PSU Board of Trustees votes to appoint Stephen Percy as PSU President
Author: University Communications
Posted: May 27, 2020
The Portland State University Board of Trustees held a special meeting Wednesday and voted unanimously to appoint Stephen L. Percy as the 10th president of PSU. 

“Dr. Percy has served the last year as interim president and has led the university through a challenging and extraordinary time,” said PSU Board Chair Greg Hinckley. “He stepped into the role of interim president grounded in the people and issues that are critically important to Portland State and has shown strong leadership throughout over the last 12 months, during a series of events that would test any leader.” 

Percy was named interim president by the Board last June during a period of uncertainty and transition for the university. A leader and educator with a career spanning four decades and three institutions, Percy came to Portland in 2014 to become dean of the PSU College of Urban & Public Affairs. Prior to that post he served as founding dean of the University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs and a professor of public and international affairs.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Portland State, a university I have come to deeply admire and appreciate for its unwavering commitment to educating and improving the opportunities of all Oregoninas,” Percy said. “I am grateful to you for trusting me to lead during this historic time."   

On May 11, a PSU board committee recommended Percy’s appointment and invited members of the campus community to share feedback via an online survey. The board received 382 comments from students, faculty and staff, the majority of them in full support of Percy’s appointment. 

Percy’s appointment is pending the negotiation of a successful employment agreement to be completed in the near future. The resolution passed by the board calls for a presidential appointment not to exceed three years and an employment agreement that includes performance goals and metrics to be in place by fall term 2020. Percy’s compensation will not include allowances such as housing or transportation. 

Hinckley acknowledged that filling the role of PSU president without a formal search process was an unusual path, but one necessitated by pressing challenges. 

“The Board recognizes that this is a period of uncertainty and instability at Portland State, and elsewhere,” the resolution stated. “We will continue to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting financial impacts for months and years to come. During this time in our history, it’s important to preserve stable and decisive leadership for the University.”