Paul V. Robinson, 89, died Tuesday, October 22, 2013, in San Luis Obispo. He was the youngest of four brothers born to Lawrence A. and Jeane Adams Robinson and graduated from Harding High School in Marion, Ohio. Upon graduation, he entered The Ohio State University and majored in Fine Arts. On his 19th birthday, he joined the U.S. Army and received further OCS training at Fort Sill, Okla. The close down of the North African Campaign caused his transfer to the ASTP at the University of Chicago for Engineering Training. He then was transferred to training at Fort Ord on amphibious tractors and shipped to Hawaii for advanced practice (invading Maui in July 1944). Stationed aboard tractors and LST's, he spent the next part of the War carrying troupes and supplies to invasions in the Caroline, Marshall and Okinawa islands. At the dropping of the A bomb, he was stationed on a small Ryukyu island north of Okinawa. Following World War II, Robinson reentered OSU and graduated with distinction in Fine Arts in 1947. Of great influence on his life was Ralph Fanning, Professor of Art History. After having taught in the Bexley Ohio Public Schools, he returned to graduate school at Columbia University, where he was gallery manager and graduate assistant to Dr. Edwin Ziegfeld. He obtained his MS in Education in 1949. In 1950, California called and he entered the University of Southern California, where he studied Cinema and Audio Visual Education under Dr. James D. Finn. In 1954, he accepted a new position at Cal Poly - at that time an all male agricultural and technical college. When women were admitted in the mid 50s, he set up an Art Education component in the Department of Education. He returned to USC and continued to study at the advanced level, where he designed and established an early automated-teaching-learning lab. Along with Dr. James Finn, they founded the first Department of Instructional Technology in the U.S. at USC. In 1962, he provided the research component of a national investigation of the States Audio Visual Education Study, which traveled to all 50 State Departments of Education to determine the extent of AV preparedness. In 1963, a new opportunity took him to Africa to set up a Learning Center at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He remained there for four years, during which time he led in the organization of a National Professional Organization (NAVA) for teachers colleges throughout the country and focused on newer teaching technologies. With the Biafra War, educational efforts came to a standstill in Nigeria. Dr. Robinson accepted a professorship at Michigan State University and dealt with a campus-wide program of Instructional Development in various subject matters, where he devised newer teaching/learning strategies. In 1968, he returned to USC as Director of USC Special Media Institute and headed a scholarship doctoral program in Instructional Technology for 20 students. Death of his mentor caused an abrupt change of plans and Dr. Robinson returned to the international scene - a project in Pakistan on literacy and a "Select Teacher Media Training Program" in the Bombay India Public Schools. A call from Teachers College at Columbia University caused him to shift to a Professorship and Chair of the Educational Technology Graduate Program with 50 doctoral students and 90 plus Master of Arts candidates. In 1984, the U.S. Office of Education commissioned him to research and develop a position paper on Technology and Media projecting for the next 10 years. For this study, he returned to California for the research and preparation. Dr. Robinson's last major professional position was with the National Education Association as a generalist consultant on a team of four to evaluate the New Educational System in the country of Nepal, primary grades through university programs. As a part of this evaluation, Dr. Robinson developed, with local staff, a preliminary SAT evaluation instrument for the entire country, which was used in two selection/appointment years and later, politically rejected. Upon completion of his work in Nepal, Dr. Robinson retired to his adopted city of Hermosa Beach, Calif. In 1988, he returned to the Central Coast and long time friends in San Luis Obispo, the Happiest City in America - and he was happy. No memorial will be held. Cremation has taken place and his ashes scattered in the beloved Pacific.
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Nov. 17, 2013