Rahmat Shoureshi named ninth PSU president

Rahmat Shoureshi, a champion of collaborative learning, innovative research and community engagement, will lead Portland State University as its ninth president starting Aug. 14.

The PSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved Shoureshi, interim president of the New York Institute of Technology, to succeed Wim Wiewel, who is stepping down after nine years as president to join the faculty of the College of Urban and Public Affairs.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this great university,” Shoureshi says. “PSU is a 21st century university that serves a vibrant urban region, champions access, diversity, and inclusiveness, conducts innovative research and dedicated to cutting-edge and collaborative learning – things that reflect my academic ideals and perspectives.”

A mechanical engineer, Shoureshi (pronounced Shoe-re-she) has been a university administrator, researcher and academic for 38 years. Shoureshi joined the New York Institute of Technology in 2011 as its provost and vice president for academic affairs and was appointed its interim president in January 2017. He has overseen all aspects of operations, academic programs and faculty of NYIT, which has two campuses in New York, two medical schools, four global campuses and joint degree programs in eight countries.

“Dr. Shoureshi’s leadership experience and accomplishments at several prestigious universities will bring innovation, entrepreneurship and operational knowledge to take Portland State to the next level,” Board Chairman Pete Nickerson says. “He is an ideal fit for PSU because of his vision and initiatives to enhance research, increase educational and professional opportunities for students, develop community partnerships and boost philanthropy.”

Some of his goals for PSU include:

  • Increase the quality and diversity of incoming students;
  • Make PSU financially strong and academically rich;
  • Attract top-notch faculty;
  • Create an innovation ecosystem to develop art, science and technology incubators;
  • Expand partnerships with external organizations to provide greater opportunities for students;
  • Develop transdisciplinary institutes and research centers supported by government and industry;
  • Increase engagement with PSU alumni, friends and the community.  

Prior to joining NYIT, Shoureshi served as the dean of the University of Denver’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, was a top administrator and Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, and an administrator and professor of School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

An active researcher, Shoureshi earned advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, his native country. He holds nine U.S. patents for biomedical and engineering systems, sensors and devices.