Special Education

Remembering Dr. Lynne Cook

December 22, 2015

It is with deep regret that we share the passing of our former colleague, friend, and CSUN faculty member, Dr. Lynne Cook, in August of this year.

Lynne received her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, and went on to serve as a lecturer at UCLA for two years, after which she came to California State University, Northridge. At CSUN she served as a member of the Department of Special Education from 1980-2006, and was Department Chair from 1984 to 1986. In 2006, Lynne moved to California State University, Dominguez Hills to serve as Dean of the College of Education.

Lynne had a prolific record of scholarship, including more than 45 refereed articles, 16 book chapters and monographs, 28 other publications, and 16 funded grants. She was the co-author, with Dr. Marilyn Friend, of Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals, the most widely used textbook on the topic of collaboration, currently in its seventh edition. She had an extraordinary record of service in the CSU system, as well as nationally and internationally. She served as the director of a national center for special education in Virginia, and as a research analyst for the Office of Special Education Programs in Washington, D.C. She served on sub-committees on disabilities for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a national consultant on issues related to inclusive education and co-teaching. She also served on the California Committee on Accreditation, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as President of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, and as a long-standing member of the CSU Academic Senate. She was CSUN Faculty President in 1998, and Vice-President from 1996-1998. In recognition of her outstanding and exemplary contributions to CSUN, Lynne received the University's Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2005. She was awarded emeritus status at CSUN this year shortly before she died.

Lynne was married to Fred Weintraub, one of the authors of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, eventually reauthorized as IDEA. In past years he was the monitor of the Chanda Smith Consent Decree for LAUSD. Fred passed away in May of 2014. Those of us who loved them mourn the passing of this pair of special education pioneers and leaders, but even more importantly, the passing of two extraordinary human beings. Lynne devoted her life to the education of students with special needs, and her work had a profound impact on the preparation of special education professionals here at CSUN, and throughout the nation.

Dr. Sally Spencer, Associate Professor
Department of Special Education