FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU reports record enrollment, record parking spaces to trustees
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Reports of an expected record number of students and a record number of parking spaces were given to Slippery Rock University trustees today as part of their quarterly meeting.
While official 15th-day enrollment figures won't be released until Tuesday, trustees were told enrollment for 2008-09 is expected to increase nearly the 2 percent compared to last year - representing the ninth consecutive year of enrollment increases. "We are pacing our enrollment growth to our ability to continue to offer quality educational programs and increase the value of a Slippery Rock University degree," SRU President Robert Smith said.
Parking spaces, always at a premium on college campuses, were also added this year. The year opened with 4,252 spaces, up from 3,723 last fall. An additional 180 spaces are expected to come on line as soon as summer construction equipment is removed. When those spaces are added, the University will show a net increase of 529 spaces. The major increase in parking spaces are those designated for resident students.
The University reopened a lot near the former Founders Hall location and space in the lower
N. Kerr Thompson Stadium Parking Lot. With the addition of two new residence halls this year, a new, close-proximity lot was also added.
"As more students bring cars to campus, parking becomes a larger issue. We are working to accommodate the needs of faculty, staff, students and visitors by constantly monitoring our parking availability and making changes when and where necessary," Smith said. "As the campus continues to go 'green' we are also encouraging members of the University family to walk or take advantage of the Green Bike Initiative whenever possible."
Smith used a series of numbers to update trustees on continuing successes at the University as part of his quarterly report.
He said 40 percent of incoming students are from the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class �- up 62 percent since 2001; 12 percent of incoming students are from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class - up 83 percent since 2000; and 85 represents the average incoming freshman SAT score increase compared to freshmen entering in 2000. He said entering freshmen this year had a 3.39 high school grade average.
Smith said SRU retention efforts are continuing to pay rewards, currently standing at 79 percent, an increase of 12 percent since 2000.
The Princeton Review, Smith said, selected SRU as one of the best colleges and universities in the Northeastern United States. The Review named SRU as one of the best 212 public and private institutions based on student surveys and examination by the New York City-based education services company.
Updates on numerous physical changes to campus undertaken during summer were outlined, including completion of two new residence halls, the final stage in a three-year project that has seen four halls demolished and six new, suite-style buildings added. The University houses near 2,800 students in campus halls. Patterson Hall, formerly a residence hall, was repurposed to classroom and office space use, and SRU's Vincent Science Hall and Boozel Dining Hall are offline while undergoing renovation. Steam line upgrades in the historic area of campus are nearing completion.
Smith said plans for the new sculpture studio and the new student union are on schedule.
Trustees welcomed Jessica Cosme, a junior political science major from Butler, as a new trustee. Cosme was appointed to the University's governing body by Gov. Edward Rendell. Each trustee council in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education includes a student member with full voting rights.
Trustees, meeting for the first time in the newly expanded Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center with Robert Taylor of Solebury as chair, approved the 2008-09 budget totaling $142.6 million along with the standard contracts, fixed assets, and service and supply purchase orders reports.
Approval was given four education programs within the College of Education in a move to bring them into compliance new Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines. Programs affected are: Early Childhood Education, covering birth through grade 4; Upper Elementary/Middle Level, covering grades four through eight; Special Education, covering pre-kindergarten through grade eight; and Special Education, covering grade 7 through age 21. The special education programs are part of a dual certification initiative. The action is dependent on the programs receiving SRU curricular approval.
Students involved with the Weekend of Welcome program, which included nearly 700 volunteers, updated trustees on the program's success and outlined the steps volunteers take to welcome incoming students and their parents as students move into campus residence halls.
Trustees were told of nearly 120 summer and fall semester faculty and staff appointments.
The retirement of Carolyn Prorok, 21-year professor of geography, geology and the environment, and Phyllis Kendziorski, 16-year information writer in the College of Education, were announced.
Council's next meeting is Dec. 12.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
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