Campus: CSU Fresno -- January 31, 2005

Fresno State Selected to Host Offices Of Prestigious Educators' Consortium

California State University, Fresno has been selected to host the executive offices of The Renaissance Group, a prestigious national consortium of colleges and universities with a major commitment to the preparation of educators.

The Renaissance Group (TRG) has 36 member universities preparing one in 10 of all new teachers for America.

The executive offices currently are housed at Emporia State University in Kansas, with a satellite office in Washington, D.C. The move to Fresno State is effective July 1, 2005. At that time, Fresno State education professor Rich Firpo will become executive director of TRG.

"The Renaissance Group has been a leader in improving teacher education programs across the country," said Fresno State President John D. Welty. "We are honored to have been selected to house The Renaissance Group. It is a tribute to our outstanding faculty and the university's commitment to preparing teachers," he said.

Dr. Paul Beare, dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, said, "The Renaissance Group is the foremost alliance of comprehensive universities that pursue quality and best practices in teacher education.They, like us, affirm the principle of the education of teachers as a whole campus responsibility.

"We look forward to taking a leadership role with the organization and in expanding its principles in the pursuit of improving schools in the Central Valley and the entire country," Beare said.

Fresno State Provost Jeri Echeverria added, "Our selection as the host campus for The Renaissance Group is an honor that reminds us that the faculty in the Kremen School are national leaders in the field of education."

TRG's retiring executive director, Dr. Leo Pauls, said the organization is positioned to become a leader in teacher education reform in the United States.

"It's been a privilege to serve as the executive director for the last six years and I feel very good about the move of the executive offices to Fresno," added Pauls. "I've always been impressed with work going on in teacher education at Fresno State and the leadership of John Welty."

Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, president of Emporia State University, said it has been an honor for the school, which has "a rich tradition in teacher preparation," to have hosted TRG for the past six years.

"Dr. Pauls has made significant progress with the growth and strength of our membership. The relationships he has built within Washington, D.C., have given us, as teacher educators, a voice at the table with the U.S. Department of Education and other key groups," she said.

Formed in May 1989, The Renaissance Group is a national consortium of colleges and universities with a strong tradition of high-quality teacher education programs and a major commitment to teacher education. The primary purpose is to address issues facing teacher education and to be a proactive force in the renewal and reform of education on a national level.

A unique feature of TRG is the requirement that the president, academic vice president/provost, and the dean of each institution's college of education be an active participant in TRG programs and activities. The leadership of university presidents is seen as a critical component in any initiative aimed at affecting the quality of teacher preparation programs.

Membership in The Renaissance Group is by invitation to institutions of mid-to-large size and comprehensive in programming. In addition to Fresno State, two other California universities are members of The Renaissance Group: California State University, San Bernardino and Sonoma State University.

TRG executive offices were located at the University of Northern Iowa for 10 years and at Emporia State University since July 1999.

For more information on The Renaissance Group, see

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-5292 or (559) 593-1815

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