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 Trustees Tour New SRU Equestrian Center, Hear Report on Accreditations, Global Initiatives 



Sept. 9, 2005

Contact: Ross Feltz – 724-738-2919; e-mail:; cell: 724-679-1376



     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Slippery Rock University’s council of trustees toured the university’s new Storm Harbor Equestrian Center, part of the Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences Program, reviewed new academic accreditations and heard President Robert M. Smith report on several new global initiatives.

     In its regular quarterly meeting today, the council also reviewed and approved the university’s fiscal year 2005-06 budget request along with contracts, fixed assets, and service and supply purchase orders. Council approved granting an honorary doctorate degree to composer Marvin Hamlisch, who will be performing on campus Dec. 1 as part of SRU’s ING Performing Arts Series.

Computer and Information Science, and School Counseling Accreditations

       Emphasizing that “accreditations are an important measure of academic quality,” Smith reported seven academic programs received accreditations during the summer.

     The School Counseling Program in the College of Education earned its mark of excellence from the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. SRU’s counseling program prepares practitioners for roles in school or community counseling. Graduates receive the department's endorsement for certification in Pennsylvania as either an elementary school counselor, secondary school counselor, or both, and are license eligible in Pennsylvania as a professional counselor.

      The council is a national board that promotes excellence in the professional preparation of master's level counseling practitioners and master's level professionals in related fields of study. Programs that receive CACREP accreditation have demonstrated a commitment to high admissions, academic and fieldwork standards and current best practices in counselor preparation and ongoing program improvement.

      Additionally, all six of SRU’s Computer Science and Information Science programs were accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.

     Of all the computing degrees offered in Pennsylvania, only eight are accredited in computer science and a mere three in information science. The prestigious recognition was awarded to SRU’s Computer Science Program and to its five Information Science Programs: accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing, all in the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences.

New global initiatives

     Smith told trustees he is challenging faculty to think about how today’s Slippery Rock University can help students prepare to influence the world 20 years from now.

     “We can easily predict that resource management will become an increasingly significant issue for 2025,” he said. And, “as a campus with excellent programs in ecology and environment, we should be a leader in developing solutions.”

     Noting that 1.7 billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water, Smith said SRU would launch an initiative to create “a global school to help Third World entrepreneurs develop water filtration devices that will help solve the thirst for clean, safe water. Combining the talent we have in ceramics, international business, water quality research and ecology, our goal will be to create micro-businesses exportable around the world.”

     Smith also said he would establish a special office and Web presence to help SRU students be eligible and compete for national recognitions such as Fulbright Scholarships, Truman and Marshall fellowships and Phi Kappa Phi fellowships. “Our students need opportunities to excel on the national and international stage,” he said.

     “We also are reorganizing our Office of International Services to expand outreach for global travel and exchanges, as well as campus-based programs,” he added.

     “Our product is not a diploma,” he told trustees. “It is a person capable of making a positive difference in the lives of others: A person who understands the problems of a global society and has confidence he or she has the skills to address those problems.”

Equestrian Center to serve people with disabilities

     The new Storm Harbor Equestrian Center is one of two specialty centers directed by the Exercise and Rehabilitative Science Program within the College of Health, Environment and Science. It provides therapeutic horseback riding opportunities for people with disabilities and practical experience for SRU students in the adapted physical activity minor.

      The equestrian center provides synergy for the college’s Center on Disability and Health, which promotes healthy lifestyles among those with disabilities by providing exercise, diet and health care advice. Both centers advance SRU’s long tradition of physical and special education excellence.

       In a related action, trustees approved naming the street address for the equestrian center as Storm Harbor Drive.

Retirements announced

     Trustees were informed Robert Konnen, of Hermitage, retired as budget director after 32 years of service, and that Vice President for Student Life Robert Watson, of Slippery Rock, will retire March 31 after 34 years of service.

Professor Emeritus Status

     President Smith informed trustees that professor emeritus status was granted to retired faculty Dr. Robert Berner, Dr. Fred Livingston and Dr. Donald Stauffer, all from special education.

     The next meeting of SRU’s trustees will be Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m.                  PN, PGN, WPN, PR


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