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Embattled Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi Resigns

The resignation follows allegations of ethical shortcomings, including alleged bullying and misuse of PSU funds for private gain.

Rahmat Shoureshi resigned as Portland State University President Friday afternoon, following weeks of pressure to leave the university after ethical concerns first reported by The Oregonian. 

In a letter sent to PSU faculty and staff, Shoureshi says he's leaving the university's top position to spend more time with family.

"I am truly proud of our exemplary achievements, and I will cherish my service here, but the time has come for me to focus on my family first," he writes. "Therefore, I am resigning as PSU President, effective December 14, 2019."

Shoureshi faced pressure to leave from the university's Board of Trustees, which offered him a generous severance package that includes seven months of paid leave. His resignation will take effect Dec. 14, but he will stop reporting for work immediately.

The Oregonian reported allegations of ethical shortcomings, including alleged bullying and misuse of PSU funds for private gain. The newspaper reported the president had improperly influenced the decision to tear down and re-build the historic mansion on campus that past presidents resided in, despite initially seeking accommodations in a Pearl District condo.

The university said in a statement it expects the Board of Trustees to name PSU's College of Urban and Public Affairs Dean Stephen Percy as acting president. An interim president will be names later.

"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," Percy said in a statement. "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."

A university spokesman said in a statement that Shoureshi's initiatives to create new centers to study homelessness and how technology can improve cities will continue.

"We are grateful to Dr. Shoureshi's service to PSU the past 21 months," Board of Trustees Chair Gale Castillo said in a statement. "We wish him the best and look forward to continuing the work that he started."