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New independent board to help PSU add students, raise money and serve region
Author: Suzanne Pardington, University Communications
Posted: July 8, 2013

(Portland, Ore.) July 8, 2013 — With a vote of support from Oregon lawmakers, Portland State University is forming an independent governing board to provide more flexibility, people and resources focused on its success.

The new PSU board will consist of 11-15 members — including community members and student, faculty and staff representatives — recommended by PSU and approved by the governor. Governance of PSU will transfer to the new board in 2014.

"Portland is a great city, and it deserves a great university," said PSU President Wim Wiewel. "We're a very good university, but an independent board will focus on making us a great one."

PSU’s leadership will continue to work with the other six universities in the Oregon University System, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Oregon Board of Higher Education to efficiently and effectively serve the higher education needs of Oregon.

The new board is essential to Portland State’s growth as it prepares to increase enrollment from nearly 30,000 students this year to 40,000 students by 2025 to better meet Oregon’s higher education goals. The state wants at least 40 percent of its adult residents to have a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent to have an associate’s degree or other professional training and everyone to graduate from high school.

PSU and other large state universities asked the Oregon Legislature for independent boards to foster more relationships with philanthropists, business partners and the community, bringing more attention and resources to the University. Gov. John Kitzhaber plans to sign the bill.

“Over the past several years, we have been a strong supporter of higher education reform, including providing the option for independent governing boards for our state’s largest universities, which we believe will help make Portland State University stronger so that it can better serve students and our region over the long term,” said Sandra McDonough, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance.

Students will not notice an immediate change on campus, but over time the new community connections will help add classrooms, faculty and programs as enrollment grows.

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.