The Associated Students of Portland State University met last Monday
for a senate meeting that included a presentation on the possibility of
the university transitioning to a sworn and armed police force.
Kevin Reynolds, the newly appointed vice president for Finance and
Administration, led the presentation, with substantial comments from
Phil Zerzan, chief of Campus Public Safety, and Michelle Toppe, dean of
Student Life. Forty-five minutes were reserved for questions and
comments from ASPSU and the public.
Reynolds presented the findings of the 2013 Task Force on Campus
Safety. He focused on comparing the policing model of PSU to peer
In regards to the Urban 21, a set of universities similar to PSU set
in urban centers, Reynolds said, “PSU is an outlier, it’s the only one
that doesn’t have a fully sworn police force.”
Reynolds compared the financial implications of transition to a
campus police department to different policing options mentioned in the
task force, including contracting with the Portland Police Bureau,
contracting with the Oregon State Police or collaboration with OHSU. He
said that having a campus police department was most likely the most
Kevin Reynolds has been appointed the new vice president of Finance
and Administration for Portland State by President Wim Wiewel. Former
Vice President Monica Rimai left PSU to work at Willamette University
Reynolds’ new role follows a three-month term serving as interim vice
president. Reynolds came to PSU in 2005 and has since served as a
chemistry professor, chairman of the chemistry department, interim dean
of the School of Extended Studies and vice provost for Budget, Planning
and Internationalization in the Office of Academic Affairs.
Scott Gallagher, director of communications at PSU, believes
Reynolds’ extensive involvement with the university is beneficial for
his new role.
The Graduate School of Education at Portland State received a $1.2
million grant in late September for its American Indian Teaching Program
by the Office of Indian Education, a part of the U.S. Department of
The AITP aids American Indian students in obtaining their teaching licenses and master’s degrees.
“Through our professional development seminars, we make sure to
emphasize culturally responsive teaching. We provide them more
methodology about how to create a culturally responsive classroom for
Native and non-Native children,” said Micki Caskey, associate dean and
principal grant investigator for the AITP.
The grant is similar to one the AITP received in 2010 from the Office
of Indian Education to kick-start the program. Maria Tenorio, project
director for the program, said it successfully produced 12 American
Indian teachers over the course of four years.
“Our focus will continue to be the same, but we’ll tweak it a bit. We
were just getting started during our first grant cycle. We prioritize
community based education,” Tenorio said.
Nearly 70% of faculty responding to poll oppose Sworm Armed Police Department at PSU
PSU-AAUP conducted an informal poll of its members about the
Administration's proposal for a sworn armed police department proposed
to the PSU Board of Trustees at their September meeting. The poll was
open for three days. In addition to the tally, over 100 comments were
submitted and a few will be presented to the Board on Monday October 27,
2014 3:00 to 6:00 by PSU-AAUP President Pam Miller during invited
testimony before the Board of Trustees Special Committee on Campus
Here are the results:
Ballots Cast 404 of 971 - 41.6%
Do you support a sworn armed police department on PSU Campus as proposed by the administration?
Yes: 119 - 31.7%
No: 256 - 68.3%
Should this decision be made by a campus wide vote?
Yes: 264 - 72.7%
No: 99 - 27.3%
Will you attend the committee meeting to show that faculty care
about this proposal on Monday October 27 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at
University Place Hotel?
Yes: 75 - 18.8%
No: 324 - 81.2%
Please come to the meeting if you can to show that faculty care
about this issue. If members wish to speak to the Board directly, the
special committee will take public comment after invited testimony.
Hundreds of promising young people in the Portland area and elsewhere
will have the opportunity to get college scholarships, stipends, paid
research gigs and mentoring by research professors, beginning next fall. The National Institutes of Health selected Portland State University for
a $24 million grant, the largest in PSU history, designed to help grow
the number of biomedical and health researchers who are Latino, Pacific
Islander, Alaska native, African-American, Native American, low-income,
raised in foster care or have a disability.
The hope is that with researchers from diverse backgrounds with fresh
ways of approaching problems will help create breakthroughs in
preventative health promotion, bioscience and other critical health
research, said Carlos Crespo, director of PSU's school of public health.
The NIH millions will fund a new program at PSU, called Enhancing
Cross-disciplinary Infrastructure Training at Oregon, or EXITO. Students
will be chosen based on their grades, letters of recommendation and
statement of why becoming a scientist beckons them, said Crespo, who
conceived of and will run EXITO.
Officials from the administration and Campus Public Safety Office
held an open forum on Oct. 7 to make a presentation on campus safety and
gather input from members of the Portland State community regarding a
current proposal to transition CPSO to a sworn police force. Over 160
PSU President Wim Wiewel introduced the forum by stating that
“without safety, nothing else really matters…There’s no dispute about
the goal that we share, which is to have a safe work and learning
environment for everybody, even as there might be different opinions
about how to achieve that.”
President Wiewel noted that the final decision will be made by PSU’s
governing body, the Board of Trustees, and that there is still time to
deliberate on the issue.
The current issue before the Board of Trustees regarding whether or not to arm our campus security makes me a bit nervous.
It doesn’t take a skilled political analyst to understand why this
Portland State student is a little hesitant to embrace having sworn
police officers packing heat all over campus. With violence happening
all over the nation due to police misconduct and abuse of power, it’s a
wonder there isn’t more obstinacy toward such an idea.
I’m not one who often gets in trouble with the campus security here
on campus, so I know that overall my life will not be affected by such a
change (assuming the university was being honest when they said that
the $1.5 million it will take to upgrade security won’t result in higher
Before Patrick Kindred walks the quarter-mile to class on chilly
days, he considers what could be an important question: To wear a
hoodie, or not to wear a hoodie?
It's not because the temperature is unpredictable. It's because he's
black, and there are now armed police officers patrolling the University
of Oregon's Eugene campus.
Kindred said he's terrified of police, and housemates at his predominantly black fraternity share his concerns.
"We talk about it. If we're in a group, how many of us will there be?
What are we wearing?" said Kindred, a 22-year-old native of Portland.
October 11th, 2014 By Ramin Farahmandpur
Some believe online education is the future of public higher education.
But is it? As Oregon colleges and universities brace themselves for the
next wave of budget cuts, a growing number are betting that online
courses will increase enrollments and lower costs.
The passage of two bills by the 2013 Legislature paved the way for the
Higher Education Coordinating Commission to expand online programs,
supposedly to reach the state's degree-attainment goals.
House Bill 4018 allows Oregon to join the State Authorization
Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). This compact permits out-of-state students
to pay in-state tuition for online courses offered by universities in
another member state.
House Bill 4059 allows Oregon to partner with Western Governors
University, a private nonprofit online university with about 47,000
students. This institution, which caters to adult "nontraditional"
students, has the lowest graduation rate in the country, according to a
2012 CBS Money Watch report.
University and college administrators generally do not focus on quality
concerns, however. They see opportunity to cut costs, offer a range of
courses and bring in new enrollees that their brick-and-mortar
classrooms would not. They claim that online education better serves
nontraditional and first-generation college students, most of whom are
working adults with families and children.
Portland State University is in the midst of a campus-wide debate about
whether or not to create an armed university police force.
Sexual assault is one concern at the heart of the issue.
Improving sexual assault response is one of the most common goals named
by proponents, said Eric Noll, student body president. But not everyone
agrees that creating a police force is the best way to address sexual
The university currently has public safety officers, who do not have
the authority to perform off-campus investigations. That makes following
up on sexual assaults slow and complicated, said Phil Zerzan, chief of
campus public safety.
The local associations of the Oregon Education Association from across
the Portland Metro region have worked together to create an upcoming
event called the “Quality Education Festival.” The purpose of the
Festival is to highlight the impact that diminished programs have on the
students in Oregon schools. The lack of services means that today’s
students are in huge classes, often don’t have real access to guidance
counselors, and often don’t have the opportunity to experience physical
education, art, music, a library with an actual librarian, etc.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We all know that the reason for the erosion of a full education is
because of Oregon’s broken system of funding public education. The
Quality Education Festival will be held on October 19th from 12 o’clock
until 3 o’clock. The entire Portland Metro community is invited to
attend for face painting, student musical and drama performances, and
games. Mixed in among those activities will be opportunities to engage
with educators from all over the Metro area who will highlight the
importance of a full, deep, real education for all of Oregon’s students.
Many of the members of labor unions across the Metro region send their
children to public schools. Please share the attached documents with
your members and let them know that together we can fill Pioneer
Courthouse Square on October 19th and let the Governor and the
legislature know that it is time to work with families across the state
to create the Schools Oregon Students Deserve.
I hope the new academic year and fall term are off to a good start!
PSU-AAUP Member Meeting October 2nd, 2014
Thanks for turning out for the membership luncheon last Thursday at the
Native American Center. It is important to say that your commitment to
our union really shines while volunteering for the numerous Task Forces
and Committees that need our representation. There seems to be a bumper
crop of committees this year and so thank you very much!
At the luncheon, we heard from Rayleen McMillan,
Vice President of the Associated Students of PSU. She walks the talk of
"faculty working conditions are student learning conditions," and we
appreciate her taking time from her busy life to be such a solid
contributor to our community.
Patricia Schechter, Executive
Council member and Chair of PSU-AAUP's Legislative and Political Action
Committee introduced two guests who spoke to us about higher education
in the next legislative session: Lew Frederick from House District 43,
and Tina Kotek, from House District 44 and Speaker of the House. They
both advised that we be active during the upcoming legislative session
and that we remain committed to our students and to the academic mission
of higher education.
Thanks to Patricia! We also thank both Mr. Frederick and Ms. Kotek for joining us at our fall membership luncheon!
Senator Jeff Merkley's "Fighting for College Affordability Tour"
Senator Jeff Merkley came to PSU as part of his tour of all college
campuses in our state to discuss affordability and to offer some
solutions to this crisis. I introduced the event with a short speech. More importantly, I announced PSU-AAUP's endorsement
for Senator Merkley in his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate. He
shares our values about public education, living wages, and worker's
rights. Two PSU students also shared their stories about the cost of
higher education, Rayleen McMillan, a senior, and Andrew Davidson, a
Reminder: 3 Caucuses in October all held at noon and lunch provided!
Academic Professionals' Caucus will be held on Tuesday, October 14 at noon in Smith 238
Non Tenure Track Faculty Caucus will be held at noon on Wednesday, October 15 in Smith 327
Tenure Track Faculty Caucus will be held at noon on Tuesday, October 21 in Smith 238
Yesterday's Member Meeting and Jeff Merkley's Fighting for College
Affordability Tour went great! Thank you to all that joined us at the
Native American Center for good food, lively discussion, and Senator
Below are some photos of the event.