PSU Board selects presidential search committee members and search firm
Author: Kenneth Ma, University Communications
Posted: September 16, 2016

The Portland State University Board of Trustees has appointed a 21-member search committee and selected a national search firm to find a new president to succeed Wim Wiewel when he retires next year. 

The search committee will determine the finalists to recommend to the board, who will select a new president by the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. Wiewel plans to retire in August 2017, after serving as PSU’s president for nine years. 

Isaacson, Miller, a Boston-based national search firm that specializes in higher education and nonprofits, was chosen by the trustees to assist the search committee by recruiting and vetting candidates. The firm has worked with PSU in previous executive searches, including the selection of Wiewel to become PSU’s president.

“I felt there was an honest and clear transparency of the selection process when I was a candidate,” Wiewel said.

Isaacson, Miller will create a job description listing the preferred characteristics of an ideal presidential candidate based on input from the search committee, faculty, students and others.   

The names of candidates will remain confidential until the committee determines finalists. A public forum will be held to provide an opportunity for the PSU community to meet the finalists and give feedback to the search committee and trustees. 

In a special meeting last month, the board unanimously approved a resolution that outlined how the search will proceed, a timeline, who will be on the search committee and how the priorities will be determined in recruiting a new president.  

The search committee includes four trustees, a vice president, a dean, a Faculty Senate representative, four other faculty members, representatives from the faculty and staff unions, three students, members of the foundation and alumni boards and two presidents of other Oregon universities. Its members are:

  • Gale Castillo, chair of the search committee and member of the PSU Board of Trustees; 
  • Stephen Percy, vice chair of the search committee and dean of PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs; 
  • Elizabeth Almer, professor of accounting at PSU’s School of Business Administration; 
  • Liela Forbes, president of the Associated Students of PSU;
  • Kelly Hossaini, member of the Portland State Alumni Association Board of Directors; 
  • Maude Hines, member of the Board of Trustees and associate professor of English at PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; 
  • Tom Imeson, member of the Board of Trustees; 
  • Shirley Jackson, chair and professor of black studies at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; 
  • Staci Martin, president of the PSU Faculty Association and adjunct faculty at the PSU School of Social Work; 
  • Rick Miller, vice chair of the Board of Trustees; 
  • Marc Nisenfeld, president of SEIU Local 503 Chapter 89 and staff member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; 
  • Andrew Longhofer, graduate student assistant; 
  • Jose Padin, president of PSU chapter of American Association of University Professors and associate professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;
  • Quinton Richardson, undergraduate student; 
  • Dr. Joe Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University; 
  • Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon; 
  • Carmen Suarez, vice president of Global Diversity and Inclusion; 
  • Evan Thomas, associate professor of mechanical engineering at PSU’s Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science; 
  • Wally Van Valkenburg, member of the PSU Foundation Board of Trustees; 
  • Christine Vernier, member of the Board of Trustees; 
  • Marisa Zapata, assistant professor of urban studies and planning at PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs. 

In other action, President Wiewel unveiled his annual goals, which include overseeing the implementation of PSU’s strategic plan, increasing revenues to maintain quality and affordability for students and assisting in the presidential transition and search.