Embattled PSU president resigns
Rahmat Shoureshi, the embattled president of Portland State University, resigned Friday, May 10, but will get $800,080 in the next 15 months.
The university announced the resignation in a late afternoon press release. It also said PSU Board of Trustees is expected to name PSU's College of Urban and Public Affairs Dean Stephen Percy as acting president until an interim president is appointed.
According to the release, the board will seek input from the faculty and campus community in the coming weeks in selecting an interim president. Shoureshi's resignation is effective Dec. 14, and he will be on paid administrative leave until then.
"I look forward to leading PSU during this transitional period as we sustain our commitment to core values that include providing Oregonians with affordable and quality education, conducting research that creates knowledge relevant to Portland and beyond, and producing quality graduates for our workforce. PSU will continue the momentum on important initiatives that enable our university to advance the state and community. I will work diligently to make this leadership transition successful," Percy said in the release.
"We are grateful to Dr. Shoureshi's service to PSU the past 21 months. We wish him the best and look forward to continuing the work that he started," Board Chair Gale Castillo said in the release.
Shoureshi had been president at the university for less than two years, but during that time, he's been accused of not being honest with the board of trustees, deleting emails that are public record and not treating his staff with respect. He was in the middle of a five-year contract.
Last fall, the board gave Shoureshi the option to resign or receive executive coaching. Shoureshi chose the coaching.
The board held an executive session Sunday morning, May 5, to discuss personnel matters, presumably involving Shoureshi. It was the culmination of a two-month investigation spearheaded by the board to examine Shoureshi's presidency. He continued serving as president until May 10.
During a May 10 conference call with reporters, university officials confirmed that Shoureshi would receive a settlement, but details of that settlement weren't immediately released.
Ken Ma, PSU's director of media and public relations, acknowledged that university trustees commissioned internal audits into the outgoing president's behavior, but said the university had no plans to release copies of the results, calling them "privileged personnel records."
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown appoints the trustees to the PSU board.
Prior to his appointment as president of PSU, Shoureshi was interim president of the New York Institute of Technology. He holds a doctorate in engineering from MIT.
You can read Shoureshi's resignation letter here.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story. Tribune reporter Courtney Vaughn also contributed to this story.
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