Special board meeting on campus safety postponed with little fanfare

A Portland State Board of Trustees special meeting planned for Feb. 5 in order to discuss the results of a comprehensive review of campus public safety policies has been postponed.

Christopher Broderick, associate vice president of University Communications, confirmed via email the university has not received any drafts of the report, adding the final report will be released to the public immediately when it is submitted.

Broderick also said the next Board of Trustees meeting intended for discussing the report will be rescheduled in order to give the public time to read it beforehand.

So far there have been no explanations released to the public as to why the report is delayed, and no information on when to expect the report to be finished aside from statements from university expecting the report to be released soon.

As recently as Jan. 24 at a Board of Trustees meeting, PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi told the Board the special meeting was still on. “We are still planning to move forward with the Feb. 5 special meeting of the Board of Trustees to hear Margolis Healy’s report on their independent investigations,” Shoureshi said. He also mentioned there would be opportunities for both Board members and the public to ask the firm questions about their report and investigation.

At that same meeting, PSU Student Union member Kaitlyn Dey told the Board of Trustees that many students were confused about the timeline for the report’s estimated completion.

“There are a lot of people who did hear that [the Jan. 24] meeting was going to be [when the report was shared],” Dey said, “And they didn’t realize that the special Board meeting was happening.”

Dey also requested the university advertise the special Board meeting to ensure that students are engaged.

“The Feb. 5 meeting was not promoted in any campus outreach beyond the pdx.edu/board page on scheduled future meetings,” Broderick said. “It was taken off that page when it became clear that Margolis Healy report was not (and still is not) submitted to PSU.”

Steven Healy, CEO of Margolis Healy, did not respond to requests for comment on the reason for the delay. In a November presentation to the Board’s Executive and Audit Committee, Healy told committee members he was hoping to present their findings by winter.

According to Margolis Healy’s contract with the university, the firm’s estimated cost for their review is $228,386.

The contract also includes a proposed timeline, which calls for a draft report and presentation within “30–45 business days after last site visit,” and a final report 15 days after the draft report.

The Feb. 5 special Board meeting would have been 55 days after the firm’s last site at PSU.

PSUSU released a letter to PSU administrators and media on Feb. 6, expressing “frustrations and dissatisfaction” with the progress of the investigation by Margolis Healy and demanding the immediate release of the report, as well as the tentative date for the rescheduled Board meeting.

The letter states: “Seven months have elapsed since Jason’s murder, and still no one has been held accountable. We have not seen any effort by the Board of Trustees to meet or even acknowledge the demands of the Student Union and the requests of the Washington family.”