SRU trustees approve new degree program; announce no increase in student meal plan fees


Jeff Smith Addresses the council of Trustees

Jeff Smith, Slippery Rock University trustee, delivers a report from the Governance Committee during the trustee’s March 23 quarterly business meeting.

March 23, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's council of trustees voted today at its quarterly business meeting to advance a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism 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 April 4-5 meetings.

The proposed program will require 30 credits to complete and would be delivered completely online.

Courses will be taught in a 15-week format, so students will take two concurrent courses in fall and spring semesters, and one class in summer sessions. The program is designed to be completed in 24 months.

The proposed program would be the first master's degree in the discipline in the State System. According to organizers, it is being proposed in response to the "dynamic and increasingly complex environment in which hospitality and tourism businesses must operate, anticipated industry growth, and related need for committed, well-educated management." The complexities of this field are exacerbated by increases in natural disasters, safety incidents such as the 2017 mass shooting at the 4-Diamond Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and implications for changing hospitality models. Well-trained managers with strong skills in critical thinking, analytical, and decision-making skills will be vital to meeting these challenges.

Read more about the proposed program by clicking here.

In other actions, the trustees began the meeting with a presentation from Joseph Cali, professor of safety management and Angela Bernardo, associate professor of safety management. The pair were joined by Tyler Vanchure, a junior safety management major from Du Bois. The trio provided an update on the renovations of the Strain Safety Building, an overview of safety management programming and a demonstration on the proper way to secure a safety harness.

Through committee reports, the trustees received an update from Jim Dillion, State System vice chancellor for administration and finance, regarding the University's superior financial assessment; a freeze on student food contract costs; and a status report on the implementation of the SRU Foundation, Inc.'s energy savings program; endowment spending policy and performance indicator ranking; and an overview of advancement and foundation operations.

The COT also received updates on the criteria required to establish an Honors College at SRU; enrollment numbers; academic programming; the University's capital budget; updates on the master plan and construction of the Performing Arts Center; the University's master plan; and reviewed University financial statements, including the quarterly financial report.

As part of its action agenda, the trustees voted on the continuation of the University's STEM-H fee for undergraduate high-cost, high-demand STEM-H courses.

In other action, the trustees approved the minutes from the Dec. 8 quarterly and Feb. 23 special COT meetings; and approved compliance contracts, fixed assets, services and supply purchase orders.

The council's next meeting will be June 7-8, 2018.

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