Herbert Medina
Herbert Medina
Herbert Medina, currently provost of the University of Portland, will be acting president as of July 1.

The announcement came June 2 from leaders of the North Portland Catholic college’s board of regents. Board chairman Thomas Arndorfer and vice chairwoman Kay Dean Toran said the regents have appointed Medina “with great enthusiasm.”

Medina, a mathematician hired as a dean in 2018 in part for his commitment to racial diversity, will succeed Holy Cross Father Mark Poorman, who leaves after seven years as president.

The appointment of Medina follows the university bylaws, which call for the provost to serve as acting president in the president’s absence.

“He is an exemplary scholar, teacher, administrator and chief academic officer for our U.P. community,” wrote Arndorfer and Toran. “We look forward to Dr. Medina’s executive guidance and continued commitment to our Catholic Holy Cross mission.”

They prayed that God will help guide the school.

The appointment follows an investigation at U.P. on unequal treatment of people of color. The school has an action plan in place to help.

Medina, a native of El Salvador who was brought to the United States as a child, is former dean of the college of arts and sciences and former associate dean at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

“He is particularly interested in diversity and in working on projects to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups

in mathematics and the sciences,” Father Poorman said when hiring Medina in 2018.

A national search is under way for a new president. The leader of U.P. always has been a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, which founded the school at the start of the 20th 0th century.

Arndorfer and Toran thanked Father Poorman for his leadership and for having a positive and lasting impact. “His good works, advancement of our sacred mission and his humble ministry will be remembered as important contributions,” they wrote.


UP plans actions after investigation on unequal treatment

Following a multi-month investigation, the University of Portland has announced the conclusion of an independent, third-party inquiry into concerns of potential racism, sexism and unequal treatment of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. The concerns were raised by the vice president for human resources.

“While the university has increased diversity over the past several years, the board found that more is needed to advance best practices regarding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and, in particular, gender equity in leadership positions,” said Thomas Arndorfer, board of regents chair, and Kay Toran, vice-chair, in an email to the U.P. community summarizing the investigation. “We recognize that the university is lessened by any failure to support and retain diverse perspectives and that these findings warrant humility and action.”

In the board of regents’ report on its investigation, it noted a number of action items that have either already been completed or are now underway. Those include establishing a more robust DEI training program for university supervisors, leadership and the board of regents; hiring an outside DEI consultant to enhance the university’s DEI efforts; developing the university’s senior leadership compensation structure and creating a board-level executive compensation committee; and conducting DEI climate surveys regularly and sharing the results with the U.P. community to foster transparency and measure improvement in overall DEI efforts.

Read the report summary at go.sentinel.org/3u83Gm4.