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This would be excellent and I will be the first to sign on. Unfortunately, I already have a Masters degree (in something other than Architecture) which means that if I wish to pursue an Architectural degree in OU, I will need to spend my first year in Eugune. Due to employment and family opportunities, I don’t think this is a good option for a lot of folks. Therefore, this news is very timely and welcome.


This is the crux.
"Oregon isn't too keen on PSU giving them competition with an accredited school of their own."
Why would UofO want competition? They wouldn't. They won't support this. It's not in their best interest.
I do believe it's in the best interest of our State and our communities. The open play of ideas is a good thing for an ongoing progressivism in Oregon. Sure, public dollars are tight...as they are everywhere...but open competition in a free market place is the engine that drives progress and improvement.
This State needs a second department.


I think it is a shame that Oregon has allowed UO to continue hurting the state by not allowing a second program to be available in Portland. There Portland campus that they have currently in Portland is only partly a master's degree program.

With my recent trip up to Seattle, I asked the UW architecture program if they had any problem with having two programs in their state and they informed me that there has been no effect on their enrollment and how many portfolios they receive.

Basically, it is time for NAAB to stop listening to UO, who are only looking out for themselves, and start asking the students and the state what would be good for the state. Oregon deserves two architecture schools to keep more students within Oregon.


Over the past 12 years, there have been exactly 12 PSU graduating architecture students who have continued on at UofO, out of an average graduating class of ~25. Around 1/2 go on to grad school.

This accreditation is not exactly going to hurt UO - almost all PSU arch alumns who seek higher education have to leave the state! I have friends just in the past few years who have gone onto Sci Arc, Harvard, Cornell, UW... the list goes on.


This issue does not hang on competition for students. It is about competition for public dollars. UofO doesn't want to see its State allocation impacted.

NAAB's role is not to decide what is best for the communities of Oregon or how the State Government ought to serve those communities. NAAB evaluates PSU's program on its own terms. PSU either meets, almost meets, or doesn't meet NAAB's criteria of evaluation. Presumably, PSU's ability to meet those criteria reflects the level of support they receive from the State of Oregon because you can't maintain all the infrastructure, staff and activities without funding.

As I understand it, the State's decision on funding or not funding a program in this case does hang on a particular guideline...redundancy. Presumably the State thinks an Architecture program at PSU is redundant with the one at UofO and therefore it should not be funded as a waste of public dollars. UofO's stonewalling depends on how this guideline is interpreted at the State level. Their Portland program is an attempt to close one potential hole in this redundancy.

PSU inadvertently screwed themselves when they collaborated with UofO in the portland program's infancy...allowing them to gain a foothold here.


Last time they met NAAB. However, the State Board of Higher Ed denied PSU from "duplication of an existing degree program." Also, the administrators in PSU at the time did not support accreditation.

They do now.


This may be of interest.

"VERGE: Between Education and Practice"
Book Launch
Monday, April 7th, 6:00 pm
AIA Portland Center for Architecture Gallery
403 NW 11th Avenue

Join the PSU Department of Architecture as they launch a student generated book of interviews with over 20 architects and designers from around the city and beyond.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase; for more information call 503.725.8405.

UO PDX Student

As a current student in the UO PDX program, I relish the idea of having some competition in town. As designers we should all know that competition, while having some negative qualities, generally pushes all parties to improve and strive to be the best. That is a good thing.

Mr. Libby, I would also like to thank you for your acknowledgement of our show we put on last Friday. The turnout was great and I think everyone had a wonderful time (beer + pizza may have helped). I (hopefully) will be graduating this year along with my friends and colleagues and we are very appreciative to everyone who showed up. It's hard to believe that we have to raise our own funding for a graduation ceremony but it also gives us the opportunity to put on fun events like the Cabaret and engage the PDX design community. Again, thanks.

PSU grad

This conversation about PSU getting accredited has been going on forever even before I went to PSU and all the way through my 4 years there. It keeps going in circles, and it may be time for all the political craps to stop.

I would love for PSU to get accredited (although it would barely have anything to do with me now). They may not have the best architecture program in the country, but I have no regret for going there.


Psu accridetation will only strengthen the quality of students from U of O..(competetion) It will raise the level of dialogue or even observation for the 2 schools. Most big time schools in other states foster these type of competitions to happen. Status quo kills innovation from both the faculties and students..


The book launch party tonight was a blast. Kudos to the PSU architecture students who made it happen, and put all of the hard work into a very well done piece of architecture literature.

They actually had the books for sale - not sure if the AIA still has extra copies. There are interviews of many different architects in Portland.

Also, the AIA has an excellent display of the Portland Courtyard Housing competition finalists.

Peter S.

I'm glad someone addressed the nature of funding in a public university system, as I think that's the big issue U of O has here. I doubt the presence of a second Masters program is in and of itself a problem. Having come from a metropolitan area with multiple programs and seen the potential for sharing resources and lecturers I have to think that on that level the PSU program would be a good addition to the city as a whole and the educational life here in particular. (And I say this as a current U of O PDX student and participant in the Cabaret.) *IF* Oregon funds both programs sufficiently I don't doubt things will go well. If, on the other hand, either program suffers due to the other's monetary needs then both programs (and the city of Portland) will be poorer for the conflict. Still, when institutions like UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts share faculty and resources both come out ahead, and I can only hope that U of O, PSU and the other local design schools borrow this model. (Sunday's Oregonian had an op/ed piece about the situation implying just that, so that gives me hope.)

For the record, Portland students are able to graduate along with the Eugene students in the big ceremony (and indeed are encouraged to do so). The money the Cabaret raised will go to augment the event fund ($500) set aside for a graduation party/ceremony/etc. U of O PDX students, being isolated from Eugene (and in the case of Option II students never having taken classes in Eugene) have traditionally had their own self-sponsored graduation event, and while the AAA department doesn't fund it on a level of a full graduation, they do give some event money to the students.

Last year the GSA was kind enough to allow the use of the Customs House as exhibition/graduation/grad party space. This year the White Stag will serve a similar function. Between this, the Cabaret (which was as much a bonding exercise as a fundraiser), and the generous donations of local firms and stores like Trader Joe's we (and previous classes) are decently taken care of, and I for one want to thank Portland as a whole for being so good to us.

PDX Student #2

It is interesting that UO often gets painted as the 900-pound gorilla when it comes to PSU not having an accredited Architecture program. As many of you know this is not the first time that the PSU architecture program has sought an accredited degree program.


The NAAB team returned a favorable review in 2001 but PSU administration wasn’t interested in pursuing the degree at that time. There is a culture of actively discouraging PSU students from going to the UO Architecture program within the staff at PSU. With that in mind I am surprised that even one student a year chooses to pursue their education at UO. The reason that is would be so beneficial to have both programs in the state is the complete difference in pedagogy that the two schools represent. Maybe one more shot at collaboration from both schools is in order.


It's reasonable to believe UO wields significant power with the state on any number of subjects. And, where funding is at risk you can expect UO to lobby the state hard.

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