April 21, 2000 

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

Portland Mayor Approved for Honorary PSU Degree

PORTLAND - Portland Mayor Vera Katz will be honored with an honorary doctoral degree at Portland State University's June commencement ceremonies.

Approval to confer the degree was granted Friday, April 21, by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. The award recognizes Mayor Katz' leadership in education, urban planning and public policy. The mayor has been a strong supporter of PSU and has helped strengthen the city's partnership that has developed Portland's University District. 

In other actions Friday, the State Board:

* Declined to seek legislative authority to arm campus safety officers at Oregon's public universities. By a 7 to 4 vote, the board reaffirmed its existing policy. That policy prohibits campus safety officers from carrying firearms. All OUS campuses currently rely on local or state police agencies to support their needs in emergency police situations. 

* Directed its statewide task force to develop specifications and an implementation schedule for a mandatory basic student health insurance plan. They will also study options for the possibility of a systemwide or multi-university major medical plan. The task force is expected to report back later this spring.

* Heard a progress report on activities aimed at increasing higher educational opportunities in Central Oregon. Consultants and OUS staff are now gathering detailed information on alternatives and costs. A specific plan for next steps in Central Oregon will be presented in June.

* Approved six new academic programs. Among programs authorized are a new bachelor's degree in business administration at Eastern Oregon University, La Grande; a certificate in medical informatics and master of physician assisted studies at the Oregon Health Sciences University; a Ph.D. in computer science and M.S. program in financial analysis at PSU; and a master of fine arts degree in dance at the University of Oregon, Eugene.

* Authorized an Emergency Board bond request of $9.5 million to contract a new apartment-style residence hall at Oregon State University, Corvallis. If financing is approved, OSU hopes to construct the new facility by fall 2001. It would house between 200 and 250 students.

* Okayed an exchange of land with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Port of Coos Bay. The exchange will provide about half an acre to expand adjacent parking at the University of Oregon's Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston.

* Agreed with Western Oregon University's proposal to name its new library in honor of Wayne and Lynn Hamersly of Portland. The Hamerslys are both WOU alumni and have been major donors to the construction of the university's new library which will open next fall.

* Accepted revised incidental fee guidelines developed by the University of Oregon. 


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