Student affairs top official leaves post

Doug Samuels, formerly the vice provost for student affairs, has returned to Portland State as an associate professor of black studies after a 12-week medical leave.


Rumors that Samuels would not return to the vice provost spot began to circulate almost immediately after he departed on family medical leave in mid-June. But university administrators and Samuels himself remained silent on the status of his position at PSU throughout his absence.


Administrators have remained reluctant to reveal any details of Samuels’ leave despite several inquiries, and continued to stay mum about his whereabouts when he did not return to his post Sept. 12 as officials originally said he would.


In July, Samuels’ only comment to the Vanguard was that he had a medical problem to deal with and had to be with his family, adding that he would be returning as vice provost.


Dan Fortmiller, who has been serving as interim vice provost for student affairs in Samuels’ absence, will continue to fill the position until a permanent replacement is selected, according to a university announcement Monday. The position oversees over 300 staff members responsible for the student experience at PSU, including admissions, registration and student groups. The Office of Student Affairs is allotted an annual budget of over $13 million.


Samuels will be teaching a racism and American law course during fall term under the Department of Black Studies.


Samuels came to PSU as vice provost in 2001 after holding the position of associate dean of student affairs at Vermont Law School. 


Samuels’ relationships with students were rocky at times during his tenure as vice provost of student affairs, with student leaders complaining that he often failed to maintain contact with them. Last May he angered members of student government, who accused him of trying to raise the student services resource fee from $5 to $9 without student input. The fee was raised to $7.50 in June of 2005.


?”additional reporting by Matthew Baker