IUP closed 2017 in a position of strength.
We’ve continued to work our strategic plan on all fronts, with university-wide efforts to add action plans to address important issues such as Diversity and Inclusion; Student Success; Recruitment, Retention and Persistence; and the future of Athletics.
The University Budget Advisory Committee, while continuing to steer the ship in the right direction during challenging financial times, introduced an initiative to invite proposals for programs advancing recruitment and retention of students. A total of 33 well-developed and thoughtful proposals came from faculty, staff, and administrators, with eight chosen for funding. The volume and quality of these proposals tell me that the entire IUP community understands the need to work together to address student success.
Proposals for new academic programs to meet current and forecasted workforce needs were developed and approved, thanks to a streamlined process for curriculum development.
Our football team won the PSAC championship and was just one win away from playing for the NCAA championship; our basketball teams were ranked in the preseason national polls; the women’s volleyball and men’s cross country teams advanced to the NCAA tournament; and two of our student-athletes won PSAC Champion Scholar awards for having their combined academic and athletic excellence.
And, perhaps most importantly, we celebrated more than 3,100 graduates in May, August, and December. Commencement is one of the best times of year in the life of a university. We were proud to add a third ceremony in May to accommodate the growing numbers of family and friends who joined us in honoring our graduates.
We welcomed an academically strong freshman class in fall 2017, numbering 146 more students than the fall 2016 freshman cohort—a 6.3 percent increase. These students have an average high school grade-point average of 3.24 and an average SAT score of 1011. We also started the academic 2017–18 year with a commitment to increase retention and persistence of our students from 72 percent to 80 percent by 2022.
By working together and putting student success at the forefront, I am confident that we will meet our goals.
It's the IUP Way.