Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

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Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by BroadwayVik » May 15th, 2017, 4:19 pm

Image Visionary New Portland State President Rahmat Shoureshi

Rahmat Shoureshi, a champion of collaborative learning, innovative research and community engagement, will lead Portland State University as its ninth president starting Aug. 14.

The PSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved Shoureshi, interim president of the New York Institute of Technology, to succeed Wim Wiewel, who is stepping down after nine years as president to join the faculty of the College of Urban and Public Affairs.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this great university,” Shoureshi says. “PSU is a 21st century university that serves a vibrant urban region, champions access, diversity, and inclusiveness, conducts innovative research and dedicated to cutting-edge and collaborative learning – things that reflect my academic ideals and perspectives.”

A mechanical engineer, Shoureshi (pronounced Shu-RE-shi) has been a university administrator, researcher and academic for 38 years. Shoureshi joined the New York Institute of Technology in 2011 as its provost and vice president for academic affairs and was appointed its interim president in January 2017. He has overseen all aspects of operations, academic programs and faculty of NYIT, which has two campuses in New York, two medical schools, four global campuses and joint degree programs in eight countries.

“Dr. Shoureshi’s leadership experience and accomplishments at several prestigious universities will bring innovation, entrepreneurship and operational knowledge to take Portland State to the next level,” Board Chairman Pete Nickerson says. “He is an ideal fit for PSU because of his vision and initiatives to enhance research, increase educational and professional opportunities for students, develop community partnerships and boost philanthropy.”

Some of his goals for PSU include:
Increase the quality and diversity of incoming students;
Make PSU financially strong and academically rich;
Attract top-notch faculty;
Create an innovation ecosystem to develop art, science and technology incubators;
Expand partnerships with external organizations to provide greater opportunities for students;
Develop transdisciplinary institutes and research centers supported by government and industry;
Increase engagement with PSU alumni, friends and the community.

Prior to joining NYIT, Shoureshi served as the dean of the University of Denver’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, was a top administrator and Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, and an administrator and professor of School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.

An active researcher, Shoureshi earned advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, his native country. He holds nine U.S. patents for biomedical and engineering systems, sensors and devices.

From the Portland Oregonian:
_________________________

The Portland State University governing board appointed Rahmat Shoureshi to serve as the school's ninth president. Shoureshi will succeed Wim Wiewel, who will step down at the end of this school year but remain on the faculty. He arrived at the school in 2008.

"I'm just thrilled with the selection the board is making," Wiewel said, adding to Shoureshi, "I look forward to working with you, and I certainly pledge my full support. Shoureshi most recently served as the interim president of New York Institute of Technology.

In his new position, he will be paid a base salary of $599,988, comprising $260,700 paid by the university and $339,288 paid by the Portland State University Foundation. His five-year contract begins Aug. 14. Shoureshi said he wants to increase the school's focus on scholarly research and build specialties research centers that combine academic disciplines from various departments at the university.

He also drew attention from the school's Board of Trustees because of his previous experience raising money through philanthropy. "When I looked at at Portland State University, I saw the place where I really can make a difference," Shoureshi said. "I saw the opportunities."

His hiring comes as Portland State faces a $20 million budget shortfall as Gov. Kate Brown's proposed budget holds the higher education allocation flat. The university had hoped to make up much of the shortfall by raising tuition 9 percent, bringing full-time undergraduate tuition and fees to $9,030 a year.

A state board last week rejected that proposed increase, a move the university said will require $5 million in cuts. Shoureshi said he's sympathetic to students who are watching the price for their education climb. "I was a student that had loans I had to pay back," he said. "I feel what PSU students are going through."

But he said universities are facing rising costs from health care, recruiting faculty and staff and the cost of new technology. "You have to diversity your sources of funding," he said. "When you extinguish all your other sources of funding, really the last option is to look at the price of tuition."

The 64-year-old Shoureshi started as the provost and head of academics at the New York school in 2011 and was appointed to the interim role in January. Shoureshi worked as dean of the engineering and computer sciences school at the University of Denver for eight years before moving to New York. The engineer has a Ph.D. and master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an expert in robotics and other engineering fields.
Last edited by BroadwayVik on May 19th, 2017, 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by VikNut » May 16th, 2017, 10:14 am

Gee, glad to see a prosperous athletic department listed as one of his goals. This does not bode well for the future. Looks to be a step back.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by BroadwayVik » May 16th, 2017, 7:54 pm

Sounds as if you're either under the assumption that a prosperous athletics department cancels the notion of a prosperous university or concerned than not enough attention will be paid to it.

To the first, Isn't it, in fact, doable to enjoy both simultaneously? Look at previously perennial losers UO & OSU, the denizens of the nationally-famous "Toilet Bowl" of 1983 (Google it). It is a matter of getting our Vikings-in-a-row, and then here is a visionary leader, I think, who can follow suit. All good for the state.

As to the second, I'm sure the benefits of prosperity would include a robust athletics program. I'm very curious as to what he can do his first year in as I think he probably only wants the five years in his contract. So, each year counts.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by Alan » May 17th, 2017, 7:09 am

Just like PSU's students and the Portland community, I really doubt that President Shoureshi has the given Viking athletic program much thought.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by Pounder » May 18th, 2017, 10:53 am

Wim Wiewel was virtually an anti-football activist, the program has to dance with the body-bag games in order to keep its head above water, yet football is still here.

My guess is that the program's survival depends on donating your organs so that Peter Stott may live forever.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by bigskyconf » May 18th, 2017, 6:02 pm

Pounder wrote:
May 18th, 2017, 10:53 am
Wim Wiewel was virtually an anti-football activist, the program has to dance with the body-bag games in order to keep its head above water, yet football is still here.

My guess is that the program's survival depends on donating your organs so that Peter Stott may live forever.
Sorry, but it is not just football we're talking about here. It is the whole athletic program. It doesn't sound like he is too keen on athletics to advance the university footprint.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by CaseyOrourke » May 18th, 2017, 9:22 pm

You should find out if he will be hosting any open forums in the near future. If there is, someone should ask him his views on school athletics and what he sees as its contribution to a school's identity.
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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by Pounder » May 19th, 2017, 12:18 pm

bigskyconf wrote:
May 18th, 2017, 6:02 pm
Pounder wrote:
May 18th, 2017, 10:53 am
Wim Wiewel was virtually an anti-football activist, the program has to dance with the body-bag games in order to keep its head above water, yet football is still here.

My guess is that the program's survival depends on donating your organs so that Peter Stott may live forever.
Sorry, but it is not just football we're talking about here. It is the whole athletic program. It doesn't sound like he is too keen on athletics to advance the university footprint.
You're missing my point. Donors tend to have their say. Money talks, and is rather loud.

I tend to believe Wiewel would have already sunk the program if it were all his call.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by bigskyconf » May 19th, 2017, 10:51 pm

Pounder wrote:
May 19th, 2017, 12:18 pm
bigskyconf wrote:
May 18th, 2017, 6:02 pm
Pounder wrote:
May 18th, 2017, 10:53 am
Wim Wiewel was virtually an anti-football activist, the program has to dance with the body-bag games in order to keep its head above water, yet football is still here.

My guess is that the program's survival depends on donating your organs so that Peter Stott may live forever.
Sorry, but it is not just football we're talking about here. It is the whole athletic program. It doesn't sound like he is too keen on athletics to advance the university footprint.
You're missing my point. Donors tend to have their say. Money talks, and is rather loud.

I tend to believe Wiewel would have already sunk the program if it were all his call.
Had Wiewel not okay'ed the plans for the Pavilion, there would not have been any donors (and therefore no money). I understand his term has not started yet, but one would think that the "future" of the PSU administration would have made an appearance at a major milestone in the construction of the future of PSU athletics. :twocents:

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by BroadwayVik » May 23rd, 2017, 5:51 am

From the VG:

Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi will be Portland State's 9th president, starting in mid-August.
Jamon Sin/PSU Vanguard

Image


Dr. Rahmat A. Shoureshi, the last of three final candidates to replace current Portland State President Wim Wiewel, was unanimously approved in a special Board of Trustees meeting at 10:17 a.m. on Monday, May 15, 2017. Shoureshi brings broad experience as the provost and interim president of New York Institute of Technology, engineering professor, and first-generation immigrant to his leadership at PSU.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this great university,” Shoureshi said in a May 15 press release from PSU University Communications. “PSU is a 21st-century university that serves a vibrant urban region that champions access, diversity and inclusiveness as well as conducts innovative research and is dedicated to cutting-edge and collaborative learning—things that reflect my academic ideals and perspectives.”

Shoureshi said he will focus on partnerships with businesses and corporations, co-ops integrated into student graduation paths, and fundraising to attract high-quality students and faculty and bring in more revenue. Shoureshi also expressed his commitment to keeping PSU a sanctuary campus for undocumented students, saying their protection is a top priority.

Less than a month after current PSU President Wim Wiewel announced his resignation in July 2016, the Board of Trustees established a 20-member consultant-counseled search committee and compensation study to find a new president. The committee was comprised of five BOT members, one vice president, one dean, five faculty members, one staff member, four students, and representatives from faculty and student unions.

After faculty, staff, student, and community forums, the 13 trustees present at the special meeting unanimously selected Shoureshi as the final candidate. “We had a very open and frank discussion throughout the process,” said BOT member Gail Castillo. “We were able to bring the best candidate as a result of those discussions.”

Shoureshi’s compensation at PSU will be less than that of his position at NYIT, and he will forego a retention incentive of one year’s salary. “I think those sacrifices are noteworthy,” said BOT Chair Pete Nickerson.

Shoureshi will be moving across the country for what he expects to be 10 years as PSU president, and his daughter recently moved to Portland to be a medical resident at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Beyond family draws, however, Shoureshi said that even though he “had other options,” he was impressed with the prospect of working at PSU.

“PSU’s commitment to access, diversity, and inclusiveness represent an expression of truly admirable goals that will not only serve the growth and betterment of the City of Portland but also the State of Oregon, [our] country, and even the global community,” Shoureshi said.

Although Shoureshi said he is already impressed with PSU’s endeavors, he wants to take the university to the “next level.” Shoureshi said he plans to do this by expanding faculty scholarships for research to bring “state of the art” experience to their classrooms, partnering with businesses and corporations for new “cross-disciplinary institutes and centers,” and improving PSU’s fundraising efforts.

As a 2017 recipient of the China Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics “Outstanding Contribution Award” for Leadership in Global Education, Shoureshi helped NYIT “increase research funding to an all-time high,” according to his resume, and “enhanced research and scholarship activities that helped NYIT garner $28 million in grants.”

“One of the attractions of Dr. Shoureshi to us is his experience in fundraising,” Nickerson said. “We have a three-legged stool here at PSU: that’s tuition, that’s state support, and philanthropic giving. [Our] weakest link right now is philanthropic giving. In light of the reduced state support, we have known for many years now that increased philanthropic giving is where we’re going to have to focus on, and we feel that [Shoureshi] is going to be successful at that.”

Shoureshi said he hopes to see a five-year graduation option in PSU’s future that establishes co-ops with local, national, and international businesses. With this opportunity, Shoureshi said, “not only [would students] have a degree from PSU [and] the work experience, but they also [would] have the opportunity of working in another culture.”

The benefit of businesses making an early investment in PSU students, Shoureshi said, would be that students become more marketable, have established connections with companies before graduation, and can have paid internship opportunities that can help supplement their tuition.

In response to questions about PSU’s tuition increases, Shoureshi explained that increased health care and retirement costs are major contributors to the university’s financial burden. In light of the recent ransomware attacks, infrastructure and firewall sophistication are also needed costs, the new president said. However, Shoureshi said he can commiserate with student frustration.

“I understand. I was a student that had loans I had to pay back,” Shoureshi said. “I paid them back at a 12 percent interest rate. I feel what PSU students are going through. All I can tell you is we’re going to work together and try to address these [issues].”

Finally, Shoureshi said he would uphold PSU’s commitment to being a sanctuary campus. Shoureshi said he related to the stress of being an immigrant student. When he was a Ph.D. candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Shoureshi said, the U.S. government was taking actions to deport Iranians from the country.

“Therefore, I feel the anxiety of what [immigrant] students are going through,” Shoureshi said. “I want to make sure that PSU students, number one, understand the university, university administration, and especially myself, [are] supporting them all the way.”

Shoureshi said he could not predict whether or not federal funding might eventually be pulled from sanctuary campuses but expressed that he and many other university presidents would work to protect undocumented students. “The number one goal is protection of our students,” Shoureshi said.

Shoureshi officially takes office on Aug. 14, 2017 but begins his transition to president immediately.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by BroadwayVik » May 23rd, 2017, 7:35 pm

None of us knows for certain, but I get the feeling that this is going to be the most prolific era of sustained growth in Portland State's history.

May good fortune follow him.

And that includes Athletics.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by bigskyconf » May 27th, 2017, 12:10 pm

BroadwayVik wrote:
May 23rd, 2017, 7:35 pm
None of us knows for certain, but I get the feeling that this is going to be the most prolific era of sustained growth in Portland State's history.

May good fortune follow him.

And that includes Athletics.
I hope you're right. The money involved in athletics (both coming in and going out) has increased substantially in just the last five years, so much that it is now possible to rely on athletics to keep the university name out in front of people, However, some schools are still thinking from 10-20 years ago and don't realize this. I hope this new guy is not one of them.

I don't want to become a Griz fan. I'm not that arrogant.

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Re: Rahmat Shoureshi Named Ninth PSU President

Post by BroadwayVik » May 28th, 2017, 8:52 am

Viks are playing BYU and OSU this year as revenue money games, so I think we can rest easy that the costs will be covered.

I get a feeling that Barrett Peery basketball will bring back the fun of the Heath Schroyer era when the Viks were with Will Funn, Antone Jarrell and Blake Walker.

Track & Field is improving. The other programs seem to be developing more each year.

Really, I would recommend fostering a spirit of at least some optimism. I think it is reasonable to look ahead with goodly expectation. :coffee: :clap: The really good news is that the UO and OSU are no longer receiving PSU money sent down to them. The days of the old OUS/OSSHE stealing/redirecting funds from PSU are finally over.

It would be great to have those funds back ... at a fair rate of interest. :D

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