Portland State administration is putting plans in place to ensure the university is able to have in-person instruction in the fall, according to PSU President Stephen Percy.
“We’re confident that the emergence of vaccines and continued caution over the spring will allow PSU to return to our traditional pattern of in-person and online instruction in the fall,” Percy said at a recent Board of Trustees meeting.
PSU is experiencing financial difficulties due to lower than anticipated enrollment for the upcoming fall term, In an effort to bring up enrollment, the university will be launching a major initiative called “Open for Fall, Open for All,” which will be formally announced in February. The initiative is intended to ensure the university is able to reopen in the fall, and to raise awareness among prospective students that classes will be held in person.
“This is an extremely important message to our incoming prospective students, because they want to know they can come back to college,” Percy said. “They want to know that there’s an in-person experience that they can participate in.”
The upcoming spring and summer terms will be held remotely, according to Percy.
As part of the initiative, the university has already begun contacting local officials in order to understand what it will take to ensure the university can open safely in the fall.
Additionally, the university is working with the Oregon Health Authority and the Multnomah County Public Health Department to turn the university into a vaccine distribution center.
“At this current time, we have parking structures, we have facilities, we have volunteers and we have staff,” Percy said. “The extent that we can be a part of the solution to the distribution of the vaccine is huge—the distribution challenge that we’re facing right now is very important to us.”