PSU hires interim vice provost

    Portland State hired Shawn Smallman, formally a tenured professor in international studies, as the interim vice provost for instruction and dean of undergraduate studies on Sept. 1.

    Smallman’s selection came at the end of a nearly two-month search for an interim administrator in the position. The position opened after Terry Rhodes, who held the position prior to Smallman, left PSU in June to accept a position in Washington, D.C. as vice president for quality, curriculum and assessment for the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    Smallman was one among many candidates who applied for the interim vice provost position. During his year serving as interim vice provost, PSU will conduct a nationwide search to find a permanent replacement.

    ”After my year is up, I will possibly be interested in applying for the permanent position,” Smallman said. Although he will be the incumbent candidate for the position, Smallman is not guaranteed to be rehired.

    The vice provost of instruction is responsible for direct oversight of PSU’s University Studies and Honors College programs, as well as coordinating budgets for these and other undergraduate study programs.

    Smallman is also accountable for leading PSU in communication between high schools and community colleges. Smallman provides ideas and leadership for community involvement, accreditation and assessment.

    Smallman’s position also oversees and determines the budget for the Center for Academic Excellence and works toward goals within the president’s diversity initiative. Smallman will also work with academic deans and other individuals in academic affairs on topics such as accreditation, undergraduate curricular policies and the PSU Bulletin.

    Smallman said the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of simply listening and learning. Smallman came to the university in 1996 and has taught introductory classes in international studies, focusing on Latin America, the global AIDS epidemic and human rights.

    Interim Director of University Studies Suhkwant Jhaj, who will directly report to Smallman, was on the committee that selected Smallman. Jhaj said Smallman was selected because he is driven and experienced.

    Jhaj said he hopes that Smallman will be an advocate for the University Studies program and will facilitate change within the program. Jhaj also recently began an interim term in his department and will serve as the director of University Studies for the next two academic years.