SRU trustees welcome new members, approve student conduct code


cheryl norton

Slippery Rock University President Cheryl Norton announced her retirement from the University, effective June 30, 2017. At the time of retirement, Norton will have served as SRU’s 16th – and first female – president for five years.

Dec. 9, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's council of trustees began their Dec. 9 quarterly business meeting with a bit of a surprise from SRU President Cheryl Norton.

Norton, the first female president to the lead the University, announced her retirement from the University, effective June 30, 2017. For Norton, the timing will mark five years at the helm of SRU, a time during which she and husband Henry "... have been privileged to be part of the Slippery Rock University community."

A national search for a new president will begin immediately.

Full coverage of Norton's announcement is available here.

Despite the bombshell, the trustees' meeting was business as usual.

The trustees heard a presentation by Jeremy Lynch, associate professor of special education, regarding the College of Education's "Professor Protégé" program.

The program pairs freshmen education majors with education faculty for one-on-one mentoring outside the classroom. Protégés, who are selected as high school seniors through a competitive evaluation process involving SRU education faculty, earn student wages of up to $800 a year and an iPad. Nineteen SRU education professors - the most ever - are working as mentors in the program this year.

"The protégés are taught to use the iPads to better fulfill their programmatic job duties," said Lynch. "Faculty are also trained how to use them to develop engaging and impactful learning opportunities for their students during field experiences and student teaching."

To apply for the program, high school seniors submit their high school grade-point averages, write an essay about their career goals and provide two letters of recommendations. Last year, SRU received 30 applications. A committee of six-education faculty selects the participants, based on merit, not demographics.

The program provides participating students with research experience and the opportunity to present that research at professional conferences.

In other business, David Wilmes, associate provost for student success, provided the trustees with an overview of revisions to the University's Student Code of Conduct. The revisions were necessary, said Wilmes, due to the age of the current document and included updates to names of University personnel, titles and offices, while bringing the document up to 2016 standards for legal and best practices.

"The revision provides a code that is now clear, accessible and self-contained in one document with a table of contents and FAQs that are easy for our students to understand," said Wilmes. "What we have now is a comprehensive document of policies that pertain to student behavior."

The revised code also provides a clear distinction between Title IX processes and Office of Student Conduct processes, in addition to appendices being added to reflect all student behavioral policies, including: academic integrity, acceptable use (IT), hoverboard, smoking, weapons, etc. with the use of "plain language" where possible.The council also welcomed two new trustees as Alfonso "Butch" Angelucci, the superintendent of the Slippery Rock Area School District; and Richard Wukich, retired SRU professor of art, were appointed to serve six-year terms.

Trustee Suzanne Vessella, who was first appointed to the council in 2003, also began a new term, following her recent reappointment by the governor.

In other actions, trustees approved the minutes from the Sept. 23-23 quarterly meeting; received reports from the Academic and Student Affairs, Finance, University Advancement and Governance committees; reviewed University financial statements, including the quarterly financial report; and then approved compliance contracts, fixed assets, services and supply purchase orders and approved the 2016-2017 University budget.

The council's next meeting will be March 23-24, 2017.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |