SRU trustees honor President Norton; Approve new degree program


Lautman and Norton

Matt Lautman, chair of the Slippery Rock University council of trustees, reads from a resolution presented to President Cheryl Norton at the June 9 quarterly business meeting.

June 9, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Applause filled the room June 9, as Slippery Rock University students, faculty, staff and trustees rose to their feet to honor retiring President Cheryl Norton with a standing ovation at the council of trustees regular meeting.

Norton, who is retiring as the 16th president of SRU July 21, was presented a COT resolution honoring and thanking her for her strong leadership, bold vision and unwavering commitment and dedication to excellence during the past five years.

Matthew Lautman, chair of the Council, said Norton's tenure was defined by her commitment to expanding access, student success, diversity and inclusion, enhancing community service, global engagement and improving sustainability.

"President Norton has been great to work with during her tenure at SRU," said Lautman. "She has led SRU in taking great strides to become a premier institution in the State System and has set the bar very high for her successor."

Norton told the audience, "When I step back and look at where I've been and where I'm going, it's easy for me to say, without a doubt, that it is where we have gone together, and what we've accomplished during my five years with the University, that are the most important to me.

"SRU is where my heart is, and where it always will be."

In other action, the COT voted to advance a master's degree in health information management program to Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education board of governors for approval.

The program will be presented for action at the BOG's July 12-13 meetings.

The proposed 33-credit program would be delivered in a blended format and is described as the "value-added bridge between clinicians, payers, regulators, patients, consumers and technology, with critical skills and competencies essential to building the nationwide health information network and health information exchanges." The program will train individuals to manage technology-based solutions to healthcare-related issues.

Course scheduling would provide flexibility for working practitioners with courses being taught in eight-week modules. The core courses would cover the areas of information systems and their supporting technologies, finance, management and data analysis for practicing healthcare professionals. The face-to-face portion of the program would be conducted at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township.

Read more about the proposed health information management program.

The trustees also approved a request from Joseph Cali, professor of safety management, to rename the Strain Behavioral Science Building the Strain Safety Building. Opened in 1938, the building was officially named May 30, 1979 in honor of the late Warren Strain, who served as the inaugural chair of the geography department during the 1930s. The more than 32,000 square foot building has historically housed the sciences, counseling and development, nursing, psychology, ROTC and accounting programs. Now home to SRU's nationally recognized safety management program, the renaming of the facility more accurately reflects the purpose of the building.

Also approved by the trustees was a resolution that would allow the University to initiate the process of transferring management of the McKeever Center back to the Department of General Services or another appropriate state agency.

The trustees also elected officers for the 2017-2018 academic year, those include: William McCarrier as chair; Alfonso Angelucci as vice chair; and Richard Wukich as secretary.

In other action, the trustees approved the minutes from the March 9 special and March 23-24 quarterly; received reports from the Academic and Student Affairs, Finance, University Advancement and Governance committees; reviewed University financial statements, including the quarterly financial report; and approved compliance contracts, fixed assets, services and supply purchase orders.

The council's next meeting will be Oct. 5-6, 2017.

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