From right to left, President Koester, Jane and Michael Eisner, and their three sons.
The board vote came two months after Michael and Jane Eisner, through their family's Eisner Foundation, donated $7 million to Northridge for the establishment of a new teacher-training program. The gift is the largest single donation in the university's history.
When the gift was announced last May, CSUN President Jolene Koester said she planned to ask the CSU Board of Trustees to rename the university's College of Education in Eisner's honor.
"I am pleased they approved the university's request," Koester said. "The gift from the Eisner Foundation is a milestone in the university's efforts to increase support for the number of exceptional programs Cal State Northridge offers."
The president added, "It also is an affirmation, along with the recent recognition we've received from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, of the outstanding teacher preparation programs at Northridge. Our goal is to ensure that the men and women who dedicate themselves to teaching have the skills they need so all our children have the opportunity to succeed."
Cal State Northridge is a leading producer of teachers among public institutions in California. CSUN was one of only four universities nationwide recently tapped by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to take part in a landmark initiative to strengthen K12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art teacher preparation programs.
"As a Northridge alumna, the naming of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education fills me with special pride," said Debra Farar, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, who earned her bachelor's degree in English and master's in education from CSUN. "Northridge's already excellent College of Education will become even better because of the generosity of the Eisner family. Generations of students will be the beneficiaries."
The Eisner gift, to be paid to CSUN over four years, will provide financial support for the establishment of a new Center for Teaching and Learning, and endow the college's new Eisner Chair in Teaching and Learning, who will serve as the center's executive director.
The new center will train teachers in the methodology and philosophy of Schools Attuned, a systematic approach to understanding and managing differences in learning. Schools Attuned is a program of All Kinds of Minds, a North Carolina-based nonprofit institute for the study of differences in learning.
The institute was founded by Dr. Mel Levine, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
The Eisner Foundation provides financial support to organizations that undertake innovative and concrete programs designed to enhance and enrich the lives of children who are underserved or who have learning differences and their families.
The Eisner Foundation recognizes that all aspects of a child's life are linked to his community, including personal health, economic stability, appropriate mentors, living conditions and educational opportunities.
@csun | August 26, 2002 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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