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 Enrollment growth, performance success top president's report 



September 14, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab


Enrollment growth, performance success top president's report

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University President Robert Smith reported today to the Council of Trustees he expects enrollment and performance indicators to exceed last year's.

           Smith told council members that while official figures are not due out until Tuesday, preliminary figures show "the average SAT score of this fall's incoming students remains above 1000, the average high school grade-point average for incoming students is up to 3.26 and the percent of students in the top 25 percent of their high school class is now at 35 percent."

           He said he expects enrollment for the semester to reach the 8,350 mark, up 1.5 percent over a year ago. SRU reported 8,230 students enrolled last fall.

           Smith also pointed to the summer Consumers Digest ranking of Slippery Rock University as No. 5 on the "Best Values among Public Colleges and Universities" list and the Princeton Review listing of SRU as one of the top 225 public and private universities in the Northeast United States as "evidence that we have increased our quality."

            In other achievements, Smith said he expected SRU would do well in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Performance Indicators report. The state system provides financial incentives for system universities reaching pre-determined goals in 65 specific areas. SRU has traditionally done well in the performance indicator report. 

           Smith said, "Our performance specific to efforts regarding diversity on campus as shown by the recruitment of students, staff and administration, has been particularly successful." He cited nine areas, including increased numbers of new African-American students, Hispanic students, female executives, female faculty and the number of faculty who are people of color, as reaching 10-year highs.

           Smith also said he has appointed Herman Jones, associate professor of social work, criminology and criminal justice, to lead a faculty group charged with finding ways to "challenge and broaden student's interpersonal/intercultural skills so they leave Slippery Rock University with a basic set of multicultural competencies." The program will be addressed as part of the University's Oct. 9 Professional Development Day.

           Formal action

           In formal action, trustees approved a fiscal 2007-08 budget of $136,288,519, a 2 percent increase compared to fiscal 2006-07.

           Council passed routine reports covering contracts, fixed assets, and service and supply purchase orders.

            A resolution formalizing plans for the renovation of Patterson Hall, based on a cost of $2.1 million was approved. The renovation will turn the former residence hall into faculty offices and academic space. Initially, the facility will be used to house faculty during the planned renovation of Vincent Science Hall.

           Council also authorized the sale of University-owned property at 212 E. Cooper St. The building was most recently used as the University's Center for Economic and Community Development, but is currently vacant. 

           As part of the informational portion of the meeting, trustees were told of 52 instructional appointments for fall. Two faculty members join the University as part of the international faculty exchange program. Hong Zhuang comes to SRU from China and Sungkyun Shin is from Korea. Both will teach in the modern languages and cultures department.

           Trustees were told of a proposal submitted this summer, which if approved, will allow SRU to offer a Latin American Certificate. The certificate program works to expand student knowledge of Latin American cultures and literatures beyond requirements of the bachelor's of arts degree in Spanish. Those in the program will take additional courses in Latin American studies from the modern languages department and five other academic departments.

            Human Resources reported to the trustees the following retirements:

           Thomas Gaither, physical education, retired in May with 39-years of service;

           Francene Haymon, SRU Counseling Center, will retire in January with 33 years of service;

           Dennis Blom, maintenance repairman, retired in June with 19 years of service; and

           Guy Surrena, locksmith, retired in June with 23 years of service.

           Two retired faculty members, Bernard Freydberg and Anita Gorman, were granted professor emeritus status. Both retired last May.

            Council's next meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

 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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