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Board of Higher Ed Announces Wim Wiewel as Next PSU President

Di Saunders, Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714

Go to www.pdx.edu for a photo of Dr. Wiewel and a video of the press conference.

PORTLAND, May 2, 2008 – State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) president, Kirby Dyess, announced today that Dr. Wim Wiewel (pronounced Vim Vee-vell ), provost and senior vice president of the University of Baltimore, has been named the new president of Portland State University. The Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Wiewel as president at this morning’s Board meeting at PSU. Wiewel will replace interim president Dr. Michael Reardon, who has served in this role since last summer with the resignation of former president Dan Bernstine.

“We couldn’t be more pleased about Dr. Wiewel’s appointment as president of Portland State,” said Dyess. “His strong academic, administrative and urban and public affairs background make him a wonderful match with PSU’s strengths and vision for the future.”

“PSU is one of Oregon’s premier academic institutions and a leader in community engagement and sustainability,” Governor Ted Kulongoski said. “Dr. Wiewel will be a great addition to the state’s higher education leadership, and play a pivotal role in expanding PSU’s commitment to community, students, and research in the region. We wholeheartedly welcome him to Portland.”

Dr. Wim Wiewel, who will begin at PSU in the fall, has served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and professor of public affairs at the University of Baltimore, part of the University System of Maryland, since 2004.  One of his greatest achievements has been the creation of an entirely new freshman and sophomore program.  He also has the lead academic responsibility for the planned 50% growth of the institution, including development of a joint MBA, an undergraduate real estate program, and other degree programs.  He oversaw the university's successful Middle States reaccreditation, promoted diversity among faculty and staff, and strengthened shared governance. He also led the revamping of the university's budget model and process, creating greater equity, incentives and transparency, reorganized enrollment management, and led the university's increased engagement with the metropolitan area.

“My family and I are very excited about joining the PSU community, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve students and Oregonians as your new president,” said Wiewel.  “I believe we have the academic and research strengths, and community involvement experience to promote a shared vision of engagement and sustainability in our community, our state, and beyond."

The search committee for the president of PSU, which began its work last fall, was chaired by Board member Jim Francesconi. “There are so many people to thank for making the search process a success and gaining Dr. Wiewel as PSU’s new president,” said Francesconi. “The Committee itself worked tirelessly for almost nine months ensuring a great outcome. I also want to thank the whole PSU community of faculty, students, staff and other stakeholders, and the Portland community as well for their important contributions and input throughout this process.”

Oregon University System chancellor, George Pernsteiner, said, “There are high expectations for the next president of PSU, and Dr. Wiewel has shown himself to be the right person to take the University to the next level. We look forward to working with him to keep up the momentum and gains made at PSU, and move even further to meet the institution’s urban and research mission, and focus on student access and success.”

Prior to his position at the University of Baltimore, Dr. Wiewel was at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1979 to 2004. He planned and implemented the university’s Great Cities program, its signature metropolitan commitment, which included, among other initiatives, the new College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, the multi-million dollar Great Cities Institute, the UIC Neighborhoods Initiative, a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization program, and the Centers for Health Policy.  He served as dean of the College of Business Administration (1999-2004) where he raised the largest cash gift ever obtained at the university to establish the Liautaud Graduate School of Business.  He was the founding dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (1996-2000).  He also directed the Great Cities Institute (1995-1999); served as special assistant to the Chancellor (1993-1996); and directed the Center for Urban Economic Development which provides technical assistance and research to community organizations and local government. He rose through the ranks as a faculty member and held professorial positions in both Urban Planning and Policy and Managerial Studies.  Throughout his time in Chicago, Wiewel was actively involved in community development and civic organizations.  Prior to coming to Chicago, Wiewel served as assistant site monitor with the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment at the Rand Corporation from 1976 to 1979.

Dr. Wiewel is the author of numerous books, book chapters and reviews, dozens of articles, numerous research reports and technical reports, academic papers presented as well as many other professional presentations. A few examples include: Global Universities and Urban Development: Case Studies and Analysis (2008); The University as Urban Developer: Case Studies and Analysis (2005); and Partnerships for Smart Growth: University Community Collaboration for Better Public Places (2005). Wiewel has also been awarded dozens of grants and contracts, including $2.4 million and $580,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and $229,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunication Infrastructure Administration. Honors and awards received by Dr. Wiewel have included the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-ACSP Urban Policy Scholarship Award, and Fellow of the Urban Land Institute. Wiewel has served in leadership roles in many organizations and  committees, including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Urban Land Institute, the Economic Policy Institute, and Mayor Dixon’s and Governor O’Malley’s Transition Teams. 

Dr. Wiewel received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University, his ‘Doctoraal’ Degree in Sociology and Urban Planning, and his ‘Candidaat’ Degree in Sociology, both from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  Wiewel is married to Alice Wiewel and has two stepchildren, Kelly and Sam, ages 13 and 15, and two adult children, Ellen and Daniel, ages 28 and 26.

Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation’s most livable cities, the University’s innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The University’s 49-acre downtown campus exhibits Portland State’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while many of the 124 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. PSU’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.

The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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