Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Irv Schiffman, PhD


Department of Political Science

Irv Schiffman is in a very select group of professors who have made equally and extraordinarily significant impacts on campus and in the Chico community.

After joining the political science faculty in 1970, Schiffman developed courses and published in the areas such as environmental law, Israeli politics, and land use planning. His teaching and research was not only at Chico State but also in Israel, where he held visiting professor positions at Hebrew University and the Israeli Institute of Technology. He also directed the CSU International Program at Hebrew University three different years in three different decades.

Among Schiffman’s many publications are Alternative Techniques for Managing Smart Growth, which has had three editions published by Berkeley Public Policy Press, and “Saving California Farmland: The Politics of Preservation” (Landscape Planning, 1983).

Schiffman chaired the political science department from 1988 to 1993, cofounded the Rural and Small Town Planning Program and served on many campuswide committees. His service on behalf of faculty regarding labor issues was also long-standing and extensive, including a term as California Faculty Association president and chair of the CFA Grievance Committee. He received the Outstanding Faculty Service Award in 1993.

Until his retirement in 2005, Schiffman conducted many workshops in the region on growth management and zoning through the aegis of the University’s Center for Economic Development (CED). He also served on its advisory council for six years. 

Schiffman was an invaluable member of many City of Chico boards and commissions, starting almost immediately following his faculty appointment. He chaired the city’s Appeals Board, Advisory Committee on Annexation, Architectural Review Board, and Planning Commission, and also served on the city’s Housing Task Force and General Plan Task Force. Since 2002, Schiffman has also been on the River Partners board of directors, including 14 years as chair, and served on the Community Housing Improvement Program board from 2006 to 2015.

Schiffman earned his BA at City College of New York and JD from NYU School of Law. He received his PhD in political science from UC Davis.

Portrait of Irv Schiffman, PhD