Chico State loses prof to dean job

Prof. Sam Edelman<br><span style=Photo by Kathleen McPartland, Inside Chico State">

Prof. Sam Edelman
Photo by Kathleen McPartland, Inside Chico State

Over 27 years, Sam Edelman has accomplished much at Chico State University. He is a professor of Jewish and Holocaust studies as well as communications and rhetoric. He founded the university’s Modern Jewish and Israel Studies program. He served as president of Chico State’s Academic Senate and has been a committee vice-chairman as a member of the statewide Academic Senate.

Now he will try to make an impact elsewhere.

The University of Judaism has hired Edelman as dean of its College of Arts and Sciences. He will work in Los Angeles, but as a cross-state commuter: His wife, Carol, will remain on the Chico State faculty, and their family will stay in town until their high-school-age children graduate.

“The reality is I spend so much time in San Francisco and Los Angeles lecturing and doing workshops—I was basically there two or three times a month,” Edelman told CN&R. “It’s not a culture shock.”

“My commitment to Holocaust studies and Jewish studies always have been very strong. I’m also concerned with communications studies. Here was an opportunity for me to do both in a very effective way.”

Chico State Provost Scott McNall, who has worked with Edelman for 12 years, said the outgoing professor has provided “significant campus leadership” and “has a deep commitment to the kind of position to which he’s going.

“Sam has been the heart and soul of the Jewish studies program and has done a great deal for the community and our students,” McNall said. “We are going to miss him in that role.”

Edelman’s primary goals for his new post are to increase undergraduate enrollment and raise the University of Judaism’s profile. Asked what he would like to be remembered for at Chico State, he replied: “For working with teachers, training teachers about the Holocaust and human rights. We have to fight very hard to struggle against those who would take away the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion—the freedoms we fought very hard for. Learning about people who took those away is very important.”