Dear President Bernstine

It’s great to hear that you’re finally graduating. We at the Vanguard are really proud of you–in fact, the entire school is.

Dear President Bernstine,

It’s great to hear that you’re finally graduating. We at the Vanguard are really proud of you–in fact, the entire school is.

After all, it has been 10 years. You know that most students graduate after four years–at Portland State, it’s at least five. But we understand why you stuck around longer than the average student.

You needed to make this university what it is.

You found people who were willing to invest a total of $114 million into Portland State during the university’s first fundraising campaign…now if only the state would raise that kind of money for us.

You’ve helped increase enrollment by almost 10,000 students in just under 10 years. Let’s just see how many of them graduate.

You helped bring more minority students to the university. Because of that, we might someday forgive you for spending tens of thousands of our dollars traveling to faraway lands to find those students [“Where in the world is Daniel Bernstine,” June 6, 2006].

You bravely led our university through budget deficits ranging from $3 and $15 million in the last eight years, and all while scraping by on a meager six-figure salary. Now, before you leave, it would be super if you’d make sure we don’t have budget deficits again.

You oversaw more immense growth at Portland State than any other generation: the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science building in 2006, the Broadway Housing Building in 2004, and helping initiate the construction of the new recreation center slated for late 2009. If only we had the same kind of funding for faculty and academic space.

And sure, you’ve hit bumps in the road.

It was a tough decision to choose Higher One to disburse our financial aid. But, President Bernstine, you were trying to make the best decision for students and for the university. We appreciate that. So what if most of the students at PSU wish that wouldn’t have happened? The president knows best, right?

It wasn’t too tough of a decision to take the $179,000 raise you received earlier this year. Hell, who wouldn’t take that kind of pay raise? All the professors at PSU would. They’d love a raise like that. Hell, they’d love a raise of $500 a year.

And you choose to leave right when you get bumped up to $340,000 each year? We can only imagine what kind of salary you’re getting at the Law School Admissions Council.

Speaking of that, congratulations. It must be an exciting job to look forward to.

In all reality, we at the Vanguard, the students and faculty of Portland State do thank you for your commitment and work to the university. You have accomplished much in a short amount of time.

For time well spent, both as one of Portland State’s longest lasting and most accomplished presidents, we thank you.

Congratulations on graduating with the Class of 2007. We hope you remember your time at the university fondly and visit as often as possible.

Sincerely, The Vanguard