President welcomes new faculty,
sets agenda for 2010-11
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University President Robert Smith welcomed new faculty and offered his view of the coming academic year and the future of higher education as part of the annual Academic Assembly.
The Tuesday address was delivered in Swope Music Hall.
"This will be an interesting year. This is our decennial accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fortunately, we have a large and committed team of people involved. This is a review of, and for, all of us regardless of department, discipline or division," Smith said.
The president listed a number of recent national accomplishments for the University, including the therapeutic recreation program being named one of the top 12 programs in the country, the sport management program being the first such program in the nation to receive accreditation from the newly formed Commission on Sport Management Accreditation based in Reston, Va., and the Princeton Review naming SRU as one of the Best in the Northeast and one of the top 286 "Green" colleges nationally.
SRU was also named No. 2 on the Top Rural Colleges and Universities' list, and was included among U.S. News and World Report's "Top 100 Regional Universities in the North."
For the second consecutive year SRU was named a Military Friendly Campus honor and was selected as a "Great Colleges to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
SRU is making great strides, he said. "Last year 21 percent of students participated in service-learning programs taught by 31 faculty, our Compass Leadership Program had 1,928 students participate, and the University is seeking special Carnegie Classification for community engagement."
Across campus, Smith said there are continuous improvements.
"We have opened the new intramural field, a new television studio in Maltby Center and the Art Sculpture Building. We expect to re-open Vincent Science Hall in January and the new Student Union is already under construction with expected completion in February 2010."
"We have received notification from the Department of General Services of approval for a new Performing Art Center, and we have cued up five projects - the new Student Success Center, renovations to West Gym, McKay Education Building, Phase II of Patterson Hall and an upgrade for Bailey Library," Smith said.
The address also included remarks concerning the 2010-11 academic year budget.
Smith said the University continues to address the challenge of an $8.9 million deficit. He credited participation by more than 300 members of the SRU community who submitted more than 150 ideas to help with balancing the budget. "We reduced expenses and increased revenue," he said.