SRU trustees issue three commendations, approve naming resolution and student fees


Yale receives her commendation

From left, Domenic Ionta, chair of Slippery Rock University's council of trustees, and Karen Riley, SRU president, presented a commendation of service to Amanda Yale during the council’s business meeting, March 22.

March 22, 2024

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's council of trustees presented three commendations and approved several action items during its quarterly business meeting, March 22, at the Russell Wright Alumni House.

The council recognized two trustees for their service with commendations. Cierra Mitchell, a senior political science major from Pittsburgh, was honored for serving as the student representative on the trustees since May 2023. Her term expires when she graduates May 4. Former trustee Suzanne Vessella was also recognized after she served three terms from 2003-23. Vessella, who was serving on an expired term, was replaced by Angèle Stoebener since the last business meeting in December 2023.

Amanda Yale, SRU's chief enrollment management officer, was also recognized for her 38 years of service to SRU. Yale is retiring March 29. She has worked at SRU in a variety of administrative roles, from academic counselor and director of the advisement center and first-year studies to her current role on the University's executive leadership team.

The council also approved a naming resolution to honor the late Samantha Swift, interim vice president for university advancement, who passed away Dec. 31, 2023. The University's annual fundraising golf outing for women's athletics will now be named the Samantha Swift Memorial Golf Outing. This year's outing is June 7 at the Slippery Rock Golf Club.

In actions related to University finances, the trustees approved a student fee increase for auxiliary operations that will go into effect for the 2024-25 academic year.

Student fees for campus recreation, the student center and traditional housing have remained the same for the last nine years. The 5.22% increase to the dining service meal plan, based on the consumer price index, will be the first since 2017-18 despite food costs increasing by 5.5% and 10% in the past two years, respectively.

The fee increases are as follows:

  • Recreation complex: $20 per semester (18%) for the first increase since 2013-14.
  • Student center: $10.50 per semester (4.99%) for the first increase since 2015-16.
  • Dining services meal plan: $70 per semester for a 14-meal plan (5.22%) for the first increase since 2017-18.
  • Traditional housing room rates: $35 per semester (2%) for the first increase since 2015-16.

"Each of these auxiliary operations provide an important service that enhances the student experience on campus," said Carrie Birckbichler, vice president for finance and administration. "This first increase in the past several years is necessary because operating budgets are now being strained by inflationary pressures as expenses continue to rise."

"These fees fund services that are vital to the college experience," said Elise Michaux, '11, '13M, a trustee member and SRU graduate. "As a former SRU student, I know first-hand the value and benefit from having quality services on campus. As trustees, we must avoid putting more financial burdens on students when we can, but increases are necessary to match increased costs, and SRU remains one of the most affordable options in the state."

The recreation complex fee and student center fees are for full-time students and they are prorated for part-time students. The recreation complex fee of $130 per semester, which is the second lowest among universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, covers costs associated with campus recreation operations, staffing, programming, facilities upkeep and intramural and club sports. The student center fee of $221 per semester covers costs associated with the Smith Student Center and its operations, staffing and programming. Built in 2012, the SSC is the only student center in the State System that was constructed in the last 49 years.

The meal plan fee increases will range from $26-$80 per semester across six types of plans, but the common plan, 14 meals with $350 in flex dollars, is $1,766 per semester. The fees for five of the six current meal plans at SRU are the lowest in the State System and the 19-meal plan is the second lowest.

The traditional housing room rate of $1,779 per semester will be for housing in North Hall, Rhoads Hall and Rock Apartments for double occupancy and, because of the University's two-year residency requirement, SRU will honor current room rates for students continuing into their second year of required residency in 2024-25. All other students in traditional halls will pay the new rates. SRU's traditional double occupancy rate is currently the lowest in the State System and traditional single occupancy is the second lowest.

All the fee increase requests were presented to the Slippery Rock Student Government Association at its formal meeting, Feb. 19, before the proposed fees were approved by the trustees. SGA voted to support all the fee requests.

Student trustee

   From left, Domenic Ionta, Cierra
   Mitchell and Karen Riley.

Other actions taken by the council included the approval of the University's capital budget submission for the fiscal year 2024-25. This action is in accordance with board of governors' policy to submit capital facilities planning, programming and funding to the State System by May 1 for consideration at the BOG's July meeting. Projects submitted for approval include renovations to Morrow Field House ($48.3 million estimated cost for fiscal year 2027-28), the McKay Education Building ($26.6 million for 2029-30), and the Eisenberg Classroom Building ($23.1 million for 2030-31).

The council also received the President's Report, reports from its standing committees, finance and divisional reports, and a presentation about name, image and likeness aid for student-athletes from Roberta Page, director of athletics, and Andrea Grady, assistant director of athletics and senior women's administrator.

The next council meetings are June 13-14.

More information, including a link to meeting materials, is available on the council of trustees webpage.

More information about meal plans are available online at or by contacting the SRU Dining Services office by email at or by phone at 724.738.2038.

More information about housing at SRU is available on the Housing webpage or by contacting the Housing Office at 724.738.2082 or 

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |