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Portland State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97201
(800) 547-8887
Email address
School Information
"Portland State University is more than Portland’s public research university. It’s a place to test ideas and projects that show the world how different is done. Our innovative approach combines education with creative problem-solving and collaboration across campus for maximum impact. With more than 200 degree programs to choose from, PSU is Oregon’s most diverse, innovative and affordable research university." The university enrolls over 26,000 students and has over 1,700 faculty across its 200 degree programs. (Source: (Source:
General Information
Portland State University has taken steps to reform its relations with law enforcement. The university announced that it will disarm its campus safety officers. In May 2021, a group of faculty referred a proposed requirement of two courses on anti-racism for all students to the Faculty Senate. The vote on the proposal was tabled until the June 2021 meeting. During the June 2021 meeting, the motion and two amendments passed. A multi-year effort has been undertaken to radically change the core curricular requirements, as well as faculty and staff training. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The office of Global Diversity and Inclusion provides a variety of diversity education workshops for students, faculty, and staff including: "Inclusive Hiring Workshops," "Culturally Responsive Workshop Series," and "Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Curriculum and Pedagogy Workshops."
  • The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion provides many webinars on the subjects of equity, racial justice, and DEI practices in higher education, including: "Race, Power, & Privilege E-Course," "Tools for How to be an Anti-Racist," "Discussing Race and Racism in Campus Workplaces," and "Recruiting Diverse and Underrepresented Faculty and Senior Administrative Leaders."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Faculty in May 2021 proposed a two course requirement for all students in race and ethnic studies. The motion and two amendments passed at the June 2021 Faculty Senate meeting.
  • The university's Transportation Research and Education Center will, "Change university curricula and experiences, so that future professionals understand the roles of racism, equity, and justice in transportation and have the tools to make change."
  • The university's Transportation Research and Education Center will, "Incorporate racial justice into TREC’s K-12 programs and professional development events."
  • The university said, "PSU will center racial equity, inclusion, and cultural responsiveness in student learning experiences...We will commit to anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and transformative experiences for all students at PSU...It is recommended that a group of students lead this work."
  • As part of its "Plan for Equity & Racial Justice," the university said, "Funding allocated for the development of a Race and Ethnic Studies requirement for all PSU undergraduate students."
  • As part of its "Plan for Equity & Racial Justice," the university said, "In spring 2021, the Faculty Senate approved a new Racial and Ethnic Studies Requirement (RESR) as part of the general education curriculum. All new first-year students will be required to take 6 credits, and transfer students will be required to take 3 credits."
  • As part of its "Anti-Racism Statement," the Department of Sociology states that it is "[c]reating a plan for diversifying course readings in all sociology courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels to include more scholarship by and about people of color." Additionally, the department is creating a "standing departmental committee on racial justice that will review revised course syllabi...." 
Disciplinary Measures
  • PSU has a "Bias Review Team" which is "committed to addressing bias incidents on campus and in our community and will provide individuals with resources and support when someone experiences a traumatizing even."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The Advising and Career Services department "[r]equire[s] all members of ACS hiring committees to attend training on inclusive hiring practices and take Harvard’s Implicit Bias test before participating in the hiring process."
Program and Research Funding
  • The PSU School of Public Health announced its first anti-racism faculty fellowships.
  • The university's Transportation Research and Education Center will, "Support research that addresses racism and supports racial justice in transportation, and prioritize implementation of that research."
  • As part of its "Plan for Equity & Racial Justice," the university said, "Anti-Racism Faculty Fellowship Grants: Scholars were awarded between $100,000 and $120,000 each to advance social justice and support change."
  • The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion facilitates the "President's Diversity Mini Grants Program" which "seek[s] to promote a positive campus climate for diversity and inclusion, support the development of culturally-responsive curriculum, diversity education and learning offerings, diversity programming, and assist in the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, faculty, staff, and administration."
  • PSU's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Scholars Fund "supports faculty who are furthering research aligned with Portland State University’s commitment to ending racial injustice, racism, and discrimination, while promoting diversity and equity."
  • The Gender, Race, and Sexual Prejudice Lab at PSU "examines contemporary forms and expressions of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination" and studies "bias directed toward racial minorities, women, sexual minorities, and other stigmatized group members."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • Campus safety officers will be disarmed and the Campus Safety Committee states that it would "engage in a collaborative process to understand the array of safety needs of the campus community and to reimagine an approach to meeting those needs that reflects our commitment to racial justice and human dignity."
  • The university's Transportation Research and Education Center offers resources and programs, such as Friday Transportation Seminars ("multiple events each term focused on recent research and practices at the intersection of transportation and equity"), racial equity resources, and the Equity in Transportation Book Club.
  • The OSHU and PSU School of Public Health hosted an event titled, "External Event: Exploring Anti-Racism in Health Professions Education."
  • The Indigenous Nations Studies program at PSU "focuses on studies and practices of Tribal critical race theory, decolonizing methodologies, traditional and cultural ecological knowledge, and contemporary themes in community with local, regional, federal, Tribal, and Native partners." Students at PSU can choose this program as a major or minor.
Symbolic Actions
  • PSU's Advising and Career Services department issued an anti-racism statement which reads in part as follows: "Anti-Black racism is deeply ingrained in every facet of our nation, including our Higher Education system and thus pervades all aspects of the system and culture of Portland State University. Higher Education was not conceptualized with Black Folx [sic] in mind; it was made for a mostly homogenous group of white, middle class, Christian men."
Last updated July 9th, 2024
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