Stephen Percy and Sy Adler Take on Interim Positions

The Portland State Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Stephen Percy as interim president until a permanent president is appointed. Percy is expected to serve as interim through the 2019-20 academic year while the board conducts a search for a permanent president.

Percy previously served as dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA) since 2014. While he serves in the role of president, CUPA's Associate Dean, Sy Adler, will shift into the role of Acting Dean. The role of Associate Dean is currently unoccupied, but nominations have been solicited for consideration.

Gale Castillo, chair of the Board, said trustees surveyed the campus community to seek nominations and feedback for potential interim presidential candidates. More than 340 students, faculty, staff and community members responded to the survey, citing qualities they want in an interim president such as proven experience at PSU, knowledgeable, honesty and integrity, collaborative, consensus-builder, savvy about budget and politics and committed to student success and diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The person who stood out far above the rest was Stephen Percy,” she said. “The feeling on the campus is that he exemplifies the qualities that we need at this time.”

Percy thanked the board for their support and said he is excited by the opportunity and determined to do whatever it takes to move PSU forward. In addition to being a dean, Percy previously co-led a campus-wide initiative to advance the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty; to set campus public safety policies and procedures; and to create a five-year strategic plan for PSU.

The co-author of six books and one textbook, Percy has also served as an administrator and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Hamilton College and his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University.

The board will wait until faculty and students return in the fall to begin the selection process for a permanent president. In other action, it was last meeting for Castillo and Board member Maude Hines, whose term expires. The Board named Greg Hinckley as incoming chair and Margaret Kirkpatrick as vice chair.