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ABC's of Portland State University | A

Section A

Academic Advising

Portland State University's academic advising model is a product of the President's Initiative on Academic Advising. The Student Advising Implementation Team (SAIT) is charged with the implementation of this model. The model begins with the expectation that all new students receive their initial formal advising by attending a New Student Orientation session (5-5555). Within their first 24 credits, or first two terms, students are expected to see an adviser in the Undergraduate & Academic Support Center (UASC, 5-4055, 425 Smith Memorial Student Union) for additional help with their University requirements and a further introduction to the services and activities available at the institution. Declared majors should also seek advising from their major department (undecided majors should continue to see an UASC adviser). All academic departments and/or schools have created an advising plan for their department (see ADVISING PLANS). Students rely on their faculty advisors for accurate information regarding the requirements of University programs (see ACADEMIC ADVISING). The Undergraduate & Academic Support Center (UASC) is available to support all departments in their advising efforts. See also UNDERGRADUATE AND ACADEMIC SUPPORT CENTER (UASC)

Academic Research Computing

Academic Research Computing (ARC), a department in OIT, assists faculty and student researchers with their research projects and provides general support for academic and research computing at PSU. They can help with web application programming, system and desktop application development, database development, research computing support, scientific/mathematical/statistical application support, systems and instrumentation integration.  ARC also works with OIT-CIS to support a dedicated research computing infrastructure, including web application, database, computational servers and 140TB research storage.   ARC welcomes your participation - call 5-9112, or email

Academic Appeals

In the spirit of University collegiality, every effort should be made to resolve complaints or potential grievances about grading and academic evaluation informally by discussion between the student and the faculty members involved in the situation. If the student is not satisfied, they may take the matter to the department chair/director, then to the dean of the school or college (or, in some instances, the associate dean). If the matter is still unresolved, the student may make an appointment in the Office of the Dean of Student Life (5-4422, 433 Smith Memorial Student Union) to discuss the matter and receive assistance to complete the appeals process. Appeals are heard by the Academic Appeals Board, whose members are appointed through the Faculty Senate. Students may contact the Office of Affirmative Action (5-4417, 122 Cramer Hall) in situations where specific incidents or discriminatory patterns of behavior are alleged.

Academic Appeals Board

This Faculty Senate committee hears appeals from students alleging to have received prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. The student may file an appeal with the Academic Appeals Board. Further details are available in the Office of the Dean of Student Life (5-4422), 433 Smith Memorial Student Union.

Academic Excellence, Center for (CAE)

CAE provides support for faculty in the areas of teaching and learning, community-university partnerships, and assessment. Ongoing activities include faculty support for the effective integration of technology into course curricula, scholarship of teaching and scholarship of community outreach, academic portfolio development, graduate teaching assistant development, community based learning, and one-on-one consultation. Reference: CENTER FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE (303 Cramer Hall, 5-5642).

Academic Faculty Appointments (Unclassified Appointments)

These faculty appointments are made on a FIXED TERM, TENURE TRACK or INDEFINITE TENURE type basis.

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the intellectual and creative foundation of the University and is protected by the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 580-22-005). The faculty and administration of Portland State University jointly accept responsibility for maintaining an atmosphere in which scholars may freely teach, conduct research, publish, and engage in other scholarly activities. This responsibility includes maintaining the freedom to examine controversial issues throughout the University, including classroom discussion when such issues are germane to the subject matter of the course. The University does not attempt to control the personal opinion, nor the public expression of that opinion, of any member of the faculty or staff of the institution. Indeed, the faculty and administration of Portland State University feel a responsibility to protect the right of each employee to express his or her opinion. But in the exercise of this freedom of expression, faculty members should manifest appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they do not speak for the institution unless they have obtained appropriate approval.

Academic Professional Faculty

Non-teaching faculty filling administrative or administrative support positions are assigned Academic Professional job families and may also have a position title. Reference: AAUP COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT, see Article 17.

Academic Ranks

Professorial ranks PROFESSOR, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, SENIOR INSTRUCTOR, INSTRUCTOR, EMERITUS, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE and SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, RESEARCH ASSISTANT and SENIOR RESEARCH ASSISTANT, and LECTURER are reserved for faculty whose responsibilities and positions carry the expectation of scholarly accomplishment. Reference:PROMOTION AND TENURE GUIDELINES.

Academic Requirements Committee

This Faculty Senate committee develops policies and adjudicates petitions regarding academic regulations for all undergraduate degree programs. It also develops and recommends policies and adjudicates student petitions regarding initial undergraduate admissions. Forms and a handout are available at the Admissions & Records, Neuberger Hall lobby.

Administrative Applications Support

Located in 120 SH, (5-9650), this office provides technical support for host-based administrative applications. This consists primarily of: Banner Student Information System, Banner Financial Information System, and PSU Info. They also provide support for end-user administrative systems query and reporting tools.

Administrative Leave

This leave may be granted to academic employees. For information and form, contact department/area office.

Affirmative Action

It is the mission of the PSU Affirmative Action Office: to promote a campus environment that supports and celebrates the diversity of the community, to ensure a good-faith affirmative action effort and equal opportunity in all aspects of employment, and to ensure equitable and non-discriminatory treatment for all PSU community members. To accomplish this mission, the office provides several services to the PSU community, such as organizing training consultations and events for students, staff and faculty in employment and diversity related areas, developing the campus affirmative action plan, facilitating campus recruitments according to affirmative action guidelines, and investigating concerns and complaints of discrimination for students, staff and faculty. The office has resource materials, such as the "Resource Handbook for Women Faculty and Staff," published by the PSU Commission on the Status of Women, "search & recruiting outreach" materials, etc. For further information, visit the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICE (122 Cramer Hall; 5-4417).

American Association of University Professors-PSU Chapter (AAUP)

The American Association of University Professors is a national organization devoted to providing academic due process and full faculty participation in academic governance and decision making. For membership information, telephone 5-4414. See also PSU-AAUP. Reference: AAUP COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

The PSU Faculty Association, Local 3571, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, represents part-time faculty at the University. For membership information, telephone 224-3090. See also PSUFA. Reference: AFT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT.

Annual Faculty Evaluation

Tenure-track faculty must be reviewed after the completion of the first and second years of their appointment. There must be a review at the end of the third year in order to ascertain progress toward tenure and/or correct any deficiencies. Thereafter, departments will continue annual reviews. The immediate supervisor of faculty on fixed term appointments is required to provide an annual evaluation of performance after the first year. Reference: PROMOTION AND TENURE GUIDELINES.

Audio/Visual Equipment

Audio/Visual equipment is available to faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis. An account is required in order to check out Audio/Visual Services equipment. Faculty can set up an account and make arrangements for equipment in Room 18, Smith Memorial Student Union, or by calling 5-HELP (5-4367).