Finestone, Harry 1920-2003

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FINESTONE, Harry 1920-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born July 19, 1920, in Atlanta, GA; died September 3, 2003. Educator, administrator, and author. Finestone is best remembered for his work as a former dean and associate vice president of California State University—

Northridge. Graduating from Emory University in 1941 with a bachelor's degree, he earned his master's the next year at the University of Chicago before serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He saw action in Europe, returning home to complete his Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Chicago in 1953. Finestone then embarked on an English teaching career, first as an instructor at the University of Virginia from 1953 to 1956, then as an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, and in 1962 finally joining San Fernando Valley State College, which later became Cal State Northridge. Finestone was named head of the English department in 1967 before becoming dean of academic planning and associate vice president for academic programs in 1970. He served in this role until he retired in 1983. As a university administrator, Finestone was recognized for revising the curriculum, overseeing the Institute for the Advancement of Training and Learning, and working in conjunction with nearby community colleges to design innovative programs for the university's students. Also, during the student protests of the late 1960s, he helped to diversify student enrollment. As well as being an academic leader, Finestone was a well-regarded teacher; he edited four books, some of which are still used as textbooks on many campuses, including The World of the Short Story: Archetypes in Action (1971) and The Conscious Reader (1974; eighth edition, 2001).



Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2003, p. B23.