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Promoting Quality Higher Education– An Investment in Oregon’s Future


Living up to “Let Knowledge Serve the City”

July 01, 2022 / PSU-AAUP

Living up to “Let Knowledge Serve the City”

In the face of what Hannah Arendt referred to as "dark times," never before has the Portland community needed so badly the power of collegial illumination.

In 2018, PSU launched a $300M campaign focused on our ability to "Let Knowledge Serve the City." Notably, PSU theater students dramatized a powerful message which exhorted donors to see PSU as the “first college of its kind...a great university at the heart of a growing city” with "more to share, achieve, and build."

Four years later the question is: can we return to this vision as one and make sure that we are true to that same vision? Because, sadly and ironically, Theater Arts is now one of the programs now targeted in Phase III of the Provost’s Program Review and Reduction Process.

Can we step back and recognize how we and the City are intertwined and strengthened by the lyrics of our theatrical poets; by the tools of conflict resolution; by the understanding of voices of social justice and human rights in meeting international conflicts; by work that ensures environmental justice via sustainable leadership; and by the knowledges shared of our public schools' need for linguistic understandings? 

Why target these Phase III units now, when the skills they teach are more needed than ever?

Now is the time to include our community leaders in this discussion, and to give diverse community leaders the opportunity to voice their imagination to our Re-imagine challenge. Perhaps they can help us better see how we need to re-invest in ourselves to be that great university we spoke of.

         - Maria Tenorio, Vice-President for Legislative & Political Action

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