The history of the David C. Anchin Center began in the late 1980s with an unannounced visit by David Anchin to Dean William Katzenmeyer of the College of Education. During his oral history, Dean Katzenmeyer told of how Mr. Anchin simply stated, “I am David Anchin and I am here to help you.” Mr. Anchin told of his story of his modest beginnings as a Russian immigrant and how his college education made a significant difference in his life. At the time, Dean Katzenmeyer was looking for feedback from the students of the College. He and Mr. Anchin worked together to develop an essay contest for students to write about what they believed to be the successes as well as the areas of improvement for the College of Education. The winners of the contest were awarded small scholarships and assisted other students with financial needs.
Upon Mr. Anchin’s death in 1990, his family collaborated with Dean Katzenmeyer and made a bequest which resulted in the establishment of the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching. The state of Florida provided matching funds for the construction of the Anchin Center Building as part of the College’s new facilities. When the Center was dedicated in June 1997, the David C. Anchin Endowed Chair of Education was established through the Florida Eminent Scholars Act. TECO Energy also provided support for an Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership as well as the TECO Room in the Anchin Center.
The credo of the Anchin Center is, “A statement of faith of the educators of today, a commitment to excellence in the schools of tomorrow.” The Center seeks to provide for the professional development of teachers and the infusion of technology into teaching to promote the creation of outstanding schools. The Center is also involved in encouraging and supporting effective networks of school districts, the business community, and universities.
The Anchin Center is the host organization for a Leadership Collaborative composed of leaders from the 14 school districts in the West Central area of Florida to promote professional and leadership development. It has also provided nine Summer Leadership Conferences for over 200 participants from 16 school districts in Florida.
The research and evaluation activities of the Anchin Center have included participation in the National Longitudinal Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform and the Evaluation of the National Science Foundation’s Urban Systemic Initiatives (January 1999- December 2001). The Anchin Center also conducted a three-year research project to investigate the effects of first and second generation segregation on short-term academic outcomes entitled the Consortium for Educational Research in Florida. The Cohort Study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Career Outcomes tracks students longitudinally in terms of course taking patterns and post-secondary outcomes to examine career pathways.
The Anchin Center is also a partner in the Region IV Comprehensive Center, which is one of the 15 national centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Region IV Center provides training and technical assistance to states, school districts, and schools with high percentages of children in poverty. The Florida Academy for Excellence in Teaching Grant is a collaborative initiative for school and teacher preparation transformation for Pasco and Hillsborough County Schools.
The “International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice” and the “Review of Educational Research” are both housed and published in the Anchin Center. The David C. Anchin Book Series edited by Kathryn M. Borman, Associate Director of Anchin Center, published 19 books between 1991 and 1996.
The leadership of the David C. Anchin Center has included Dr. William Katzenmeyer as a former dean of the College who also served as the Director. Dr. Kathryn Borman, Dr. Barbara McClamma, and Dr. Edward Glickman have all served in the capacity of Associate Director. In 2006, Dr. Bruce Jones was appointed as Director of the David C. Anchin Center and Associate Dean for Research in the USF College of Education.