PSU’s new president stresses excellence and collaboration in faculty address
Author: Christopher Broderick
Posted: September 21, 2017

Rahmat Shoureshi outlined his priorities as Portland State University’s new president in a convocation address to faculty, stressing collaboration across disciplines and across the campus as keys to elevating PSU to become the top college choice for Oregonians.  

“No other Oregon university can match PSU’s value proposition,” he said, citing PSU’s mission to be accessible for all qualified students with affordable tuition and a variety of financial aid programs. “And we must continue to enhance the value of a PSU degree to stay ahead of the competition.”

President Shoureshi spoke to about 400 faculty and staff members gathered at Smith Memorial Student Union on Wednesday, Sept. 20, to hear from the new president and honor faculty members receiving awards for their research, teaching and service. 

Classes for the fall term start Monday, and the president announced that enrollment is up over last fall for entering freshmen and transfer students. He noted that the “Four Years Free” program announced last year has drawn hundreds of students to PSU with grants that cover their tuition beyond their federal and state aid.    

He promised an “open door” to faculty and encouraged feedback and constructive ideas. Citing how U.S. News & World Report ranks PSU as on the top “most innovative” universities in the nation, President Shoureshi said he wants to build on innovation with a number of initiatives such as cross-disciplinary research, faculty incentives, endowed chairs and other programs. 

“I envision launching centers of excellence that will help us build high-quality programs, attract high-quality students and build our reputation and national rankings,” he said. 

Higher education should be a transformative experience for students, he added, recalling his first graduate student in the early 1980s whose life and career were changed in profound ways as the two have kept in contact over the decades. 

“Think of someone whose life you changed,” he told faculty members.  

Interim Provost Margaret Everett and deans then presented the following annual awards: 

Hamid Moradkhani: Branford Price Millar Award

Franz Rad and Wayne Wakeland: George Hoffman Award

Mary Ellen Kenreich: Butler Award for Library Faculty Service:

Becki Ingersoll: Mary Cumpston Award for Service to Students

Paul Loikith: Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award

Niles Lehman: Senior Faculty Research Excellence Award

Kristin Hole: Research Faculty Research Excellence Award

Tim Garrison: PSU Foundation Philanthropic Leadership Award

Ken Stedman: PSU Foundation Philanthropic Cultivation Award

Robert Asaadi and Eric Einspruch: Adjunct Excellent Award

For more information, go to faculty awards.