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Portland State University Selects New Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Jackie Balzer, dean of Student Life at Oregon State University, has been named vice provost for Student Affairs at Portland State University effective July 1, 2008.

Jackie Balzer replaces Dan Fortmiller, who has served as interim vice provost for Student Affairs since July, 2005. The vice provost for Student Affairs provides leadership and administrative oversight to all Student Affairs departments at Portland State. The vice provost also has primary responsibility for enrollment management, support services and programs for student success. Balzer brings over 21 years experience in higher education working in a wide array of student life and enrollment management functions. During her almost eleven-year tenure at Oregon State, Balzer led many successful campus-wide initiatives to improve student retention, student leadership development, parent and university relations, and university response to critical incidents.

"We are very pleased that Jackie Balzer has agreed to accept our offer and look forward to the knowledge, professionalism and enthusiasm she will bring to our strategic initiatives to improve student success," said Portland State University Provost Roy Koch. "I extend my sincere appreciation to Dan Fortmiller for the experience and commitment he has brought to the position of interim vice provost over the past two years." Fortmiller, who has served the University for over 22 years, will return to his position as director of the Undergraduate Advising and Support Center, where he will continue to work on issues related to student success.

While at Oregon State University, Jackie Balzer served as the dean of Student Life since August, 2003. Balzer was the director of Student Retention Programs from August 2001 to August 2003 and the coordinator for First Year Experience Programs from 1997 to 2001. Prior to Oregon State, Jackie Balzer served as the director of Student Orientation Programs from 1994-1997 and the coordinator of Diversity and LGBT Support Services from 1992-1994 at the University of Oregon. From 1990-1992 she worked as a Student Activities Advisor at Oregon State University. From 1986-1990 Balzer worked at Eastern Washington University, first as a residence hall director and then assistant director for Residence Life Programs. Jackie Balzer holds a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Washington State University, a M.Ed. in College Student Services Administration and an Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education Leadership from Oregon State University.

"PSU is an amazing place where students, staff and faculty are very engaged in the learning process, in and out of the classroom," said Balzer. "I'm very impressed with the momentum PSU has developed, and I'm honored to be joining such a dynamic and successful higher education community. The Division of Student Affairs includes many talented professionals and student leaders who are deeply committed to student success. I look forward to joining this dedicated team."

Portland State University serves as a center of opportunity for 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation's most livable cities, the University's innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The University's 49-acre downtown campus exhibits Portland State's commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while many of the 125 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. PSU's motto, "Let Knowledge Serve the City," inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.