University President Daniel Bernstine has appointed Dick Feeney to the position of interim director of government relations to fill the position recently vacated by Deborah Murdock, after Murdock suffered a stroke last week.
The director of government relations works as a lobbyist to the state legislature. Murdock is an experienced PSU lobbyist and the possibility of her absence from PSU’s new legislative session initially left the status of the session uncertain.
A PSU alumnus and TriMet lobbyist for over 25 years, Feeney will now fill the role of lobbyist to the State Legislature for the university.
”Dick has been a lobbyist for years. He’s a PSU alum. He recently received a PSU Salutes honor,” Bernstine said. “He’s a well respected lobbyist in Salem. He knows a lot about PSU, so we thought he’d be a great fit.”
Feeney won the PSU Salutes Award for Outstanding Alumnus in 2004. The award recognizes PSU alumni for their dedication and support of the University and the Portland community.
According to Bernstine, Feeney is due to start work within days – as soon as final paperwork is filled out – and will immediately begin focusing on the upcoming legislative session.
”I decided a couple weeks ago when it appeared we’d need someone to step in for Debbie for a while,” Bernstine said. “He should be here any day now.”
Bernstine has not put a time frame on Murdock’s return to work, but he said that Feeney’s appointment is strictly temporary. The new legislative session for the 2007-09 biennium starts in January.