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PSU Board of Trustees reaches decision on presidential appointment

The Portland State Board of Trustees (BOT) voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Stephen Percy as PSU’s 10th president.


The vote was held during a special BOT meeting around 12:00 p.m on May 27, 2020, following a recommendation from a PSU board committee on May 11 for Percy’s appointment. In a campus-wide email regarding the May 11 recommendation, the BOT asked students, faculty and staff for their feedback to help in the BOT’s decision making process. 


“Dr. Percy garnered enthusiastic support from the campus community in an online survey conducted by the Board in May,” BOT Chair Greg Hinckley stated in a campus-wide email following the May 27 meeting. Of the 400 survey respondents, 90% supported Percy’s appointment.


“This is a time of opportunity we must embrace, we must identify and take strategic actions, consistent with our mission and values, to strengthen PSU in an era of great change in higher education,” Percy said in a press conference after the meeting. “I shall greatly appreciate Board support, and pledge my full energy and spirit to the work and I thank the [BOT] for their decision.”


While the BOT’s expectations for Percy’s role as president are still being decided, Percy spoke to the general framework of those expectations: ensuring the continuity of PSU operations while monitoring COVID-19 to make the best decisions for the campus community, look for new ways to grow revenue and finding strategic change in the new normal. 


According to Percy, the role of president as opposed to interim president comes with greater reassurance to the campus community. “I think having the interim no longer on the name helps people have confidence that we are on more sound and certain track at least for three years,” Percy said.


While the meeting ended with the BOT’s unanimous decision for Percy’s presidential appointment, Percy will not officially begin his role until an employment agreement has been executed. An employment agreement is expected in the coming weeks