PSU appoints new deans to College of Urban and Public Affairs, School of Social Work
Author: Melissa Binder, The Oregonian
Posted: January 7, 2014

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psu urban plaza.jpg
Urban Plaza is a hub of activity at the center of the Portland State University campus in downtown Portland. (Melissa Binder/The Oregonian)

Portland State University has appointed two new leaders to colleges at the school.

1. Stephen Percy will take over the College of Urban and Public Affairs in June. Percy is currently a professor and dean at the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore, according to a release from the university. He formerly served as a professor of political science, acting dean of the School of Public Health and director of the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Percy is replacing Interim Dean Carlos Crespo, who served as a leader after Larry Wallack left at the end of the summer, according to the university's website. Wallack led the college for nine years, according to the site, but announced in February he would be leaving to start a sabbatical as a senior public health fellow at the Moore Institute at Oregon Health and Science University and a senior scholar at the Berkeley Media Studies Group.

2. Laura Burney Nissen was appointed dean of the School of Social Work after 14 years as a faculty member. Nissen is the founder and former national director ofReclaiming Futures, an initiative to improve assessment and treatment of teens with substance abuse problems.

Nissen began her new role Monday.

The school, ranked by U.S. and World Report as one of the top social work graduate schools, has had an interim dean since David Springer left at the end of the last academic year for a faculty position at the University of Texas in Austin.