Samuel J. Meisels, a leading authority on early-childhood development and an expert on the assessment of young children, has been selected to head up a brand-new early-childhood initiative at the University of Nebraska, the campus announced today.
Meisels, who has been the president of the Chicago-based Erikson Institute since 2002, will serve as the founding director of the university's Buffett Early Childhood Institute in Lincoln, which was established last year with a gift from Susan A. Buffett, daughter of billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett. The university pledged to match Buffett's gift, creating an endowment of more than $100 million for the new endeavor.
In a news release, Meisels said that the new institute "is being created at exactly the right time about precisely the right things in just the right way. The institute has the philanthropic support, university backing, and applied research tradition that it needs to achieve its initial goals. It provides us with a rare opportunity to move the field of early childhood forward to change the lives of children and families in Nebraska and beyond. I am deeply honored to take on this new challenge."
During his tenure at Erikson—a graduate school focused on child development—Meisels oversaw a robust period of growth in both enrollment and resources to support an expanding portfolio of work in policy, applied research, and community-based interventions.
He was selected after a national search. Meisels will start in his new position next June.