Clarence Hein

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"This is the story of a crucial year in the history of Portland State University, October 1995 to December 1996, a time when powerful external forces, waving the banner of “strategic planning,” attempted to alter and, perhaps, to stifle the institution’s development. It also is a story of a politically savvy resistance effort designed and managed by individuals among PSU staff and supporters which not only derailed a potentially damaging reorganization of the institution but also helped to solidify its position as the region’s major public university. It seems certain that PSU would be a significantly different institution today – a branch campus with limited academic offerings, for example -- had the resistance effort failed. But it did succeed, first by challenging the central plan’s assumptions and legitimacy and then by exploiting the political weakness and naivety of state higher education officials attempting to engineer a major change in a Portland institution."


About the author: Clarence Hein received his bachelor's degree from Portland State in 1965, serving as student editor of the Vanguard from 1964-65. After receiving his master's degree in communications from the University of Washington, his career in journalism eventually brought him back to campus, joining PSU as the director of News and Information Services in 1978. Hein has served under five university presidents, researching and writing everything from speeches to legislative testimony to magazine articles. He retired in 2001 and continues to assist the Portland State University Archives as a volunteer.

© Clarence Hein

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