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 imagineportlandstate.com.

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 imagineportlandstate.com

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.”