Friday, September 18, 2015

HECC hires Dr. Veronica Dujon to lead university academic planning and policy

Higher Education Coordinating Commission
September 18th, 2015

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Veronica Dujon as director for academic planning and policy for the HECC Office of University Coordination. Dr. Dujon will lead the Commission’s efforts to coordinate academic programs, degree pathways, and student success initiatives among Oregon’s public universities.

Joining the HECC from Portland State University (PSU), Dr. Dujon currently serves as associate dean in Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a position focused on strategic leadership and management of personnel and academic issues for a PSU division comprised of 15 departments and centers. Previously, she served as associate dean for Curriculum Development & Enrollment Management in the same college, chair of the Department of Sociology, professor, and other positions serving the PSU students and community since 1995.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the HECC, said, “Veronica Dujon is a remarkably accomplished and thoughtful teacher and scholar, and her expertise will significantly deepen our engagement with public universities and the communities they serve. She brings extensive experience in inclusive, student-centered approaches, faculty development, curriculum and program development, institutional academic policies, and engagement in local, state, and global communities. We couldn’t be happier to welcome her to our work.”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

PSU wins $3.5 million to study e-cigarettes

September 10th, 2015

Portlant State University chemists have won a $3.5 million federal grant to study the potential hazards of e-cigarettes.
The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health will fund a large-scale look at the health effects of e-cigarettes, PSU said in a statement.
"We will be employing more researchers and studying the vast array of e-cigarette devices and liquids available on today's unregulated market," said Robert Strongin, professor of organic chemistry at PSU.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Portland State president's email to staff and faculty about $100 million donation

September 4th, 2015

You may have seen media stories about a potential significant gift to Portland State that did not materialize. I want to make sure you are up to date on what happened and where things stand.
Earlier this month, the PSU Foundation was approached by a person who offered to give the University $100 million on the condition he remain anonymous, and that the gift be announced quickly and with fanfare. We began preparations for a major announcement - this would have been the largest gift in our history - as we looked into the potential donor's background. After a phone conversation with the potential donor, Foundation Board Chairman Mark Rosenbaum and I became concerned about the viability of his offer and decided not to move forward with an announcement.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PSU President’s Salary More Than Meets the Eye

Go Local PDX
August 31st, 2015

Portland State University President Wim Wiewel could be said to be living the good life. In addition to his salary of $401,700, the school's top official also enjoys payments to a retirement plan, free housing, automobile usage, sabbatical time, maid service at his home, and gardening services.
In total, according to calculations by, Wiewel's compensation tops $600,000. His base salary makes him the sixth-highest paid university head in the state, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. But, after adding the cost of benefits, his total compensation could rank him near the top of the list.
The President's house is estimated to have a value of $2.1 million according to the real estate company Zillow. The house features five bedrooms and three baths.
This is particularly striking when put in the school's financial context. Last year, under Wiewel's recommendation, PSU's Board of Directors voted by a 10-2 margin to cut spending and increase tuition at the University.
Kate Stubbenfield, a student with the Portland State University Student Union, a horizontal advocacy group which campaigns for the rights of PSU students, told GoLocal she is angered by the situation.
“President Wiewel's salary has always been something frustrating for me as a PSU student,” she said. “His salary has remained consistent despite the constant increase in tuition, even though he could take a pay decrease if he wanted to.”

Monday, August 31, 2015

Portland State's $100 million donor disaster: what's next

August 29th, 2015

Portland State University will enter the public stage of a $300 million fundraising campaign without its top two development officers, who are resigning after falling for a phony billionaire and $100 million that never existed.
PSU Foundation president Francoise Aylmer and chief development officer Kristin Coppola were the two main contacts for John Michael Fitzpatrick, the cryptocurrency dealer who offered to donate the public university $100 million -- and later, $1.18 billion. University administrators planned a press conference to announce the deal, inviting Gov. Kate Brown and Mayor Charlie Hales, but pulled the plug at the last minute when the money never materialized.

Portland State University's 2 top fundraisers resign in wake of $100 million gift that never was

August 28th, 2015

The president of Portland State University's fundraising arm and the school's chief development officer are resigning after pursuing a $100 million gift from a self-described billionaire who turned out to be a recently bankrupt bitcoin dealer known for peddling grandiose schemes.
Francoise Aylmer will resign as president and chief executive officer of the PSU Foundation, effective Sept. 1, "to pursue other interests," according to a statement issued Friday. She will also relinquish her position as Portland State vice president of advancement.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Portland State's $100 million man has made and failed to keep big promises again and again

August 23rd, 2015

The self-styled supercomputer visionary who secretly pledged $100 million to Portland State University has been spinning grandiose tales of success to public officials, industry insiders and prospective investors for two decades.
But an analysis of public documents left in John Michael Fitzpatrick's wake, from Boardman to Washington, D.C., turns up no evidence of the wealth he promised to bequeath.
What it does show is a high-tech mirage, preceded by a string of unsuccessful forays into politics, free-speech advocacy, offshore finance, consulting, insurance and a check-cashing business.
That all should have been quickly evident to Portland State and a number of other public and private institutions hooked, at least temporarily, by Fitzpatrick's tales over the years. Yet he appears to have played them all almost perfectly, recognizing needs and promising to fulfill them.

Portland State U. Almost — Almost — Got a $100-Million Donation

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 21st, 2015

Portland State University was on the verge of securing a $100-million donation from an anonymous donor — even going so far as to plan the details of the news conference announcing the gift — but the deal didn’t go through.
College officials told The Oregonian they were still in talks with the donor but acknowledged that the donation may be dead. “Ultimately, it’s up to a donor to make a gift or not,” a university spokesman, Chris Broderick, told the newspaper in a statement.
According to the newspaper, the would-be donor is a former Portland State student, and the donation would have nearly doubled the institution’s endowment.
On Friday night, the newspaper reported that the would-be donor, John Michael Fitzpatrick, “turns out to be a tech promoter with hardly any obvious assets and a history of insolvency.” Mr. Fitzpatrick reportedly endured bankruptcies in 2011 and 2012, failed in a bid for the U.S. Senate, and became ensnared in controversy when he produced an anti child-pornography documentary that contained explicit images.
University officials were red-faced over how badly they had been duped.
“In retrospect, we should have taken more time to review Fitzpatrick’s offer,” President Wim Wiewel wrote the university’s trustees. “And we are taking a hard look at our internal procedures to ensure this is a one-time occurrence.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Portland State researchers tapped to assess clean-up of Passaic River and Newark Bay Superfund sites

August 17th, 2015

This summer Portland State University (PSU) Civil and Environmental Engineering professors David Jay and Stefan Talke embark on a multi-year study to investigate the transport of contaminants in one of the most polluted Superfund sites in the United States. The goal of the study is to identify the most effective and practical remediation strategy tailored to the site's unique environmental and human factors.
With a history that can be traced back to the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution, a significant amount of industrial pollution lies beneath the surface of Newark Bay and its tributary the 17-mile long tidal Lower Passaic River, part of the New York Harbor estuary system. The Lower Passaic River itself is estimated to contain 9.7 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated by dioxins, PCBs, pesticides, hydrocarbons, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals in. Hundreds of industrial facilities may share responsibility for the pollution, including the former Diamond Alkali Company which manufactured the defoliant "Agent Orange" onsite through the 1950s and 1960s.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PSU trims planned tuition increase, thanks to Legislature

August 4th, 2015

Portland State University is taking the unusual step of reducing a planned tuition increase, saving each full-time in-state undergraduate student $90.
Tuition and fees in 2015-16 will amount to $8,034. That's up 3.1 percent from the $7,794 charged last year for a student taking 15 credits.
University officials say the increase, reduced from the planned 4.2 percent, results from the Legislature boosting funds for higher education. Portland State is the only public university in Oregon lowering its planned tuition hike, said Scott Gallagher, a PSU spokesman.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Imagine a Cold Beer Social this WEDNESDAY!

Imagine a Cold Beer
Wednesday July 29th
4-6 pm
Rogue Hall, 1717 SW Park Ave

Enjoy some free appetizers and beer. Meet other faculty and APs from across the university. Learn what's happening at the bargaining table. Get your Imagine campaign swag, so you can show support for higher education that's student-centered, educator-led and debt-free.

This is the last of 3 Imagine campaign summer socials. At each event, a member of our bargaining team will provide a brief update. For more on bargaining and our vision for a better PSU,  visit

Ch Ch Ch Changes…

PSU Vanguard
July 27th, 2015

Over the summer and spilling into next year, Portland State’s campus is getting a facelift through the implementation of several capital projects. According to PSU’s Finance and Administration website, here’s what’s scheduled to change in the near future...

Friday, July 24, 2015

PSU to reduce planned tuition increase

July 7th, 2015

Portland State University plans to reduce its planned tuition increase using additional state funding approved by the Oregon Legislature.
Oregon lawmakers on Monday increased funding for the state's seven public universities to $700 million for 2015-17. The money includes $30 million for student tuition relief and support services, according to a joint statement from the presidents of all seven universities.
PSU President Wim Wiewel said he will use the university's portion of the $30 million to lower the planned 4.2 percent tuition increase for Oregon undergraduates, hire more advisers and faculty, and invest in other student support services.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paid Student Internship with PSU-AAUP!

During fall 2015, PSU-AAUP will offer a paid internship to a PSU student who’s passionate about higher education issues and interested in mobilizing fellow students. Please think of potential candidates, and encourage them to apply.
The intern will spend 10-15 hours per week coordinating a major fall term event (e.g., demonstration, teach-in, "day of action"). This event should engage a broad range of students and align with the vision of higher education that’s student-centered, educator-led and debt-free. In addition to a stipend up to $2,250, the intern can expect to gain project leadership experience, job shadowing opportunities and the chance to earn university credit.

We as a union have a powerful history of working together with students. Our internship opportunity will build on that tradition by supporting PSU student activism. This fall, we’ll still be bargaining with the PSU administration and imagining a better future for our university. It's a crucial time to encourage a strong student voice on our campus.

The deadline is August 7th. Details can be found here:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ice Cream Social on the Terrace, TOMORROW!

  Imagine a Cold, Cold Ice Cream
Wednesday June 24th
  3-4 pm
  Urban Center Terrace, 4th floor
Bask in the sun on the Urban Center Terrace! Enjoy free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (vegan, gluten-free and nut-free options available). Meet other faculty and APs from across the university. Learn what's happening at the bargaining table. Get your Imagine campaign swag, so you can show support for higher education that's student-centered, educator-led and debt-free.

This is the first of 3 Imagine campaign summer socials. At each event, a member of our bargaining team will provide a brief update. For more on bargaining and our vision for a better PSU,  visit

Friday, June 19, 2015

Portland State will train bilingual teachers to help students with autism

June 19th, 2015

Portland State University has been awarded a $1.25 million grant to prepare bilingual teachers to work with students with autism and other profound disabilities.
Julie Esparza Brown, a PSU education professor newly elected to the Portland school board, won the grant from the U.S. Department of Education and will co-direct the training.
The program will enroll seven graduate students each year for five years, and train them for one year full-time or two years part-time to get a master's degree in special education. Most if not all will enter the program already fluent in English and another language, primarily Spanish, Brown said.
The grant will cover nearly all their tuition plus the costs of some credentialing tests and specialize training, Brown said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bargaining Update: Towards a family-friendly PSU?

Bargaining Session 1: Towards a family-friendly PSU?
Leanne Serbulo, VP of Collective Bargaining

Yesterday we began discussing the Family-Friendly Task Force’s leave bank proposal. This proposal would allow us to donate up to 3 hours of unused sick time to a leave bank. Participants could then withdraw up to 30 days paid leave if they have an unexpected illness or life-changing event and have not accumulated enough paid time off to cover it. Both bargaining teams endorsed the leave bank idea after a short presentation...Read more at

In other news...
  • Congratulations José Padín! We are very pleased to announce that our own José Padín, current PSU-AAUP Vice President Grievances and Academic Freedom and current AAUP-Oregon President, has been elected to one of three at-large seats on the National AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress (AAUP-CBC) for a two-year term of office. PSU-AAUP is a member of the AAUP-CBC. The AAUP-CBC oversees AAUP organizing nationwide, and provides a mechanism for CB Chapters like PSU-AAUP to be in relationship and coalition with other AAUP collective bargaining chapters in the US. Learn more about AAUP-CBC.
  • SEIU will rally for a fair contract this Thursday June 18th at noon in the Park Blocks. Please wear your AAUP t-shirt and stand in solidarity with classified staff.
  • Imagine a Cold, Cold Ice Cream. Join us next week, Wednesday June 24th, 3-4pm on the Urban Center Terrace (4th floor) for sunshine, a scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and an update from your bargaining team. This is the first of three summer socials.

Monday, June 15, 2015

PSU's Wiewel won't get a pay increase (but that's OK with him)

Portland Tribune
June 12th, 2015

Portland State University trustees gave President Wim Wiewel a new three-year contract Thursday, but without a pay increase.
Wiewel asked that the board not increase his $260,700 base salary, and add details of a one-year sabbatical Wiewel can take with full pay after the contract expires, as long as he agrees to return for at least an academic year to teach.
University trustees met at noon June 11, in the Willamette Falls Room of the University Place Hotel, 310 S.W. Lincoln St. On the same agenda, the board adopted a plan to arm some PSU campus police. The plan was developed during the past five months after its proposal created an uproar among students and staff.
Under the plan, PSU would have a campus police department with both armed and unarmed officers.

Portland State renews President Wim Wiewel's contract, will add 10 armed security officers to downtown campus

Portland Business Journal
June 12th, 2015

Portland State University's Board of Trustees voted Thursday to extend President Wim Wiewel's tenure by three years — without a raise.
According to the Oregonian, Wiewel had requested to forego a pay bump as the university faces financial challenges. He joined PSU in 2008, overseeing steady growth in enrollment and scholarships and a plan to expand the campus towards the Willamette River waterfront.
Wiewel has worked collaboratively with local businesses to expand critical workforce programs and spearheaded an effort to renovate the university's basketball arena to add event space.

Friday, June 12, 2015

PSU Approves Armed Campus Officers

June 11th, 2015

The Portland State University board of trustees voted Thursday for the school to have an armed police force. The measure passed 9-3. The meeting was the culmination of over two years of discussions about how to improve public safety on the campus.
The Portland State University Board of Trustees voted last December to tentatively authorize having sworn police officers as part of their security force. The university said, “trained, armed officers will be added to the existing unarmed campus security force over the next three years.”
PSU won’t be the first college in the state to have an armed police force. Both the University of Oregon and OHSU have them as part of their schools’ security teams, but the topic has been very controversial within the PSU community.

PSU trustees extend President Wim Wiewel's term three years with no pay raise -- as requested

June 11th, 2015

Portland State University President Wim Wiewel asked the chairman of the school's Board of Trustees for three things as his contract renewal approached recently: a description of his sabbatical terms, an agreement to pay his moving costs when he leaves PSU – and, no pay increase.
The third request, refusing a raise, is extraordinary for a U.S. college president. University chief executives command ever higher compensation these days.
"By some, that's seen as an empty gesture," Board chairman Pete Nickerson told fellow trustees at the meeting. "I don't see it that way."
Wiewel, a slim, animated man with glasses and a high forehead, wore a jacket and tie to the quarterly meeting. He has been PSU president since August 2008.

PSU trustees vote to deploy armed police officers on campus starting July 1

June 11th, 2015

Portland State University police officers armed with guns will begin patrolling the campus July 1, as the result of a PSU Board of Trustees vote Thursday.
The 9-3 vote followed four years of study, debate, campus input and committee reports on the issue, which became heated at times, given university sensitivities and the recent national backdrop of protests against police in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere.
PSU has been an exception among Oregon public universities for having an unarmed campus security force. Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have armed campus police officers.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hold the vote

PSU Vanguard
June 11th, 2015

Recently elected and appointed members of Associated Students of Portland State University released a press release this week requesting that the PSU Board of Trustees postpone a vote scheduled for their June 11 board meeting. An affirmative vote from the trustees would approve a plan that outlines specifics for the implementation of sworn and armed officers into PSU’s Campus Public Safety department.
ASPSU President Dana Ghazi expressed opposition to an armed campus police force and said she has spoken to several students who have felt alienated and marginalized in the sworn officer deliberation and planning process.
“As student body president, my highest priority is ensuring the safety and security of our students,” Ghazi said in the press release. “Like most PSU students, I remain very skeptical of how effective this approach will be in meaningfully reducing violence and sexual assault on our campus.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

“This Is Your Money”

June 6th, 2015

Is Corinthian Colleges’ recent bankruptcy a sign of the end times for the for-profit university industry? As the Washington Post recently put it, proprietary institutions everywhere are currently “buckling under government lawsuits, regulatory scrutiny and depressed student enrollment.” So, provided that the Obama administration makes clear that Corinthian’s victims are entitled to debt relief, will purveyors of legitimate education start to feel like we’ve been raptured up to a heaven bereft of predatory education?

CALL TO ACTION. Board of Trustees meeting tomorrow.


The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, June 11th from noon to 5pm at University Place. The agenda is big, and there are two points that you need to know about:

1) Arming of campus security
The Board will make the final decision about arming the security officers on our campus. In an ASPSU press release, President Dana Ghazi urges the Board to postpone the vote, stating that "Students cannot afford to have this implementation plan rushed to a vote during final exams week." The PSU Student Union asks us to attend Thursday’s Board meetingsign up for public comment; and STAND with students (not sit) during their demonstration, if possible. Please wear your AAUP t-shirt.

2) A sabbatical year for President Wiewel?
The President's three-year contract is also on the agenda, and I ask that you take a look at it. He is not asking for a raise (a good public relations move), but he is asking for a sabbatical in the last year of his contract with 100% salary and a return to campus after sabbatical at .50 FTE. This is completely against Oregon Administrative Rules. Please see my letter to the Board about this.


We need to stand with students. These back door decisions and 11th hour maneuvers do not move us toward higher education that is student-centered, educator-led and debt-free.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

K-12 geography education in Oregon gets $200,000 boost

June 2nd, 2015

Portland State University's Center for Geography Education in Oregon (C-GEO) has received a $200,000 grant from the John and Betty Gray Geography Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to improve geography education in Oregon's K-12 schools.

The funds will be used for teacher professional development, instructional materials, community outreach and advocacy for geographic education.

C-GEO is a member of National Geographic's Network of Alliances for Geographic Education. Its membership reaches into all grade levels and all regions of Oregon. Since 1986 the program has offered professional development opportunities for teachers, and has developed standards-based geography materials with strong Oregon content for classroom use. This work includes the Student Atlas of Oregon (in English and Spanish), which won the 2012 Geographic Excellence in Media award from the National Council for Geographic Education.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Student-centered, student-led

PSU Vanguard
June 2nd, 2015

As I finish my last year at Portland State, I feel more discontent about the university than I have in a long time. I’ve written before about all of the problems I have with PSU’s administration, with Oregon’s higher education system and with PSU’s culture. My time here is almost up, and one of my biggest regrets is not doing more about the things that bothered me.
I doubt I’m the only one. People have tried to stop campus public safety officers from being armed; they’ve tried every year to stop tuition from being raised, and they stood with the American Association of University Professors when they threatened to strike. Sometimes it worked, but often it was too little, too late. PSU students have to get organized if any of the things that are wrong with PSU are going to change.

You are not a loan

PSU Vanguard
June 2nd, 2015

“$1.2 trillion is not working,” said Daniel Hong, an organizer with Strike Debt Portland.
People gathered on the Park Blocks behind Smith Memorial Student Union for a student Debtor’s Assembly to learn more about and protest student debt on May 28.
The assembly was organized by Strike Debt Portland, a local chapter of a national organization that, according to their website, is a “nationwide movement of debt resisters fighting for economic justice and democratic freedom.”
Signs behind the stage read, “You are not a loan,” “Education is a human right,” and “$1.2 trillion isn’t working.”
Portia Norton, another SDPDX organizer, and Hong emceed the event. General Strike, a Portland-based folk band, performed songs and led chants. People handed out red felt squares for protestors to wear in solidarity with debtors. Several people got up to speak to the crowd.
Ian Johnson, a representative from Oregon Working Families Party, talked about the history of student debt.
“Student debt can’t be discharged through bankruptcy,” he said. “You can have your wages or social security garnished up to 25 percent. These are predatory interest rates.”

Monday, June 1, 2015

Finding common ground

PSU Vanguard
May 25th, 2015

There are roughly 2,100 teaching and non-teaching faculty employed by Portland State: adjunct instructors, senior instructors, associate professors, assistant professors, researchers, librarians, attorneys, advisers, tenure track, non-tenure track, temporary and permanent. And they’re all bargaining with PSU this summer.
PSU Faculty Association, the part-time faculty union, will negotiate its entire contract, which expires at the end of June. The PSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the full-time faculty union, has begun negotiating several articles within their current contract, which was ratified in mid-2014 after complicated negotiations. The contract will expire in November.
“Students should care, because we care about them,” said Davida Jordan, a PSUFA member and an adjunct instructor in the Intensive English Language Program. “Like they say, our working conditions are their learning conditions.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Past Tense Oregon: Century-old Shattuck Hall on PSU campus a link to Portland's school past

May 27th, 2015

The next time you are at Portland State University, take a moment to walk to the south end of the campus, a couple blocks short of Interstate 405.
On the east side of the Park Blocks, next to the tennis courts, stands a significant piece of Portland history: Shattuck Hall.
These days, the three-story brick building is home to PSU's architecture school, as well as its Public Safety Office.
If you walk into the building, you'll find a structure that was renovated in 2010 and is LEED certified.  The renovation produced a fascinating blend of early 20th Century charm and early 21st Century efficiency.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Member Message May 21st, 2015

Here we are in week 8 of spring term! This is such a busy time of year. We have a bargaining update and some other news below.

For all bargaining updates, please visit our bargaining blog.

Labor/Management Committee Update
In our departmental listening sessions, faculty across campus relayed horror stories about being assigned classroom that were too small, unable to accommodate group work or active learning, had no outlets or had tables set-up in areas where students could not see the board. We brought these issues up in our quarterly labor/management meetings. On May 12th, we met with a representative from facilities. While the Facilities Dept. does not assign classroom space, we did learn that they have a small, annual budget for classroom enhancements or innovations. They would like to hear more from faculty about rooms that need improvements. Please contact Leanne ( or if you know of a classroom in dire need of repair!  We will be meeting later this term with classroom schedulers. We like to create a way for pedagogical needs to be taken into account when classrooms are allocated.

Implementation Advisory Committee
In December, the Board of Trustees voted to have our campus public safety officers carry guns. The Implementation Advisory Committee has completed a draft report that is open to public comment. The final report will be reviewed by the Board on June 11. PSU-AAUP thanks Lisa Hawash for representing PSU-AAUP on this committee.

Summer Institute for Union Women
And last but not least, a Summer Institute for Union Women will be held by  LERC (Labor Education and Research Center) from the University of Oregon at Reed College from June 23-27. For more information or to register, click here.

Good luck with all your work and activities as we get closer to the end of the academic year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

AAUP kicks off bargaining with “Imagine”

PSU Vanguard
May 19th, 2015

Portland State’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors kicked off bargaining with a rally on May 6.
The rally was a joint action with the PSU Faculty Association, the union for part-time faculty and staff. The theme of the event was “Imagine”: “Imagine higher education: Student-centered. Educator-led. Debt-free.”
Jose Padín, AAUP’s Vice President of Grievances and Academic Freedom and a sociology professor, emceed the event. Members of AAUP, SEIU, PSUFA and students gathered on the Park Blocks.
People held signs that read, “Our working conditions [are] student learning conditions” and “Job security for educators.” There were also signs with the “Imagine” slogan. Participants then marched to the Market Center Building and delivered a cupcake to President Wim Wiewel.

Portland State University–AAUP

AAUP National
May 19th, 2015

The AAUP chapter at Portland State University, first chartered as a faculty bargaining unit in 1978, operates as both a professional association and a collective bargaining agent. PSU-AAUP represents more than 1,200 faculty members and academic professionals employed by Portland State at 0.5 FTE and above.
In spring 2014, PSU-AAUP reached a contract settlement after voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. As the strike approached, the bargaining teams entered into a twenty-four-hour marathon session of mediation that ended with an agreement. Thanks to the chapter’s university-wide activism, faculty members were able to win major contract advances after years of cutbacks and concessions.
Academe recently caught up with Pam Miller, the chapter’s president, and Phil Lesch, executive director of PSU-AAUP, to discuss the contract negotiations and the chapter’s continuous work to engage its faculty.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

IBB Training and Ground Rules

Bargaining has officially begun!  Thanks to all of you who came out for our joint bargaining kick-off action with PSUFA, the union that represents our part-time colleagues. Together, our voices filled the Park Blocks and echoed through the Market Center Building. President Wiewel heard our message, and your energy, strength and commitment to excellence, accessibility and affordability in higher education will help carry us through this round of contract negotiations. Click here for more information on our contact campaign.
The day after the rally, both teams began our two-day Interest–Based Bargaining Training.  It was conducted by Janet Gillman, the state conciliator who also served as our mediator when we settled our contract last year. On Thursday, we were joined by Eric Noll and Rayleen McMillan (student representatives from ASPSU) and Provost Sona Andrews.  Friday’s attendance was limited to members of the two bargaining teams.
The Interest-Based Bargaining process consists of seven steps:
1. Framing the Problem: The party that identified an issue will frame it as an open-ended problem and share stories or data.
2. Exchanging Data: If more data is needed to understand the problem or determine solutions, both teams will collect the information they need and bring it to the next session.
3. Identifying Interests: The two teams state their underlying interests, describing why the issue is important to their constituencies and outlining what needs to be addressed in the solutions generated.
4. Inventing Options: The parties brainstorm options to address the problem, then evaluate options based on the parties' interests.
5. Evaluating Options: The two teams (hopefully) come to consensus on the best option.
6. Selecting a Solution: We work together to develop a mutually beneficial solution.
7. Closure

Traditional bargaining includes many of these same steps, but they tend to happen away from the table. In IBB, the two parties work through the process together.
The Interest-Based Bargaining process is long and laborious, but it can be a useful method for addressing some of the deep-rooted issues at PSU if both teams come to the table with a willingness to be transparent; have the authority and ability to share information; and are committed and open to new ideas. During the training, both teams expressed a desire to come to an agreement before our contract expires.
The two teams began practicing IBB last Friday to create ground rules for this round of negotiations. When we meet again tomorrow (May 15), we hope to finish establishing ground rules; hear the administration's issues for this round of negotiations; and set a schedule for summer bargaining. We will share what we learn and accomplish with you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

2015-17 Collective Bargaining Issues

Bargaining is about to begin! 
During the past few months, the Collective Bargaining team went out to more than 30 departments and units across campus and conducted listening sessions to find out what you wanted to see in our next contract.  We also gathered input at our Winter and Spring caucus meetings.
Based upon what we heard from you, we developed a list of issues that we plan to address in this round of negotiations.  In interest-based bargaining, we present the administration with issues or problems rather than a specific list of demands.  Through the bargaining process, we will develop mutually acceptable solutions to these problems.
Click here to view the PSU-AAUP 2015-17 Collective Bargaining Issues
Thanks to all of the unit reps and organizers who helped schedule listening sessions.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get out to every department, but we still want to hear from you.  You can:
  •     Contact the team (email Leanne at or to set-up a listening session.
  •     Share your story.  Tell us how these issues affect your day-to-day work-life at PSU.  Email your story to Leanne ( or  We’ll have an opportunity to share members’ stories at the bargaining table.  We’ll keep your story anonymous, unless you give us permission to share your name.
These issues play out differently across campus.  The better informed we are about how these issues affect your unit, the better able we will be to craft solutions that work for everyone.
Finally, bargaining doesn’t just happen at the table.  As we learned last year, we can only make progress on our issues if we are organized, unified and active.  While we’re hopeful that this round of negotiations will be less contentious than the last, our team can’t do this alone.
To have strength at the table, we need your support!  Join us next week for a:
Bargaining Kick-Off Rally from 12-1 PM on Wednesday, May 6th
In the Park Blocks near Smith Center

The theme of this rally is “Imagine…a different PSU.”  Come and share your vision of what PSU could be.
This is a joint action organized with PSUFA, the adjunct faculty union, which also begins bargaining this May.  Our classified colleagues from SEIU and student allies are also co-sponsoring this event. We’ll also be celebrating national AAUP’s 100th birthday.  Wear red, hold a sign and celebrate AAUP with a birthday cupcake!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Academe missing PSU data

Many members have expressed alarm that Portland State University is missing from the Faculty Compensation survey in the May/June issue of Academe.
We, too, were alarmed  when we learned about it two weeks ago. We reached out immediately to PSU administrators. They advised that the survey fell through the cracks with the disassembly of the Chancellors office, and PSU was committed to continuing to participate in the survey.
The survey was immediately assigned to the PSU Office of Institutional Research and Planning (OIRP), and completion of the survey was given high priority.
The final deadline to submit the data to make the May-June Academe was, however, too tight. OIRP submitted 4 of the 5 sections on Tuesday April 22, and they were planning on submitting the last section by today.
AAUP Academe staff have advised that the data, once approved, will appear in the July/August issue of Academe, and anyone who orders a peer compensation report or complete dataset will have the PSU data included.
If this changes we'll let you know.

Employment Relations Board Notice of Violation of Law

On Friday the University sent the notice required by the ERB in the resolution to the AAUP Unfair Practice charge about the administration's threat to cut off our email accounts if we went on strike.
On Friday the University sent the notice required by the ERB in the resolution to the AAUP Unfair Practice charge about the administration's threat to cut off our email accounts if we went on strike.
The message was cryptic and did not provide any context. Many members thought it was spam and deleted it.
The pdf of the document is here. Please feel free to print it out and post it on bulletin boards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Decision is in: Administration found to have violated Labor Law

PSU Administration found to have violated labor law by threatening to disable Faculty email if they went on strike

On Friday we received the long awaited decision from the Oregon Employment Relations Board on the unfair labor practice complaint we filed last year on the administration's threat to cut off faculty member's email if we went on strike.
The decision holds that the administration's threat violated ORS 243.672 (1) (a) as it "interfered with, restrained, or coerced Association-represented employees in the exercise of their PECBA-protected rights."
The board's decision goes beyond the order proposed by the administrative law judge in February as it orders the administration to "post a notice of its wrongdoing..." and, "in addition to the traditional physical posting of the notice, the University must distribute the notice to Association-represented employees by e-mail."
The decision made the news. See the articles at OregonLive and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
We extend thanks to Executive Director Phil Lesch, AAUP attorneys Jennifer Sung and Liz Joffe, and the witnesses who provided testimony at the hearing during the summer when everyone was off contract.