SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY Out-of-state tuition cut gains steam

A group of students will sing at the White House Wednesday and a faculty member will play his trumpet on 'Oprah' Friday.
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Substantial tuition breaks for out-of-staters with good grades may finally become a reality since it has won the apparent support of the new chancellor of the State System of Higher Education.
Slippery Rock University President Dr. G. Warren Smith told the SRU Council of Trustees at their quarterly meeting Friday that the new chancellor, Judy Hample, appeared supportive of the plan when she visited the campus last month. The proposal has been stalled at the state level for three years.
Smith wants to give any out-of-stater with a 3.0 grade point average a $4,000 break on tuition, renewable as long as they maintain a B average. Current tuition rates are $4,016 for state residents and $10,040 for non-residents.
After the meeting, Smith said that while at least 10 of the 14 schools included in the state university system offer tuition reduction plans for out-of-staters, the one proposed by SRU has met resistance because it is the only one with a grade qualification. But he said he has new hope because of Ms. Hample's support and her statement at a university presidents' meeting last week that SRU's plan is a positive approach to attracting out-of-state students.
Smith said he hopes the policy will become a reality with the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year.
Enrollment: The president also reported that enrollment increased by 245 students or 3.52 percent over last year, for a total 7,200 students -- this in spite of a 5.9 percent tuition increase.
Smith also reported that for the first time, the SRU Chamber Singers, under the direction of Paul Laprade, will perform next Wednesday at the White House. The 24 students will perform in the East Room for the Cabinet and members of Congress. Other performances are scheduled for the Capitol, Supreme Court Building and at a Virginia church.
Also receiving national attention will be associate professor of music Stephen Hawk, who will play lead trumpet when a 10-piece band backs singer Nancy Wilson in "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" Dec. 14 on the "Oprah" show. Hawk, who plays for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the Mellon Pittsburgh Broadway Series, is director of the SRU wind ensemble and one of the jazz ensembles and instructor of the trumpet studio. He has taught at SRU for 13 years.
Donations: In other business, trustees approved a $14,534 donation to the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department, to be shared with the Rescue Squad. The university also gave $547 to be split between the Sandy Lake Volunteer and Stoneboro Volunteer Fire Departments for their availability to the McKeever Environmental Learning Center. The amounts are the highest since universities were first allowed in 1976 to make donations to the fire departments that protect them.
Trustees learned that the National Recreation and Park Association Council of Accreditation has granted first-time accreditation to the SRU Parks and Recreation/Environmental Education program for Therapeutic Recreation. The university also received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for its principalship program. State system approval is expected within the week.
Trustees unanimously conferred an honorary doctorate of public service on former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first director of the Office of Homeland Security, which was established by President George Bush following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Next year's trustee meetings were set for March 15, June 14, Sept. 13 and Dec. 6.

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