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College of Urban & Public Affairs Centers & Institutes

The College’s rich array of centers and institutes complement our academic programs and serve as key levers to promoting applied research and scholarship, advancing community engagement, and providing public service to the community, region, state, and beyond.

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College-wide Centers & Institutes

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies

The Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies (IMS) connects the university to issues of concern to communities in the six-county Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area, and brings new attention to key issues of metropolitan significance. The Institute publishes Metroscape, an atlas and mirror of the Portland Metropolitan Region. 

Director:  Sheila Martin |

Northwest Economic Research Center

The Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC) supports public policy and private objectives in the State of Oregon and the Greater Portland Metropolitan area with applied economic research. It specializes in modeling, data management, research, and analytical methods applicable to issues of urban and regional economic development

Director: Thomas Potiowsky |

Population Research Center

The Population Research Center (PRC) is an interdisciplinary public service, research, and training unit that provides population data, information, and research analysis for Oregon and its communities. Center staff engage in a variety of demographic initiatives, including the Oregon State Data Center, the Oregon Population Estimates Program, and a variety of commissioned population projects. 

Director: Sheila Martin |

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School of Community Health

Center for Public Health Studies

The Center for Public Health Studies (CPHS) is comprised of faculty and staff from the School of Community Health with affiliate faculty from around the college and across the campus, and also the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). The Center blends science, policy, and advocacy to create changes in the social, economic and political structures that give rise to and sustain health inequities across our society. 

Director: Larry Wallack |

Institute on Aging

The Institute on Aging (IOA) at Portland State University gathers top researchers and instructors in the field to provide education and insight into our aging population. The Institute is dedicated to enhancing understanding of aging and facilitating opportunities for elders, families, and communities to thrive. 

Director: Margaret Neal |

Senior Adult Learning Center

The Senior Adult Learning Center (SALC) offers access to most PSU’s classes to Oregon residents who are 65 and older. 


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Hatfield School of Government

Center for Public Service

The Center for Public Service (CPS) provides individuals and public sector and non-profit organizations access to the intellectual resources and practical experience of the Hatfield School of Government in order to improve governance, civic capacity, and public management locally, regionally, nationally, and around the globe. The center aspires to enhance legitimacy of – and citizen trust in – public service institutions and the people who work with them.

Director: Phillip Keisling |

Center for Turkish Studies

The Center for Turkish Studies provides academic coordination for the Contemporary Turkish Studies Program at PSU and serves as the main venue for institutional collaboration with universities in Turkey. The Center is an interdisciplinary institution that brings together faculty and students from across campus and other institutions of higher education throughout the United States, Turkey, and Cyprus. 

Director: Birol Yesilada |

Center for Women’s Leadership

The Center for Women’s Leadership is is working to build a diverse group of emerging women leaders in communities across the state through educational programming and skills training.

Director: Sunny Petit |

Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute

The Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute (CJPRI) strives to meet the knowledge needs pertaining to criminology and criminal justice issues through independent research projects with a focus on both theory and practice.  

Director: Brian Renauer |

Institute for Nonprofit Management

The Institute for Nonprofit Management (INPM) is a regional resource center for nonprofit education, research, job information, and community service and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas about vital issues affecting the nonprofit sector and the practitioner community. Through high quality educational and training programs, INPM supports the development of a strong, informed, and effective nonprofit sector.

Director: Phillip Keisling |

Institute for Tribal Government

The Institute for Tribal Government serves elected tribal governments from across the nation and also provides training to local, state, and federal government agencies and others who are interested in learning about tribal government. 

Director: Don Sampson |

Middle East Studies Center

The Middle East Studies Center promotes and facilitates research, teaching, faculty training and development, and public awareness on all regions of the Middle East by engaging in activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. 

Director: Birol Yesilada | 

National Policy Consensus Center

The National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC) is an applied research and development center in collaborative governance that serves both the state of Oregon and a national audience.  As a credible, neutral forum, the center assists communities and their leaders to address public issues and opportunities through its programs: Oregon Solutions, Oregon Consensus, and Oregon’s Kitchen Table.  The Center is a unique partnership between Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs and Kitchen Table Democracy, a national non-profit. 

Director: Greg Wolf |

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Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning

Center for Transportation Studies

The Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) is a research center organized under the auspices of the Center for Urban Studies. The Center partners with the Transportation Research and Education Consortium on research and education services.

Director: Jennifer Dill |

Center for Urban Studies

The Center for Urban Studies (CUS) promotes and facilitates research and community service for faculty and students on urban and metropolitan issues in the areas of planning and growth management, sustainability, energy, transportation, economic development, and housing. Center for Urban Studies faculty are frequently engaged with policy-making institutions at the metropolitan, regional, and national levels, and CUS provides an infrastructure for the community to access the expertise and resources of the university. Private, public, and nonprofit organizations, as well as the community, can access expertise and services through CUS. CUS houses the Community Environmental Services and Urban Sustainability Accelerator projects.

Director: Lisa Bates |

Community Environmental Services

Community Environmental Services (CES) provides high-quality research, technical assistance, and educational outreach services in the areas of solid waste minimization, recycling, and community sustainability program evaluation. CES provides community partners in the Portland region and beyond with technical assistance and research on urban environmental issues and resource sustainability. CES gives PSU students the opportunity to develop leadership capacity and practical job skills as they engage with community sustainability projects. 

Director: Eric Crum |

Urban Sustainability Accelerator

The Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA) focuses on the implementation of sustainability policies, plans, and goals. Cities participating in the Accelerator engage with Toulan School experts in urban sustainability,including assistance with technical, strategic, administrative, legal and political issues. The Urban Sustainability Accelerator creates cross-sector mutual learning teams and helps cities tap into university expertise. Through participation in the Accelerator, cities move their sustainability proposals from concept and plan to reality.

Director: Robert Liberty |

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