Congratulations on your acceptance to Portland State University. This is an amazing place to earn your degree!
As we look forward to being back in-person, we reflect upon all we have been through in the last 18 months. I started at PSU in August of 2020 — we have been virtual the whole time. If you see an administrator looking totally lost, that will likely be me.
In my year as Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion at Portland State University, so much has happened in our world, especially around issues of Justice and equity. PSU has been leaning in to the work in incredible ways, in the last year we have:
- Approval of a racial and ethnic studies course requirement.
- Hosted a Virtual Equity Summit where more than 500 members of the Portland State University community created a vision for a just and equitable campus.
- Five cross-campus task forces began work to make the vision of the Equity Summit a reality.
- President Percy established the 3 year, $1.5 million President’s Racial Justice and Equity Fund for investments to advance student retention and success, nurture an empowering climate for BIPOC employees, and support the development and deployment of an anti-racist lens.
If you are looking for a place to do the work, to be in a community that reflects our future where you are represented, then PSU is it.
I chose PSU because I was very impressed with the infrastructure that exists to help students succeed. For example, there were several lactation spaces and critical cultural centers and resource centers to support a variety of communities. I am impressed with the incredible retention and graduation rates achieved by Multicultural Retention Services, TRIO Student Support Services, BUILD EXITO, LSAMP and other great programs in our academic units. I am in awe of our great faculty and staff — they are doing incredible research and community engagement all while serving as excellent teachers and mentors. Our staff are unbelievably committed to you and will always go the extra mile to support you.
I visited the amazing new Transfer and Returning Student Resource Center. This new center is one of many examples of PSU’s deep commitment to community engagement and equity. Our support systems are in place to solve the most critical and complex problems our students face.
I care deeply about students and I am a believer in the transformative power of education and how your time at an institution like PSU can be a gift that keeps on giving.
As so much changes around us, PSU can be an anchor on your journey toward the life you deserve, want, and dream of and the impact you want to have on your community. Lifelong learning is a reality for all of us and PSU will be your partner for the long haul.
Whether you are a first year or transfer student, full-time or part-time, living on campus or with family, no matter your identities and backgrounds — what will bind us this fall is our newness. The return to a new normal, the collective figuring out of who we want to be. Who we must be. After a global pandemic and a renewed understanding of injustice and inequity has surged through our communities.
I am confident that as we adjust to a new campus community and new ways of being and doing, we will find friends, colleagues, and leaders who will support us and help us with the transition. A transformative experience filled with new adventures and experiences awaits us all.
With me, you will find someone who is open and accessible and will listen and do my best to respond to your needs. I am invested in your growth and success, so I can assure you that the Global Diversity and Inclusion team and indeed, all of PSU will be working to ensure that success — despite the challenges and obstacles you may encounter — is your reality.
I look forward to having you as a part of our community in the fall.
If you have questions about PSU’s resources and ways we can offer support, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President for Global Diversity and Inclusion
Portland State University