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President's article for the 2008 Annual Report

Taking SHIP to the next level...

In January 2009, I will enter my third year anniversary as the fifteenth president of this extraordinary institution. I love my job and feel privileged to work with our faculty, staff, students, and the community of Shippensburg and beyond.  Our shared responsibility is to provide the best possible learning environment for our students and to ensure that 'Ship' confirms its position as the premier residential university in Pennsylvania.

Overall, 2007-2008 was a great year.  Twenty-six new tenure track faculty members were hired; administrative positions were filled -- our Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Barbara Lyman our Vice President for Administration and Finance, Dr. Jan "Denny" Terrell, our new Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Roger Serr .  We created a new Division of External Affairs and University Relations, led by Executive Vice President, Dr. Jody Harpster. This department will be responsible for university relations, governmental relations, public awareness, and communications to the general public.  It will also coordinate many of our outreach and public service efforts, as well as strong coordination with the Alumni Office and our Foundation.

The successful re-accreditation of the John L. Grove College of Business and the College of Education and Human Services, along with the growth of the MBA and MSW programs and the visibility of our Honors Program, continues to underscore our academic achievements.  Two student business organizations earned honors in national competitions. The Students for Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won a national award while the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) student chapter earned the 2007-2008 Student Chapter Merit Award.  Many faculty members and students from the College of Arts and Sciences presented their joint undergraduate research at symposiums and conferences throughout the nation.

The University and Widener University have partnered to promote doctoral studies on campus.  Starting this semester, 18 students are participating in a cohort program leading to a doctor of education degree. This partnership provides a value added component for students who have completed master's degrees and certification programs at Shippensburg.  Meanwhile, the early childhood baccalaureate and graduate programs received national recognition through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education/National Association for the Education for Young Children.

Community outreach was enhanced with the opening of the new Growing Edges Community Counseling Clinic, a new initiative that provides graduate students in the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel the unique opportunity to obtain field training and fulfill necessary course work. Offering free counseling services to the community, it is the only one of its kind in the PASSHE system and it has been very successful since opening its doors in Spring 2008.    The Center for Land Use continues to offer programs to help local leaders manage their municipalities more effectively in areas such as growth and development.  Center members recently completed a research project on the Geographic and Economic Assessment of Trucking and Warehousing for rural Pennsylvania.  This research will be used by the Pennsylvania Legislature to assist in its policy making.