New academic programs and renovations were among many institutional changes Slippery Rock University Provost Philip Way discussed with those in attendance at Monday’s student government meeting.
Three new bachelor degrees, including homeland security, corporate security and engineering, with tracks in natural gas, industry and systems, will soon be coming to SRU, Way said.
“As a public institution, part of our responsibility is to listen to the job market and see what skills are needed,” he said. “These new programs are a reflection of that process.”
Additionally, several new graduate programs, including health informatics, music therapy, public health and teaching English to speakers of other languages will soon be offered, Way said. Athletic training will also become a graduate program.
These new programs will not have an impact on tuition, he indicated, as the university anticipates an influx of students to these programs that will offset the costs of running them, including hiring new faculty and creating new facilities.
“We see a setback in the first year of these programs, but profits after that,” Way said. “The state system won’t allow for new programs if they won’t be profitable.”
The University Union is to be transformed into a Student Success Center by Fall of 2018, Way continued, and several organizations within the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL) office, including the Office of Multicultural Development, the Women’s Center and the Pride Center, will be relocated there.
“The idea is to create a one-stop shop for any institutional need a student might have,” he said, indicating that the university reserves the right to move department locations to better fulfill its goals.
The old union will provide more space for these organizations to function, Way said, creating a more social atmosphere. The university plans for the honors to move into the spaces they currently occupy.
Renovations to Miller Auditorium and the East and West Gyms can be expected by 2018, he said, depending on funding SRU receives from the state system.
“We’re hoping Spotts will be completed by December,” Way continued, noting that the building’s entire south wall will need to be taken out in order to ensure structural soundness.
Additionally, two new positions have been created to fill administrative vacancies in the CSIL, including a director of service learning and a director of student leadership, which will employ two individuals and fulfill the responsibilities once held by Brad Kovaleski, SRU’s former executive director of student development, Way announced.
The restructuring of the CSIL office is intended to bridge the gap between academics and student affairs, he said.
Following Way’s discussion, SGA awarded just under $15,000 in funds to four campus organizations.
SRU’s Swim Club was given $7,331.04 in order to attend a national championship in Georgia, which many new members plan to attend.
Flute Choir was awarded $5,000 to purchase two new piccolos after one of their originals had broken. A group representative indicated that the instruments would also be used be several other organizations and classes.
Students Engaged in Living Fashion (SELF) was given $1,486 to host a fashion show in April. Previously, the group had paid out-of-pocket for the show’s expenses, which include professional lighting, a DJ and decorations, a group representative said.
Finally, the Triathlon Club was given $875 to travel to a qualification-only national tournament in South Carolina. The group’s president indicated that the club has grown from three members in Spring of 2013 to 20 members now.
Monday’s meeting concluded with the election of two commuter senators, Warren Geither and Josh Johnson, both of whom described themselves as “true commuters,” living more than 25 minutes from campus. Three commuter positions remain open.
The next SGA meeting will be held on March 14 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom at 8:45 p.m. SGA election packets will also be available at that time.