PSU campus safety plan to be announced this fall
Author: Christopher Broderick
Posted: June 20, 2019

The Portland State University Board of Trustees took no action Thursday on the issue of arming or disarming campus police. Stephen Percy, who was appointed Interim President of PSU by a unanimous vote of the trustees, said they will take time this summer to review campus safety and make recommendations to the Board in fall. 

“We will come forward with a plan to create the safest campus we can,” Percy said. 

Before any decisions are made, Percy said students and faculty will have time for input into the campus safety plan after they return to PSU this fall.  

The Margolis Healy campus safety consultants have made more than 100 recommendations beyond the issue of arming or disarming police in the report they submitted to the Board earlier this year. Percy said three groups have been discussing the report in detail and campus safety in general, and he needs time to review those discussions and address the concerns of the campus community. 

A group of students and graduates from the PSU Student Union renewed their calls to the Board to disarm campus police, noting that the fatal Campus Public Safety officer-involved shooting of Jason Washington occurred nearly one year ago and no decision has been made about armed police.

Trustee Maude Hines, an English professor who has represented PSU faculty on the Board for five years, praised Percy for taking a leadership role in developing a plan, adding that important campus safety decisions shouldn’t be made during the summer when faculty and student are gone.

“This is a reasonable course of action,” she said. 

In other action, the Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition for full-time resident undergraduates by 4.97% starting this fall, a sharp reduction from an 11% increase proposed earlier this spring. Reducing the increase follows the Legislature’s increase in funding for all seven public universities and a decision by PSU administration to make $6 million in cuts for the 2019-20 academic year to balance the budget.