David J. Chard, the inaugural dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will become president of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2016.
Following a nationwide search, Wheelock’s board of trustees announced today that Chard will be the college’s 14th president, succeeding Jackie Jenkins-Scott, who concludes her presidency at the end of the current academic year.
“Dr. Chard stood out not only for his outstanding leadership at Southern Methodist University, but for his innovative thinking, focus on diversity and inclusion, and lifelong commitment to education,” said Kate Taylor, chair of the Wheelock College Board of Trustees. Founded in 1888, Wheelock College focuses on preparing students for careers in education, social work and child life.
“David Chard has been the ideal dean to build the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development as a national resource with a particular impact on our community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He has led programs and attracted research funding that will strengthen the quality of education through evidence-based practices. He has made the Simmons school a strategic partner with the community in improving education opportunities for under-served young people. He is a national leader in education. We wish him the best of success at Wheelock.”
Steven Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will appoint an interim dean prior to Dean Chard’s departure from SMU. An international search for the next dean will take place during the 2016-17 academic year, with a new dean coming aboard ideally by July 1, 2017.
Chard became the school’s first endowed dean in 2007. The school was named that year with a historic $20 million gift to SMU from Harold and Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57 of Dallas. He expanded one department and several programs to five departments: Teaching and Learning, Education Policy and Leadership, Counseling and Dispute Resolution, Applied Physiology and Sport Management and Graduate Liberal Studies. The school now offers a total of 15 graduate degree programs and two undergraduate degree programs.
Under his leadership, the school has grown from 13 full-time faculty members and 42 staff members to 80 full-time faculty members and 86 full-time staff members. Research funding has increased to $36 million since 2007.
Chard oversaw the establishment of the school’s two halls and developed community outreach programs to complement the degree offerings. These include The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education, the Center on Research and Evaluation, Research in Mathematics Education, college access programs and a family counseling center with two satellite clinics.
“As Wheelock College’s new president, David Chard will bring a new vision, fresh talent and renewed energy to the college,” said Currall. “David will deliver his bold leadership to a college specializing in educational programs that transform lives. He will motivate and guide new generations of professionals who empower others for leadership and impact. All of us at SMU congratulate David and thank him for his exemplary service. Through his leadership of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, David’s impact on SMU and Dallas has been immense and will last for many years to come.”
Known nationally as an education reformer, Chard shaped the school to attract high quality research faculty and deliver evidence-based teaching. He has advocated for Simmons research to be used within the professional fields.
Chard was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences in 2012 and elected chair. The board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
He holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and is a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities, president of the Division for Learning Disabilities in the Council for Exceptional Children and a co-founding member of Deans for Impact. He also serves on numerous local and regional boards. Since 1993, his research has been awarded more than $11 million in federal, state or private grants. In 2015, SMU recognized Chard with the “M” Award, the University’s highest commendation.
Prior to SMU, he served as associate dean for curriculum and academic programs and assistant/associate professor of special education at the University of Oregon.