SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock University President Cheryl Norton, the school’s first female president in its 127-year history, will retire effective June 30, the school announced.
Norton had announced at an SRU council of trustees meeting that she was stepping away from SRU after five years as the school’s top administrator. She highlighted the academic and financial strides made during her tenure when speaking about her decision. This fall the school’s enrollment reached an all-time high with 8,881 students signed up for classes.
Norton said those achievements were balanced by “a number of challenges,” including a dramatic decline in state appropriations for higher education, the flooding of the Smith Student Center and the recent faculty strike.
“But despite these challenges, this institution has continued to move forward ... More importantly, we have excelled as an academic institution,” Norton said. “Slippery Rock University has never been in a stronger position.”
Norton’s tenure at SRU has been marked by multi-million-dollar campus upgrades, record-setting retention and graduation rates, as well as academic advancements like the school’s 2012 ranking in the State System’s best-overall Performance Indicators initiative — a feat SRU replicated this year.
“Our degree programs are recognized nationally. We have been ranked in the top four public (universities) in Pennsylvania and the top 150 in the country. Yes, there is much to celebrate,” Norton said.
Following her retirement Norton and her husband plan to return to their home in Denver.