President's Progress Report 2012: A Great University for a Great City
Author: ucomm
Posted: March 6, 2012

Portland State charts a path to excellence

WELCOME TO THE President’s Progress Report on Portland State University.

Portland State is Oregon’s largest and most diverse university, spanning 50 acres in the heart of a vibrant downtown. Educating nearly 30,000 students from every state and nearly 100 nations, PSU’s impact resonates across the region through our vital connections to businesses and metro communities, our commitment to student success and our pursuit of excellence in faculty scholarship and research.

What sets PSU apart are the hundreds of opportunities we provide to engage our students outside the classroom in solving real-world problems through community and Senior Capstone projects, internships, partnerships and experiences. Similarly, our faculty research makes a difference and advances the quality of life here in Oregon.

Our reach is growing. Portland State conferred 5,784 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees last year—the largest class in the history of Oregon higher education. They join the ranks of our 130,000 alums across the globe.

As president, I have charted five themes that shape the priorities of PSU:

  • Provide civic leadership through partnerships: We work closely with Oregon Health & Science University, Portland General Electric, Intel and others to answer the region’s needs for innovation, research and workforce development.
  • Improve student success: By bolstering admission standards, advising assistance and expanding student housing, we’re improving the college experience for all students while raising graduation rates.
  • Achieve global excellence: Through strategic initiatives in sustainability, core programs in urban planning and policy, social work, and business and a new honors program for high-achieving students, we’ve raised the bar and are earning high marks for excellence.
  • Enhance educational opportunity: Our Cradle to Career initiative works with local educators and community leaders to focus on practices that raise achievement and graduation rates for K-12 students and our own students.
  • Expand resources and improve effectiveness: Our inflation-adjusted expenditures per student have stayed constant over the past 15 years. What’s changed is the sharp decline in state support for higher education over that period. As a result, our success increasingly depends on private support, business partnerships and increased research so that we can maintain affordable tuition for students.

This report gives you a snapshot of PSU today through statistics, facts and profiles of students, faculty and alums. We’d love for you to see our progress firsthand and attend our community events, theater and music performances and intercollegiate sports. For those of you considering what college to attend for a degree or educational enrichment, we encourage you to visit our campus and experience what we have to offer.



Wim Wiewel
President, Portland State University