Portland State University President Daniel Bernstine recently returned from an international visit intended to cultivate PSU interests abroad.
The President said he was in Germany and Italy last week as part of Governor Ted Kulongoski’s trade mission designed to boost international relations, and to celebrate the new Lufthansa flight from Portland to Frankfurt, which will boost the depleted selection of international flights stopping in PDX.
PSU maintains strong ties in Germany through the Intel Corporation, precipitating a visit to Intel’s Munich campus, where he reviewed their work with German Universities. Bernstine was welcomed due to PSU’s continued role in providing technical and research assistance to local tech-based companies.
When discussing what, exactly, he believes PSU has to offer the international community, Bernstine praised local scientific and engineering communities, as well as the invaluable nature of PSU’s very diverse student body.
He added PSU’s location in the heart of a large city mixed well with the other factors to produce a dynamic environment found nowhere else.
Some students, however, perceive it to be poor timing for the trip in light of the university’s financial hardships, and would prefer to see tangible evidence from the administration that things will improve and are progressively getting better.
“I think that the President should be more visible,” Catherine Mayfield, a freshmen at PSU said about the pressing student issues going on right now, “instead of visiting foreign countries.”
Though the trip was primarily ceremonial and produced no groundbreaking deals, according to Bernstine, it set up vital new opportunities with foreign contacts and strengthened the bond between PSU and the Technical University in Munich. The long-term benefits of the trip probably will not be seen immediately, but this was by no means a trip for pleasure.
After his tour of Germany, Bernstine arrived in Bologna, Italy to kick off ceremonies in recognition of it as Portland’s new Sister City.
Though the Governor did not follow the President to Italy, Portland Mayor Vera Katz attended the ceremonies. PSU faculty members Tom Gillpatrick, professor of marketing and executive eirector of Food Industry Leadership Center, and Angela Zagarella, a professor of Italian also attended.