History of CTS

According to the 25th Anniversary History of Portland State University, the Center for Transportation Studies (then called the Transportation Studies Center) was established in 1966 by Professor Walter H. Kramer in the Portland State University Department of Marketing (now School of Business Administration). Professor Kramer joined Portland State University in 1965 as a tenured professor with a transportation studies specialty. Professor Kramer served PSU in various capacities until his retirement in 1987.

In 1968, the Portland State Viking featured Professor Kramer in a four page feature (excerpted here along with accompanying photographs):

kramer1Walter Kramer wears an easy smile. This smile he uses in his teaching of traffic management, retail management and water transportation classes. "Really, I find my occupation so exciting, I'm not interested in much else." Kramer is from Atlanta, GA. He brought his occupation to Portland State College (PSC) three years ago because of his interest in Portland and "what Governor McCall calls 'the quality of life.'"

kramer2Kramer believes the actions of an individual, of a college, can determine the future of our cities, our society. "Speaking as a member of the faculty I really think that PSC can be whatever I like it to be. It can be as good a school as I'm willing to make it. It can be a reflection of my own meagerness and sloth. Whatever its shortcomings the faculty has the power, if it wills, through hard work, to overcome them.

kramer4The great advantage of PSC is its role as the urban college in the educational system. It arrives on the scene when the great domestic problem is the rapid urbanization of society. There's really great potential here. We can help build something in a meaningful way." kramer3To be a professor at PSC is "an opportunity to be part of the creation of a new university." Kramer is delighted by the variety and dedication of the "new university's" student body....it's a great student body to tackle problems. They march and protest, I may not agree with them but I admire their vigorous involvement."

Kramer is an example of what he calls "efforts to bring the resources of the faculty to bear on the problems of the community." He is chairman of the shippers' committee of the Chamber of Commerce. His students, too, are involved with the community.

kramer5Kramer lives in the Laurelhurst district. He has been married for twenty-one years, has four daughters, and "on the average we've moved every two years." He is looking forward to settling down in Portland. "After all, you get tired of moving around." What does he do with his spare time? "I have 75 to 80 rose bushes. I tinker around the yard a lot, and I play checkers." Kramer smiles and fingers his red, white and blue bow tie.

In 1969, the name of PSC was changed to Portland State University (PSU). The PSU Bulletin (Fall 1971) stated that within the framework of the School of Business Administration is a Transportation Studies Center, Walter Kramer, Director, which develops and administers undergraduate and graduate courses in transportation, sponsors non-credit seminars and conferences and engages in interdisciplinary transportation research.

duekerIn 1987, upon Professor Kramer's retirement, the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) was moved to the College of Urban and Public Affairs and resided within the Center for Urban Studies (CUS) under the direction of Professor Kenneth Dueker (photo at left). When Professor James Strathman was appointed director of CUS in 1999, Professor Dueker became the official Director of CTS. Upon Professor Dueker's retirement in 2002, Robert L. Bertini was appointed CTS Director. Upon Professor Bertini's appointment as the director of the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) in 2006, Jennifer Dill was appointed CTS Director. Since 2009, Jennifer Dill has been Director of OTREC. CTS has been serving Portland State University and the Portland metropolitan region for more than 41 years. Reflecting back upon the original mission, and the philosophies of its director, it is clear that the Center's 21st century mission builds upon its history. We are grateful to the foresight of its founding director, Professor Kramer, and its director emeritus, Professor Dueker.