Slippery Rock University freezes six student fees; Council of Trustees approve new degree program


robot presentation at council of trustees meeting

(From left) An SRU computer science major demonstrates a NAO humanoid robot for Trustees Tom Breth and William McCarrier.

March 18, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University President Cheryl Norton told the Council of Trustees at today's business meeting the University was freezing student fees for traditional housing, parking, health services, the student center, student recreation and student life enhancement for the 2016-17 academic year.

"We remain deeply committed to access, affordability and excellence - the critical ingredients of our public mission," Norton said. "To that end, I am pleased we are able to freeze these fees while still providing an exceptional experience for our students."

Trustee Robert Taylor commended Norton and the administration for their efforts to hold the line on increases. "You've taken this Council's challenge to keep access to SRU as affordable as possible to heart. We know this isn't easy in this era of shrinking resources, but it's the right thing to do for our students."

As part of their business agenda, the COT authorized the University to send a new degree program to Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education board of governors for approval.

If approved by the BOG, the program, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering, would begin fall 2016. (See related story)

"Organizations from every sector of our economy - banking, food, energy, health care, commercial aviation, manufacturing and government - turn to industrial engineers for help in improving an organization's efficiency and productivity," Norton said. "The continued need for these professionals - locally and nationally - is outpacing the supply. Our ability to help satisfy the educational needs of our students, while meeting those of employers is paramount to our success."

The COT began their business meeting by commending the SRU women's indoor track team for capturing the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and Head Coach John Papa for being named Coach of the Year. Sam Thangiah, professor of computer science and SRU computer science majors Justin Cather of New Sewickley, Zachary Kearney of Pittsburgh and Steve Fulton of Irwin, provided a demonstration to the COT on advancements in programming humanoid roots. Nikita Falen, a senior from Ellwood City, then presented a video she created for the University Communication and Public Affairs "Connect to Success," web series. Falen, an intern in the office, has been involved in all aspects of the video series.

Norton presented the COT with her March 2016 report that included information about the University's new strategic plan; a variety of accolades bestowed upon SRU by entities including MONEY Magazine and; and the University's selection as a finalist for the national "Green Ribbon School" award presented by the U.S. Department of Education. Norton also shared a sampling of student, faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments.

In other action, the trustees approved a contractually required 2.56 percent increase in AVI FoodSystems Inc. meal plan costs for the provision of food services to campus; reviewed University financial statements, including the quarterly financial report; and then approved compliance contracts, fixed assets, services and supply purchase orders.

The council's next meeting will be June 9-10, 2016.

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