Academic Professionals Making a Difference at PSU

January 21, 2020 / Krista Kennedy

During this season of bargaining, your Collective Bargaining team has spent a lot of time advocating for our Academic Professional faculty.  We have prioritized securing for them good contract language as our AP colleagues provide vital support for students and faculty at Portland State University.  Ensuring that their voice is represented at the bargaining table will help to protect these important jobs, provide a fair working environment, and help them to serve our community more effectively.  Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring several APs in our member news to help all of us understand the many ways APs keep the University running.  


To get us started, here are just a few of the unique ways that APs support our campus: 


  • Admissions: Supports over 2,000 prospective and admitted transfer students annually as they prepare for their transition to Portland State and provide academic advising, financial aid counseling, technical assistance, and referrals to campus resources, among other things. 

  • Academic advisors: provide valuable guidance to help students be successful throughout their academic experiences at PSU. Advisors help students understand their graduation requirements and create a degree plan, access financial tools and resources and direct them to financial support services, confirm their major choice and/or help them identify a major that suits their skills, values, interests, and goals, and review their final graduation plan and apply for their degree

  • Career Services: Assists both students and alumni and recognize the value of their degree in finding meaningful and purposeful work. Additionally, they provide training to help students and alumni find this meaningful work and internships both while in school and once they've graduated.

  • Instructional Designers and Support: Academic Professionals at OAI and other units offer consultations on teaching, assessment, course observation, course and program (re)design, community-based learning, teaching with technology, and universal design/accessibility.

  • Departmental Research Administrator (DRA):  Support research funding activities of faculty. Support faculty to prepare and submit research grant proposals. Once the awards are issued, they do the grant accounting which includes budget forecasting, checking allowability of charges and making sure that awards don't end with a deficit or large surplus. Their work is crucial in two ways: It is essential for faculty doing research and receiving research funding. It relieves a lot of administrative burden for the faculty. At the same time, they protect the university and faculty by ensuring compliance with federal rules and regulations. 

  • International Student & Scholar Services: They make it possible for PSU to bring international students and scholars to campus by creating and updating immigration documents, ensuring proper reporting about immigration status, and providing specialized immigration-related advising & information to international students and faculty. Further, they develop programming to help international visitors acclimate to PSU, to local culture, and to life here in the U.S., while also offering opportunities to share their culture and experiences with PSU and the local community. They also provide guidance to PSU faculty and staff around campus so that they are knowledgeable about the specific requirements and needs of international students in their departments. 


These are just a few of the many jobs our Academic Professionals hold. There are folks in the Office of Financial Aid providing needed guidance to students, advisors in Multi-Cultural Services working to assist and retain first generation students and/or students from underrepresented backgrounds, advisors in Student Activities and Leadership Programs, professionals working with faculty in various departments across campus, counselors and physicians in Student, Health and Counseling services, attorneys in Student Legal Services, professionals working with students in the Disability Resource Center, and much much more. 

We are all working together to serve our students. We look forward to working together in solidarity to have a contract that represents these committed academic workers fairly.

Blog Categories