President's Statement June 30, 2020 | University of Portland

President's Statement June 30, 2020

Members of the University of Portland Community,

As Dr. Eduardo Contreras stated on Sunday, June 28, we continue to examine the testimonials that have been posted to the @BlackatUniversityPortland Instagram account. We do so with open hearts and minds, and with profound sadness for the pain that is evident in these experiences.

We are also aware of a racist Instagram account that appeared over the weekend and claimed to be associated with a UP student organization. We thank members of the community who reached out to us to express their grave concern with the account. We note that no such student organization is sanctioned by the University and the account appears to have been deleted. Regarding this abusive and harmful act and its impact on our community, we state the following:

  • As leaders responsible for the common life of the University, we condemn the creation of this account, which contained racist content that violates our University’s values and was clearly designed to inflame and divide our community.
  • Our Division of Marketing & Communications has initiated an inquiry through Instagram into the origins of this account. Community members with information about the account's origins are encouraged to contact Vice President for Marketing & Communications Michael Lewellen ( and/or the Office of Campus Safety.
  • We recognize the negative effect that racism and discrimination have on mental health, and we note the following resources that may be valuable to those experiencing pain and trauma:
    • Students desiring mental health support can make an appointment by calling 503.943.7134 to connect with one of our practitioners in the Health & Counseling Center during business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time). After hours support is also available at the same number through ProtoCall. University and ProtoCall counselors are trauma-informed therapists who have experience working with students with marginalized identities.
    • Students may also contact The Steve Fund, a national organization that focuses exclusively on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. To connect with a culturally-trained crisis clinician, text STEVE to 741741.
    • For further information on counseling resources, please visit the HCC website.

Finally, we remind all community members of the various ways in which potentially discriminatory activity can be reported. Consistent with the University’s values and the law, unlawful discrimination and harassment related to any protected status (including, but not limited to, sex, gender, race, and identity) are prohibited at UP. Also, unlawful retaliation (i.e., negative treatment because a UP community member shared concerns about unlawful discrimination or harassment) is prohibited by the University’s policies and the law. The methods for reporting concerns listed below are the primary channels that the University utilizes to receive information regarding potentially unlawful conduct:

  • Students may initiate a complaint by speaking to the dean’s office of the student’s school. Or, students may contact Vice President for Student Affairs Rev. John J. Donato, C.S.C. ( and/or the Division of Student Affairs (
  • Staff may initiate a complaint by contacting Vice President for Human Resources Sandy Chung ( and/or the Office of Human Resources (
  • Faculty may initiate a complaint by contacting Incoming Provost Herbert A. Medina ( or the dean of their applicable school.
  • Community members who would prefer to submit information anonymously may do so using this form. Please note that when an anonymous report is made, the University’s ability to take appropriate steps may be limited because the University is unable to gather the information necessary for such steps.

Additionally, all community members may contact the Office of International Education, Diversity and Inclusion by emailing Assistant Provost Eduardo R. Contreras ( and/or OIEDI is well-positioned to offer support and connect community members with resources and reporting channels on campus.

In our email of June 12, we renewed the University’s institutional commitment to the cause of anti-racism and we outlined actions that the University will take to further our core values. We invite you to be collaborators in these efforts, which will continue through the summer and into the Fall Semester. We welcome your perspectives and partnership and invite you to contact the Office of International Education, Diversity and Inclusion at


Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., Ph.D., President
Herbert A. Medina, Ph.D., Incoming Provost
Rev. John J. Donato, C.S.C., Ed.D. Vice President for Student Affairs
Michael E. Lewellen, APR, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Eduardo R. Contreras, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for International Education, Diversity and Inclusion