Jay Kenton, vice-president of finance and administration andMary Kay Tetreault, provost, resigned yesterday from their posts atPSU to pursue other interests. Both administrators will remain atthe university until June 30.
Kenton has accepted a position at the University of Idaho inMoscow, Idaho, and Tetreault will take a year-long sabbatical tofinish and publish a book and may return to PSU after itspublication as a professor in the School of Education and women’sstudies department.
While both resignations were announced Monday, there is noformal link between either vacancy.
“The coincidental departure of these two university leadersprovides Portland State University with both a challenge and anopportunity,” President Daniel Bernstine said in a writtenstatement.
The challenge to replace the two administrators with qualifiedpeople is an obvious one; the opportunity, a little less clear.
According to Bernstine, the simultaneous departure of Kenton andTetreault, who respectively guide the administrative and academicgoals of the university, will allow the university to unify thepaths on both sides of university development.
Both administrators announced their exit from PSU amid heateddiscussions with students over future decisions.
Kenton recently met with students to discuss the possibility ofplacing Tasers, electronic defense weapons, in the hands of campussecurity officers. This week he will meet with students to discussthe payment scheme and location of the proposed studentrecreational facility he helped plan.
Tetreault has been meeting with students to discuss the possibledismissal of black studies professor Ridwan Nytagodien.
National searches for replacements will be conducted by a jointsearch process with two subcommittees, each charged with finding areplacement for either Kenton or Tetreault. Tom Pfingston,university librarian will chair the search.
Former university provost and professor emeritus Michael Reardonhas been appointed interim provost, and Associate Vice-President ofFinance and Administration Cathy Dyck will stand in for Kentonuntil permanent replacements are found.
Kenton came to PSU in 1988, beginning as director of businessaffairs. After the resignation of George Pernsteiner in 2002,Kenton took over as vice-president of finance and administration.During his tenure, PSU has constructed the Broadway housingproject, the Epler building, and purchased a Doubletree Hotel andrechristened it University Place. In addition, Kenton has plannedto replace the Portland Center for Advanced Technology with alarger, multiuse building, and worked towards the construction of astudent recreation center which would encompass an entire cityblock.
Many administrators credit Kenton with the revitalization of theUniversity district surrounding PSU and with strengthening therelationship between Portland State and the Portland DevelopmentCommission.
Tetrault, provost for the university since 1999, has overseenthe establishment of four doctoral programs at PSU: civilengineering, computer science, mathematics education andmathematics.