Just after PSU was granted university status in 1969, the old Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE), likely prompted by partisan legislators, cut their funding down to the bone. The reason: Too much hostile partisanship against the new university.
Instead of seeking what was best for the state, selfish value-destroying politicians with preference toward protecting the UO and OSU (instead of trying to make them better), clearly decided to hamstring the new university in Portland by forcing President Blumel to run the university on economic fumes.
Needless to say, this kind of austerity experience did not sit well with those CPAs who trained at Portland State along with all the other members of the student body during that decade. Things did not become markedly better until, really, perhaps 20 years later. But those in the 1970s came into the university with a lot of roaring promise only to find themselves being educated in a dearth of institutional poverty.
You have some Oregon's psychopathic legislators of that era to thank for that. I'm sure President Blumel did his absolute best to keep the ark afloat. I believe he is considered a hero in the eyes of those who were most familiar with the situation at the time.
But imagine yourself going to PSU in that era. PSU had retired as five-time champions in the College Bowl and was just granted university status. The end of the 1969-70 academic year saw, on May 11th, a vigorous riot in response to and seven days after the Kent State shootings and crucial decisions of Vietnam War policy. The university community looked emotionally vibrant and strong and ready to take on the world.
That probably made some of the pathologically-selfish politicians make in their pants. They felt they had to clip Portland State's wings. It was the last straw: They are becoming too powerful.
So, they put PSU in poverty. The promise for the new students did not materialize. They got their degrees but in a changed environment of university privation, increasing obscurity and sharply decreased relevance. You be good, Cinderella, and allow your step sisters to have prominence over you.
What the hell happened to this place?
For that harmful reason (and likely others), many PSU graduates from, say, 1974 and beyond (say, about 20 years) want nothing to do with PSU, though it be their university alma mater. This is not a healthy relationship, and it was not the fault of the university; it was the fault of a foolish majority of state leadership at that time.
I believe it would be wise to find, say, a focus group of such affected PSU alums and invite them in for a heart-to-heart consultation with an attitude toward healing the relationship. It would benefit both sides and perhaps the evil doers can be more clearly identified.
This would be a good job for RAPS in conjunction with the Alumni Office. Let's heal this thing.
Discussions about all Other Portland State Sports go in here.
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