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History of Education Administration at PSU

Prior to 1974, the only program leading to a school administrator certificate in Oregon was through the University of Oregon in Eugene. Portland State College (PSC) professors Errett Hummel and George Timmons wanted to change all that.

Hummel, Timmons, Lind

During the fall of 1967, members of an advisory committee representing PSC, the Oregon Department of Education, and school administrators in the area worked with the School of Education to develop a certificate program in school administration. Drs. Hummel and Timmons, both with extensive public school administration backgrounds, were appointed to spearhead the project. The administrative certificate program received institutional approval during the 1969–1970 academic year and was implemented during the 1970 summer session. The program goal was “to prepare qualified candidates for positions of educational leadership and responsibility at the building operation or principalship level.” Continued program development responded to factors that were directly related to the University as a dynamic urban institution.

In 1971, John Lind (Jack) was hired as the third full-time faculty member in the program. Dr. Lind, with his doctorate from the University of Montana, was previously director of administrative services in the Beaverton School District and was working toward his administrative certificate at Portland State.

In 1972, the Oregon Department of Education evaluated the basic and standard certificate, and Timmons developed and submitted a revised program. The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission approved the revision in the summer of 1974.

From 1975 on, there was rapid growth and, in addition to the burgeoning on-campus program, faculty and adjuncts offered a large number of on-campus extension classes—as many as 75 during one term. Off-campus school administration courses were also offered in Oregon and Southwest Washington school districts. During this period of time, an estimated 70 percent of all school administrators in Oregon obtained their administrative certificates through Portland State University.

This amazing achievement was accomplished through a continuing mix of both on- and off-campus offerings, including highly concentrated and intensive summer term practica. Dr. Lind worked with three large cadres of school administrators during three consecutive summer sessions to help students secure their certificates. Dr. Timmons frequently offered independent study courses to accommodate students who were struggling to meet certification requirements. As a result, these students became loyal supporters of the University.

The founding years of the Program in Administration were also noteworthy because Hummel, Lind, and Timmons advanced proposals for creating the superintendent’s certificate and the doctorate in education. Further, their pioneering efforts provided the foundation for the more comprehensive Educational Leadership and Policy Department programs that exist today.