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Memorial Fund

Stanford C. Ericksen
LSA Minutes

Stanford Ericksen 11,591

Stanford C. Ericksen, Professor emeritus of Psychology and founding Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching of the University of Michigan died April 10th in Florida at the age of 88. In 1962 Professor Ericksen was recruited from his position as Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University to direct the center on university teaching authorized by regental action in September 1962. The new center was directed to provide assistance to the faculty in the task of providing effective instruction of the highest quality. The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching was the first such Center in the United States. Today almost every university in the United States has such a center and the Center for Research and Teaching (CRLT) has been used as a model not only by American universities but also by universities in many other countries.

Ericksen urged that "research" be included in the title of the center because he believed that the work of the center needed to be grounded on research, not simply reflecting current unevaluated innovations. Ericksen's own previous research on human learning, as well as the solid base of CRLT's programs in theory and research on learning and instruction helped the Center achieve credibility among skeptical academics at Michigan and nationally. Memo to the Faculty, which he edited and often wrote, became the most widely read publication in higher education in America.

The success of CRLT was also due in no small part to Ericksen's success in recruiting and training an excellent staff for what was then a new career. Ericksen brought to the staff both well known established scholars and promising younger PhDs--Donald Brown,

James Kulik, Robert Kozma, Janet Lawrence, and Karl Zinn. He also nurtured talent. Beverly Black, for example, began as a research assistant but developed into a national leader in faculty development.

He was a member of the founding committee for the Residential College of the university. Within the psychology department he taught well regarded courses in human learning and college teaching. He retired from the University in 1982.

W. J. McKeachie