Campus: CSU Northridge -- July 18, 2002

CSU Board of Trustees Votes to Name Northridge College of Education after Michael Eisner

The California State University system's Board of Trustees voted to name Cal State Northridge's College of Education after Disney Chairman and CEO Michael D. Eisner.

The board vote comes two months after Eisner's family, through The 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 in May, CSUN President Jolene Koester said at that time that she was going to ask the CSU's 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. It is also 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 considered a leading producer of teachers among public institutions in California. It was one of only four universities nationwide recently tapped by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to take part in a landmark initiative designed to strengthen K-12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art programs at schools of education.

"As an alumna of Northridge, 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, which will be paid to the university over the course of four years, provides financial support for the establishment of The Center for Teaching and Learning, and to endow the Eisner Chair in Teaching and Learning, which 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 non-profit institute for the study of differences in learning 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.

All Kinds of Minds provides programs, tools and a common language for parents, educators and clinicians to help children with learning differences achieve success in school and in life.

The Eisner Foundation, of which Jane Eisner is president, 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 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.

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