For over a decade, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) at Portland State University has provided leadership in campus and community engagement, research and education around issues of livability, climate change and sustainable cities and regions. ISS's success over the years is due in no small part to its ability to match the passion and expertise of PSU faculty and students with the needs of community groups, government agencies and businesses to develop practical solutions to 21st-century challenges.
PSU recently announced that Fletcher Beaudoin is taking over the helm of the ISS as the institute's director. Beaudoin is filling the position left open by Robert Liberty, who moved on from the university in January after seven years on the job.
Beaudoin (pictured) joined the team at ISS in 2011 as partnerships director before becoming the institute's assistant director in 2012. Now, as director, Beaudoin said he will build upon ISS's long history of programs and partnerships that provide opportunities for PSU faculty, students, and staff to engage in critical sustainability issues facing the region. That means increasing ISS's capacity for supporting research and community engagement activities that advance sustainability transformations. An essential part of this effort will be developing a deeper understanding of the challenges threatening the livability and health of our region and the underlying systems preventing progress on those issues.
"At PSU, we've been a place to connect faculty, staff and students with common interests in sustainability and provide support for turning those connections into collaborative projects and partnerships," Beaudoin said. “I’m looking forward to building upon and expanding that tradition.”
ISS supports a range of programming, including providing scholarships for students to intern with local sustainability organizations and supporting interdisciplinary groups of faculty in developing collaborative projects on topics including city-university partnerships to solve complicated urban issues, air quality monitoring and mitigation and urban heat island mitigation. Through the institute, PSU faculty and staff work with campus, community, business and government organizations, providing research support, education and expertise on a variety of issues that directly affect the city and surrounding area.
"Fletcher is a genuinely talented leader whose experience is an asset to ISS and the campus as a whole," said Jason Podrabsky, Interim Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies at PSU. " His leadership will help guide the institute’s research and teaching into the new decade on firm footing and with a clear vision of what direction to move forward in."
"I am delighted that Fletcher will take the helm of our Institute for Sustainable Solutions here at PSU," Interim President Stephen Percy said. "Fletcher brings extensive knowledge and expertise to our important, long-term commitment to advance knowledge, research and practice about sustainability that can create a real impact. I look forward to working with Fletcher and the ISS team as we advance toward a more sustainable future on our campus and in our community, region, state and beyond."
For over a decade, Beaudoin has helped guide the ISS through long-term partnerships with the City of Portland and other organizations. Through that work, the institute has served as a convener to foster conversations and actions on urban sustainability topics, developed programming to better connect PSU students to opportunities and collaborated on research activities, all with the overarching goal of achieving a thriving urban region for everyone.