University looks ahead

At Convocation 2002, President Daniel Bernstine reviewed the happenings of this last school year and previewed his vision for the new school year. There were around 200 people in attendance, which was a stark contrast to last year’s attendance, which was nearly double in size.

The major theme of this year’s convocation was budgetary concerns.

Bernstine told a story to the audience of a time when he ran the New York City marathon. He related that challenge to what is ahead for Portland State University because of the goals that have been set and the lack of funds.

“We won’t stop and we can’t turn back,” Bernstine said.

Sherril Gelmon, professor in public administration, the presiding officer of the faculty senate and the opening speaker of convocation, encouraged members of the public to vote. She discussed the importance of the upcoming election in Salem.

Bernstine began with noting the record-breaking events of the past year. One such event was enrollment. Last school year Portland State had 21,000 students, this year there is an anticipated 23,000 students.

Another record Bernstine focused on was the highest number of positive media articles and reports this year. The biggest media accomplishment was the mentioning of Portland State in the U.S. News and World Report 2003 America’s Best Colleges.

PSU made the America’s best colleges list for Senior Capstone, Learning Communities and Service Learning categories.

“I think it’s really nice to know our hard work is acknowledged,” Gelmon said.

Bernstine attributed the rankings to the kind of school Portland State has become, and its commitment to excellence.

Bernstine also discussed the balance of accommodating Portland State’s new more traditional group of students while serving students who have been unique to this university.

He also told the audience about the direction of the assessment initiative, piloted by 10 departments, two years ago. By the end of winter term all departments will participate in assessment for accreditation.

Convocation is also a time to give the Faculty Excellence Awards and to announce new faculty members.

Mary Kay Tetreault, provost, presented the Faculty Excellence Awards.

E. Kofi Agorah, professor in Black Studies and International Studies, shared the honor of the Branford price Millar Award with Michihiro Kusuge, professor of art.

In Agorah’s acceptance speech he echoed Bernstine’s advice in regards to the budget problems.

“We have to keep moving. It’s very hard to face these challenges, but it is important for us to keep going,” Agorah said.

Sharon Elteto, assistant professor and instruction librarian at the Millar library was the recipient of the Butler Award.

The donor for the award, Ken Butler was in the audience.

The recipient of the George C. Hoffman Award was Anthony Wolk, professor of English.

The remainder of the convocation consisted of vice presidents and deans introducing the new faculty at Portland State.

A reception followed in the foyer of Hoffman Hall.