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


PSU Board of Trustees Declares Moral Bankruptcy

May 18, 2023 / PSU-AAUP

As many of you are painfully aware, a sudden and unexpected round of severe cuts to academic programs and personnel was quietly announced by PSU Administration last week.

This plan would immediately and directly harm students.

It means abandoning commitments to students, to social and racial justice, and to our mission, "Let Knowledge Serve the City."
These cuts have already had serious negative impacts on students and the community, in addition to devastation for the adjunct faculty, graduate employees, and staff whose jobs will be cut.

Among the impacts on students:

  • Graduate assistantship offers to students have been rescinded. 
  • Scholarships for students of color will not be funded, including for current students who rely on this funding to continue their studies.
  • Advising and career services—an already under resourced and understaffed unit—cannot bring their staffing up to a bare minimum.
  • Students’ majors have been eradicated with no warning. 
  • Staffing for flagship programs is being eliminated. 
  • Direct student success initiatives have been devastated; an over $1 million budget for direct student support has been changed to only $100,000 to support our 23,000 students.
  • Course offerings, starting this summer, are being canceled, reducing enrollment and leading to less flexibility for students to complete their schooling and inability to persist in their education.
  • Faculty contracts will not be renewed, meaning certain courses needed for majors will not be able to be taught at all or when needed for students paths’ of study.
  • Vital programs and student services, such as the CARE team, will continue to struggle to provide life-saving support to students. 

Why is this happening? 
It's quite simple. The Board promised a $10 million start-up fund to incoming President Ann Cudd, plus a housing stipend. (In the past, these monthly stipends have exceeded the gross monthly income of more than 79% of PSU-AAUP members.)

The Board has declared moral bankruptcy by not approving a limited duration spend down of its healthy reserves to pay for this expenditure.

Using millions of dollars in this way is fiscally irresponsible. Full stop.

PSU-AAUP implores the Board to:

  • Reverse this decision to fund incoming President Cudd's start-up fund and housing supports through cuts on the ground.
  • Implement recommendations from the Huron Report: cut administrative bloat, cut high-level duplicative administrative positions, and eliminate the waste and inefficiencies at high-level administrative offices.
  • Use the funds saved to immediately hire new financial aid advisors, academic advisors, mental health counselors, academic program support professionals and staff, ensuring a fully-staffed CARE team, and fill all vacant part-time and full-time faculty vacancies.
  • Implement a strategic use of some reserves to build for a bright future, including re-building the relationships required to maintain our incoming student transfers from key community colleges; and, instituting new initiatives to directly recruit students from NW Oregon's high schools. 

We must have fundamental, structural change in how this university is run. Immediately.

Please watch your inbox for an update next week and for actions you can take. It will take all of together to make change happen and create a bright future for PSU.

Emily Ford, President
David Kinsella, Vice-President for Bargaining
Óscar Fernández, Vice-President for Organizing & Membership
Bill Knight, Vice-President for Grievances & Academic Freedom
Lacey Friedly, Vice-President for Communications & Public Relations
Peter Kramer, Treasurer
Elena Sokol, Secretary
Trevino Brings Plenty, Councilor At Large
Brian Elliott, Councilor At Large
Aleksander Jokic, Councilor At Large
Cristina Restad, Councilor At Large
Amanda Singer, Councilor At Large
Mark Leymon, Immediate Past President

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