Portland State University

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox American Universities Portland State University (or PSU) is a university located in downtown Portland, Oregon.



The University was established as the Vanport Extension Center in 1946. (It became known as "the college that wouldn't die" because it refused to close after the Vanport Flood of 1948.) In 1952 the Center moved to downtown Portland and occupied the vacated buildings of Lincoln High School on SW Broadway street. In 1955, the Center changed its name to Portland State College to mark its maturation into a four-year degree-granting institution.

PSU struggled for the next couple of decades under the ruling that no university or college in Oregon could duplicate the programs offered by another, with grandfathered exclusions for the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Nevertheless, graduate programs were added in 1961 and doctoral programs were added in 1968. The institution was granted university status by the Oregon State System of Higher Education in 1969. In 2003 PSU was approved to award degrees in Black Studies. That same year the university opened a center to support Native Americans studying at college.

In 2004 Dr. Fariborz Maseeh donated, through The Masseeh Foundation, 8 million dollars to the College of Engineering and Computer Science. This was the largest single donation to the University at the time. The college was renamed to Fariborz Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science.

In May, 2004, PSU announced a joint offering with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) to offer the nation's first biomedical informatics program.

In early 2005, Oregon Representative Mitch Greenlick introduced legislation in the Oregon House of Representatives that would merge PSU and OHSU. The legislation has been met with stiff resistance as it is opposed by the presidents of both universities.

Colleges, Schools, and Programs

PSU is home to many colleges and programs that offer undergraduate, graduate, and certificate degrees. Below are the current offerings, as well as links to departmental webpages.

Colleges and Schools:

Lifelong Learning:

International Programs:

Student life

PSU differs from the other universities in Oregon partially because it attracts a student body older than other universities. A significant percentage of PSU's classes are offered at night. Indeed, some programs only offer classes at night, notably the School of Business ( PSU also delayed the development of its campus for decades after its founding. The institution sold land in a neighboring block soon after its move to downtown Portland, and delayed the construction of student housing until the early 1970s.

While the mean age of students is near the upper twenties, increasing traditional enrollment is bringing the average student age down. Ambitious mixed-use building projects (commercial, educational, residential) in Portland, Oregon are purposed to attract younger students. These establishments preserve downtown shops and businesses while transforming Portland State University from a "commuter campus" to a mix between a commuter and a traditional campus. Recently completed projects include the Stephen Epler Hall and The Broadway. Further steps toward increasing housing capacity--and university control over its own housing--are being taken with plans for further construction, and with PSU taking over management of the residence halls it currently owns.

Portland State University is served on Fifth and Sixth Avenues by TriMet bus lines, by the Portland Streetcar at three stops throughout campus, and by OHSU and Portland Community College Shuttles on SW Harrison Street at SW Broadway.

University Sports

Until the presidency of Natale Sicuro, PSU was decidedly indifferent about collegate sports. From the late 1960s into the 1980s, the school football program was funded entirely upon gate receipts. When the school's sports teams were admitted to the Big Sky Conference in 1996, this attitude has softened somewhat.

Portland State's colors are dark green and white and their nickname is the Vikings.

Home games for football are held off-campus at PGE Park, and home games for basketball are held on-campus at the Stott Center.

External links

Template:Big Sky Conference


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