(Photo courtesy of www.pdx.edu)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland State University President Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi Friday announced his resignation, effective December 14th. He will be on paid administrative leave until that date.
The Board of Trustees will name the school’s College of Urban and Public Affairs Dean, Stephen Percy, as acting President on Monday. He’s expected to serve in that role until an interim president is appointed.
It’s been a tumultuous two years on the job for Shoureshi. He has been under investigation for allegedly misleading the Board of Trustees, destroying public records, and treating other’s poorly.
Shoureshi’s severance package will pay him more than $880,000 between now and next August.
Here’s the announcement from the PSU Board of Trustees:
Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi has resigned as president of Portland State University. His resignation is effective Dec. 14, and he will be on paid administrative leave until that date.
The Board of Trustees on Monday is expected to name PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs Dean Stephen Percy as acting president until an interim president is appointed. The Board will seek input from the faculty and campus community in the coming weeks in selecting an interim president.
We understand that a leadership change of this magnitude is deeply felt across our campus. As the governing board, we remain committed to the success of our students, to the research and scholarship of our faculty and to the urban mission of Portland State.
“We are grateful for Dr. Shoureshi’s service to PSU the past 21 months,” Board of Trustees Chair Gale Castillo said. “We wish him the best and look forward to continuing the work that he started.”
Under Dr. Shoureshi’s leadership, the university has made significant strides. During his tenure, PSU launched a $300 million fund-raising campaign and raised more than $66 million to support students, faculty and programs. PSU also expanded its global reach by promoting new partnerships with universities in China and Saudi Arabia, launched the Harold Schnitzer Visiting Scholar Program and developed vision and goals for PSU to attain by 2025.
Board Vice Chair Greg Hinckley said Dr. Shoureshi’s initiatives will continue, such as new research centers of excellence studying solutions to homelessness and how digital technology can create smarter and more livable cities. In addition, he said, the Board supports expanding the Co-Op partnerships with area businesses that enable students to work in their career fields while attending PSU.
“The Board is committed to supporting ongoing initiatives to enhance student support and faculty research as part of our priorities for PSU,” Hinckley said.
Portland State has served as a force for good in the lives of tens of thousands of Oregonians since its inception 73 years ago. Our university continues to thrive because of the daily contributions of faculty and staff, and we are grateful for your diligence and dedication.
Dr. Percy has served as College of Urban and Public Affairs dean for more than five years. His many achievements in that time include heading the campus-wide strategic planning effort that charted PSU’s priorities from 2016-2020. He will serve as acting president for a short period while the Board engages the campus community in selection of an interim president. The timetable for a search for a permanent president to lead PSU will be announced at a later date.
The Board will update the campus regularly during the transition. We have every confidence that Portland State will emerge from this period of change stronger than ever.
Here is a letter from Shoureshi:
Dear PSU community,
For nearly two years, I have had the honor of leading Portland State University, a great public urban research university embedded in the heart of Portland, the most vibrant city in Oregon. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with innovative faculty, dedicated staff and committed students. Together, we have accomplished many significant achievements, including the creation of a vision and goals for PSU 2025, launched historic fundraising efforts and launched two Centers for Excellence addressing homelessness and digital cities.
We have initiated a new approach to affordability and experiential learning through our Co-Op Program and have developed Student Success initiatives for increasing retention and graduation rates. We have focused on student body diversity and the University’s global footprint by promoting meaningful relationships with top Universities in China and Saudi Arabia.
I am truly proud of our exemplary achievements, and I will cherish my service here, but the time has come for me to focus on my family first. Therefore, I am resigning as PSU President, effective December 14, 2019.
PSU is a great university, and has an exciting future ahead of it. I wish you all well and thank you for the exceptional opportunity you provided me. I also would like to express my gratitude to all members of the PSU campus community, and those in the Portland area who have extended their support and encouragement to me and my family.