The 2012 Spring Academic Assembly was held in Swope auditorium Tuesday in order to discuss the “State of the University” and to honor SRU’s long term faculty members.
After being APSCUF President of the SRU chapter for nine years, Dr. Jace Condravy announced that she would not be running for the position again next year. She stated that she hopes that Dr. Patrick Burkhart will be elected.
“I see that we have many talented faculty members that are passionate about APSCUF and make a real commitment to APSCUF. The chapter and the faculty deserve a fresh perspective and new energy to bring. I believe that Patrick Burkhart can provide that perspective and that energy.”
Condravy also reflected on how strange the campus is without Dr. Robert Smith “bouncing around.” With that said, she is optimistic about SRU’s newly elected president, Dr. Cheryl Norton. Former SRU interim president Dr. Robert Aebersold has worked with Norton before and said that Norton was the best president that he has ever worked with.
“We won’t really know what we have in Dr. Norton until she arrives,” Condravy said. “But everything in her background, her experience and her interactions on campus indicate that she understands the special nature of Slippery Rock, the historic ‘let’s work together to achieve our goals’ attitude, and the need for political activity and the resources that the institution needs not only to survive, but to continue to excel.”
Condravy also announced that there will soon be a new Dean for the College of Education as well as a new Provost. She stated that she hopes that faculty members will take the time to get involved with finding the new Provost.
Then, faculty members who have been with the university for 10, 15 or 20 years were called to the stage to received service awards, and faculty who have worked at SRU for 25 years were presented with personalized medallions. Special awards were given to Dr. Nanette Kaplan Solomon of the music department and Sharad Joshi from the computer science department for having 35 years of service, and Michael Matambanadzo of the history department received recognition for working at SRU for 40 years.
SRU Acting President Dr. Charles Curry then began his “State of the University” address by mentioning a few highlights of the university’s spring semester.
Earlier this year, three SRU student teams competed in a Mathematical Modeling Competition against 37,000 other teams across the globe. The students were rewarded with a Meritorious Honorable Mention for placing in the top 11 percent as well as a successful participation award.
SRU junior computer science major Kelly Smith placed first in the SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) 2012 for her research in Platform Independent Cloud Scripting. The contest was sponsored by companies like Microsoft, Google and Intel.
For the second year in a row, SRU has been placed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This list highlights universities across the United States that have exceptional amounts of students that participate in community service.
Curry said that SRU’s campus has recently been developing. The newly renovated Weisenfluh Dining Hall opened earlier this semester. A baghouse filter was recently installed in order to decrease coal emissions from the boiler plant next to Morrow Field House. Patterson Hall’s new addition will be finished in fall, allowing more space for the exercise science program. The Robert M. Smith Student Center is expected to be complete by this summer. Also, the Miller Auditorium renovation will begin soon. Diane Galbraith, professor from the School of Business, was named regional recipient of the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award from The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and she is now a candidate for the International Teaching Excellence Award.
SRU was named one of the top 100 universities in the north, and one of the top 30 universities in the region by US World News Report. GI Jobs magazine named SRU as a military-friendly university, and the Princeton Review announced that SRU was included in a list of 322 green colleges in the country.