New Dean Named for CSUN’s Eisner College of Education

Shari Tarver-Behring has been named dean of CSUN's Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Photo by Lee Choo

Shari Tarver-Behring has been named dean of CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Photo by Lee Choo

Shari Tarver-Behring has been appointed dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education at California State University, Northridge.

Tarver-Behring, former chair of CSUN’s Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, had been serving as the college’s interim dean for the past two years, following the appointment of her predecessor, Michael Spagna, as provost of Cal State Dominguez Hills.

“I appreciate the support I have received from my colleagues within the college and across the campus as I continue in the role of dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education,” said Tarver-Behring, who assumed her permanent post Dec. 1. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as I move forward in this leadership role.”

Tarver-Behring added that the appointment was particularly meaningful, pointing out that in addition to her teaching at CSUN, two of her children attended the university and her husband taught a directing class in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

“CSUN has really become part of my family,” she said.

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said she looked forward to Tarver-Behring’s leadership of the Eisner College.

“In her tenure as interim dean, Dr. Tarver-Behring advanced the college in a variety of important areas — from budget to reaccreditation to recruitment,” Harrison said. “This momentum will support her leadership of the Eisner College as it heads into its next chapter, focused on preparing a new generation of skilled educators.”

CSUN Provost Mary Beth Walker agreed.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Tarver-Behring has demonstrated her commitment to student success, not just in her college but in the university as a whole,” Walker said. “I look forward to working with her and the faculty in the Eisner College in the years to come.”

CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education, the largest public college of education in California, has more than 1,780 students and is home to the largest deaf education program in the country. While regionally focused, the college has won national recognition for its commitment to excellence, innovation and social justice.

The college is composed of the Departments of Deaf Studies; Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; Educational Psychology and Counseling; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; and Special Education, as well as 27 credential programs. The college has received a large number of grants to fund programs to recruit and retain male teachers of color, to expand credentialing programs, and to support the pioneering SIMPACT simulator training program.

Tarver-Behring said she hopes to build on the Eisner College’s accomplishments, while at the same time continuing to re-examine how the college can better serve its students and the community.

“I am very pleased with the success we’ve had,” she said. “I hope to continue that momentum with innovative new programs and community partnerships as we evolve as a college, and continue in our role of making a positive impact in the community and education.

“I love organizational change and development,” she continued. “We are already looking at a variety of ways that we can be even more efficient, effective and impactful in how we bring together all the great things we are doing to change the world around us for the better.”

Tarver-Behring served as chair of the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling from 2008 to 2017. She previously served as co-coordinator of the Eisner College’s school counseling program for 16 years. She has been a professor in the college since 1991.

During her tenure as interim dean, she oversaw the successful reaccreditation of 27 credential pathways by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She also led a reexamination of budgetary resources in light of regional and national enrollment changes.

Tarver-Behring earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Dakota, her master’s in clinical psychology from Marquette University and her Ph.D. in educational psychology with a school psychology option from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a California-licensed psychologist, a National Certified Counselor and holds a California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling and School Psychology.

She has served as principal investigator on grants totaling more than $7 million, and is the author or co-author of numerous publications in the areas of school consultation with diverse children and families, inclusion of students with neurodiversity in general education and self-care in higher education.

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