The 2006-07 school year has altered Portland State on nearly every level. Numerous administrators and faculty, including President Daniel Bernstine, have left or might leave their jobs. The roots of a newly invigorated athletic program have begun to take hold and the university was forced to make drastic budget cuts.
The year in review
The 2006-07 school year has altered Portland State on nearly every level.
Numerous administrators and faculty, including President Daniel Bernstine, have left or might leave their jobs. The roots of a newly invigorated athletic program have begun to take hold and the university was forced to make drastic budget cuts.
Here are some of the top stories covered by the Vanguard this year.
Higher-paying jobs lure away PSU faculty and staffJuly 19, 2006
A little more than halfway through 2006, numerous administrators had vacated their jobs, often for higher-paying positions at other universities. As the year progressed even more administrators announced they would be leaving, including Dean of Students Wendy Endress and President Daniel Bernstine.
Terrel Rhodes, former vice provost for curriculum and undergraduate studies, said before he left in 2006 that administrators and faculty often leave because of money issues.
Bernstine gets a raiseSept. 26, 2006
In only two months President Bernstine’s pay doubled from about $170,000 to close to $340,000. Bernstine received two pay raises in that time: $50,704 in July 2006 and $118,908 in September 2006. Bernstine had not received a raise for four years prior to that.
The pay increase came at a time when the average faculty pay rate was only 86 percent of their peers’ at other universities, according to Jay Kenton, vice chancellor for finance and administration for the Oregon University System.
Proposed cuts to graduate mentor program Oct. 17, 2006
Because of a perpetual $800,000 to $1 million deficit within the University Studies department, administrators proposed to eliminate 37 graduate mentor positions in the 2007-08 school year.
Out of frustration with this decision, about a dozen students protested by covering the hallway and doors outside of President Bernstine and Provost Koch’s offices with pink slips signed by almost 1,000 concerned students.
Administrators discussed a possible lab-like fee that would help support many of the positions. The University Studies department hoped to save about $224,000 in stipends and about $230,000 in tuition remissions currently paid to the mentors.
PSU drug dispensary found to be operating illegallyJan. 26, 2007
The Portland State prescription drug dispensary was found to be operating illegally for at least 25 years because it let nurses dispense prescription medication who were unlicensed to do so.
Hours were limited at the dispensary after it was found that they had been operating illegally. Some of the nurses in the dispensary said at the time that they approached management several times to question the legality of their dispensing practices.
College Housing Northwest leaves PSUMarch 1, 2007
In late February Portland State ended it’s 38-year relationship with student-housing provider College Housing Northwest (CHNW). CHNW had been the property manager for Portland State’s 10 residence buildings since 1969, when it began as a nonprofit company created by a group of PSU students.
PSU decided to split with CHNW to take a more active role in providing student housing. According to John Eckman, associate director of auxiliary services, the split saved Portland State about $1 million.
Football program revitalizedMarch 1, 2007
Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville was hired by the PSU Athletic Department after the former head coach, Tim Walsh, announced one month prior that he would be leaving his position. He is not the only new addition to the athletic department.
Budget deficitMarch 7, 2007
According to administrators, PSU is expecting a budget deficit of about $5.2 million for the next fiscal year. The $5.2 million includes a $2 million budget shortfall that will continue each year unless significant budget cuts are made or more funds are brought into the university.
Also in the deficit is $3.2 million that must be returned to the fund balance, an emergency reserve account that PSU has had to take from in order to fund parts of the university.
Legislative budget impact April 4, 2007
The original higher education budget proposal by the House Ways and Means Committee caused an uproar when proposed cuts reduced the governor’s recommended budget by $33 million.
One of the largest cuts impacting PSU came in the proposed cut to capital construction budget, reducing it by close to 85 percent. At least two buildings at PSU needed serious repairs.
Tuition, fee increasesJune 5, 2007
If the Oregon University System approves proposed rates at their meeting today, tuition and fees could go up by as much as 10 percent, or $184 per term for full-time undergraduate students. If the rates are accepted, graduate level tuition could go up by $333 per term for 12 credit hours.
The year in Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU)
Voter turnoutOct. 18, 2006
ASPSU reached a goal of registering 3,500 new voters on the last day to register to vote, Oct. 18. One day earlier the Oregon Student Association reached its goal of registering 18,000 new voters.
Struggling with turnover, filling committeesNov. 9, 2006
ASPSU struggled with reaching quorum and turnover in its many bodies, from the student senate to the executive staff. The senate specifically had trouble early on, when only 12 senators were elected in the 2006 election–to make quorum the senate needs 13 voting members present.
Student body President Courtney Morse had to appoint many new senators, but even after they had enough to meet quorum, getting senators to attend meetings was another problem. One option that was discussed to keep senate turnover down was to offer a monthly stipend as incentive to serve.
The indirect cost battleFeb. 20, 2007
In December 2005 the Oregon University System mandated that PSU start charging student groups and athletics a fee for indirect costs. Indirect costs are charges for administrative services such as drafting checks and processing bills.
In late October, the Indirect Cost Committee discussed a possible 12 percent fee, which could have been applied directly to student groups’ budgets. After Morse and other student government members fought to keep the fee as low as possible, it was lowered to 1 percent for this year and is set to rise an additional 1 percent each of the next four years, reaching 5 percent in the 2011-12 school year.
The 1 percent fee will be applied directly to the student incidental fee, costing students only about $5 more in fees a year.
ASPSU lobbies the LegislatureFeb. 23, 2007
During the year, ASPSU members routinely traveled to Salem to lobby for increased funding for higher education. In February they traveled to the Capitol to take part in the largest rally for post-secondary education since 1999.
Months later, when the governor’s recommended budget was decreased significantly in the co-chairs of the House Ways and Means committee’s proposed budget, Morse and other student government members continued to fight for better funding for PSU and the other Oregon colleges.
Morse said she traveled to Salem about 20 times throughout the year.
Committee seats vacantFeb. 27, 2007
The ASPSU president must appoint student representatives for the university’s 40 boards and committees, whose duties range from student conduct to creating graduating requirements.
Five months after fall term began, only 27 out of the 90 available student seats were filled and 23 committees out of the 40 had no student voice on them at all. Morse said she took full responsibility for not appointing students, but also said there is a difficulty finding students who understand committee process.
Elections controversyMarch 2, 2007
The Elections Board, which runs the ASPSU elections, had trouble this year. After two Elections Board chairs resigned, a third was arrested for assault.
Then, because of improper record keeping, the elections were canceled and rescheduled for the third week of spring term.
When the elections eventually took place on April 20, Rudy Soto and Brad Vehafric won the election and were declared president and vice president. But an appeal filed by runner-up Patrick Beisell called Soto ineligible because of a six-credit minimum requirement for students running for ASPSU office.
A month of back-and-forth decisions ensued. Soto was first declared ineligible and Beisell was declared president. After weeks of student outcry (and even columns in The Oregonian), the decision to find Soto ineligible was overturned, and he was once again declared president.