Penn State President Rodney Erickson has extended invitations to five additional representatives of several University constituencies -- alumni, faculty, staff and students -- to participate in the University's Board of Trustees committees and meetings. This invitation, effective with the trustees' July 2012 meeting, expands a Board of Trustees standing order in place since the mid-1970s, in which three faculty members and three student representatives are invited by the president of the University to attend and participate in committees and meetings.
University-wide application and 2011 official enrollment numbers have increased at Penn State for the sixth straight year, maintaining the University's position as one of the most popular universities in the nation. Penn State's total enrollment is 96,519 students, up 686 students from 2010, according to an annual "snapshot" count taken at the end of the sixth week of fall semester classes. Also, during the 2010-11 year, Penn State received nearly 122,000 applications across the University -- once again a new record, with nearly 7,000 more than in 2010 and 13,000 more than in 2009.
Penn State's University Sustainability Council is drafting the University's first strategic plan for sustainability and is seeking public input during the drafting process. "The Strategic Plan for Sustainability will provide the roadmap for ensuring that the Priorities for Excellence goal of increasing the number of academic offerings that incorporate sustainability into the curriculum is met and that sustainability is researched, taught, promoted and practiced," said Rod Erickson, Penn State executive vice president and provost. "It will follow the University's strategic planning framework, and specific strategies and metrics will be developed concurrently at the college, campus and unit levels. Its development will involve students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni, supporters and corporate partners."
Penn State's University Sustainability Council is drafting the University's first strategic plan for sustainability and is seeking public input during the drafting process. Following are frequently asked questions and answers.
Over the last two decades, Penn State has reallocated $203 million to strategically important academic areas and received approval from the Board of Trustees for the restructuring, elimination or merger of more than a hundred programs and numerous departments. These were just a few of the results Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Rod Erickson reported to the Board of Trustees Friday (May 13) as he gave an informational report on the progress made in the implementation of "Priorities for Excellence: The Penn State Strategic Plan 2009-10 through 2013-14." Erickson reported that Penn State's enrollment has grown, even as the University has been focused on efficiencies and cost savings. Between fall 2001 and fall 2010, undergraduate and graduate enrollment at University Park, the 19 Commonwealth Campuses and online enrollment in the World Campus has increased by more than 14,000 students.
Penn State officials hope to keep tuition increases for 2011-12 very moderate, despite a potentially significant cut to the University's appropriation from the Commonwealth, President Graham Spanier said Thursday (April 28) speaking to the University Faculty Senate. "We are determined that this tuition increase will not be unusual, despite the unusual challenge with which we are faced," Spanier said. "If we can, we want to make it the typical increase students expect in a normal year."
Four longtime Penn State champions and benefactors were recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association and named honorary alumni at a ceremony on June 4, at The Nittany Lion Inn. Officially recognized for their significant contributions to Penn State's welfare, reputation and prestige were: J. Charles Brock of Erie, Pa.; James C. Byerly of Camp Hill, Pa.; Rodney A. Erickson of State College, Pa.; and J. Bruce McKinney of Hershey, Pa. These four new Penn State alumni also were inducted into the Penn State Alumni Association at the ceremony on June 4, which also featured the presentation of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni and Philanthropist of the Year awards.
As the University implements the five-year strategic plan adopted by the Board of Trustees last May, the main considerations for Executive Vice President and Provost Rod Erickson are that the process remains open, collaborative and on track. In a presentation on Friday, May 14, Erickson updated the trustees on the implementation of the plan. "The challenge for Penn State and for our peers in higher education is to find ways to enhance student success and fulfill the University's mission and vision while operating within tight financial constraints - now and into the future," Erickson told the board.
With the fiscal challenges facing Penn State and institutions of higher education nationwide in mind, Rod Erickson, executive vice president and provost, said Penn State is working through Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) teams and the development of the new University strategic plan to create greater efficiencies and cost savings. "Students don't apply to Penn State because of the great processes that we've developed or because of the strength and rigor of our strategic plans," Erickson said Friday (May 1) at the Quality Issues Forum held at the Nittany Lion Inn. "But they do come because Penn State 'works.' When thousands of people are doing their jobs in a better way, it makes a big difference."
Rod Erickson, executive vice president and provost, spoke at Penn State's Quality Issues Forum on Friday, May 1 at the Nittany Lion Inn, addressing quality improvement and strategic planning and their roles in helping the University meet the challenges it faces. Following is the full text of Erickson's remarks.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act, originally passed in 1965, was reauthorized by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on Aug. 14 following a political process The Chronicle of Higher Education said "took longer than a bachelor's degree" to complete. Today (Nov. 21), Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson summarized the new act for the Penn State Board of Trustees. Erickson outlined new provisions for student financial aid, expanded federal reporting requirements, accreditation, teacher professional development and the authorization of new studies.