From the President: Fall 2017
Author: President Rahmat Shoureshi
Posted: September 15, 2017

A new beginning

I AM THRILLED to serve as the ninth president of Portland State University. It is an opportunity that marks the culmination of my professional career and also brings a responsibility to build upon the successes of my predecessors and the entire campus community to help make PSU a top-tier urban university. I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome I have received.

Portland State has much to be proud of. What drew me here is its commitment to civic engagement and service, the entrepreneurial faculty, the rich diversity of students, the dedicated staff and the progressive spirit of the Portland community. I am grateful to Wim Wiewel for his leadership in setting a high standard of excellence and accomplishment.

Readers can learn about my background elsewhere in this magazine. For my first column, I’d like to talk about my priorities and vision for PSU.

My first goal this fall is to learn about PSU’s culture and connect with students, faculty, staff, alumni and campus leaders. With 29,000 students and more than 4,000 faculty and staff, PSU is a city in itself.

Over the long term, I would like to focus on key areas of strength and develop strategies to broaden resources that will expand upon such areas as:

  • Access: I strongly believe that any student who has the academic potential and drive should be able to attend and thrive at Portland State University.
  • Partnerships: PSU already has many close ties with local governments, nonprofits, businesses and schools. I would like to deepen and expand those ties, particularly with other universities such as OHSU, and with businesses, artistic organizations and technology firms.
  • Resources: While working with the governor and legislators to increase state support for PSU, I also will be heavily involved in philanthropy efforts with business leaders and others. Let's increase resources to support student achievement, campus educational and experiential opportunities, and expansion of the University’s infrastructure.
  • Research: I’m excited about research activities at PSU because so many of these efforts have a real-world impact. I am particularly interested in developing projects that integrate expertise across diverse disciplines such as art, business, technology, and the social, physical and health sciences.
  • Alumni: Our graduates can be influential ambassadors for PSU whether they live in Portland, across the United States or overseas. I would like to expand outreach efforts to help them remain engaged with PSU.
  • Reputation: Students have choices, and we want Portland State to be their first choice. That means we need to explore ways to burnish our brand, improve our rankings and promote the outstanding people and the programs that PSU has to offer.

Let me know what you think will help make PSU great. With campus and community partners working together, we can accomplish these goals. I look forward to both the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Rahmat Shoureshi