professor, chemistry and physics, of Boyers, with 34 years of service;

Ms. Claire Schmieler, assistant vice president for student affairs, of Harrisville, with 37 years of service;

Ms. Mary Decker, executive staff assistant, student affairs, of Slippery Rock, with 39 years of service;

Mr. Richard Dillaman, facilities and planning, of Harrisville, with 19 years of service;

Ms. Christine Ferguson, facilities and planning, of Harrisville, with 26 years of service;

     and Mr. Walter Stephenson, facilities and planning, of Slippery Rock, with 35 years of service.

    The next quarterly meeting of the trustees is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, September 12, 2003.


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