Gay SMU Dean David Chard named president of Wheelock College

David ChardDavid Chard, the first dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will become president of Wheelock College in Boston in July 1.

Chard, who is gay, will be the college’s 14th president.

Founded in 1888, Wheelock College focuses on preparing students for careers in education, social work and child life.

“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.

SMU President Gerald Turner praised Chard’s work elevating the Simmons to national prominence.

“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,” Turner said in a statement. “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.”

One of those strategic partnerships includes the SMU Center for Family Counseling at Resource Center. The partnership, which has been operating since 2008, allows graduate counseling students to provide counseling services under the supervision of doctoral licensed university faculty and staff at Resource Center.

“David is a very, very, very good friend,” Resource Center CEO Cece Cox said. “I was introduced to him early on when I was at Resource Center and he was at SMU. We’ve worked closely together and also developed a business relationship.”

Cox, who also serves on the Simmons School’s executive committee, said Chard’s being openly gay was a positive step for the university.

“His being openly gay was instrumental in raising awareness of and influencing positive efforts regarding the LGBT community,” Cox added. “When you have a seat at the table, you have a say.”

Chard will also be one of the few out leaders of a private, four-year college or university in the country. Others include Sterling College’s Matthew Derr, president of the rural environmental liberal arts college in Vermont and Nancy Roseman, president of Dickinson College, a Pennsylvania liberal arts college.

Chard was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education 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.

Steven Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will be appointing an interim dean prior to Dean Chard’s departure from SMU. A search committee will look for Chard’s replacement through the 2016-17 school year.

—  James Russell

SMU’s David Chard to chair National Board for Education Sciences

Chard.David

Dean David Chard

David Chard, openly gay dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, was elected by fellow board members as chairman of the National Board for Education Sciences, effective immediately.

The U.S. Senate approved President Obama’s nomination of Chard to the board in 2012. The 15-member board oversees and directs the work of the Institute of Education Sciences.

“Schools throughout the nation will benefit from David Chard’s leadership of this important board,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His support of evidence-based education practices will help ensure that proven teaching strategies make their way to the classroom.”

The institute collects and analyzes education research data and funds researchers nationwide who are working to improve education outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk. In addition, the institute produces the Nation’s Report Card.

As chair, Chard succeeds Bridget Terry Long from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she is academic dean and the Xander Professor of Education.

“We can’t talk about how important education is to the future of our country when we invest so little in knowing what works and for whom it works in the classroom,” Chard said. “Taxpayer dollars have to be wisely invested in education research, and the results of research must be incorporated into our classrooms and schools.”

Chard is a frequently published education scholar and former public school teacher. He has served as dean of the Simmons School since 2007.  He came to SMU from the University of Oregon, where he was associate dean for the College of Education. Under his leadership, the Simmons School has greatly expanded its research.

—  David Taffet

Advocating for LGBT youth in foster care will be topic of CLE panel discussion Wednesday

Mark Niermann

Dallas CASA and the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Dallas are collaborating with Lambda Legal to present a program for continuing legal education credit. “Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding Representation of Children in CPS Care Who Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning” offers 1.5 CLE credits.

GLFD co-founder and board member Mark Niermann said his group has maintained a strong relationship with Dallas CASA since raising more than $50,000 for the group that advocates for more than 2,000 abused and neglected children that live in foster care in Dallas on any given day. CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, works with many LGBT children who’ve survived abusive family environments.

“There’s little support for people advocating for gay kids,” Niermann said.

Among the topics covered at the forum will be a general discussion of the importance of understanding LGBTQ youth issues, an overview of relevant statutory and other legal authority, and of available resources for additional guidance. A panel will discuss attorney ethical responsibilities.

Panelists include:

• David Chard, Ph.D., Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University
• Carolyn Hill, J.D., Private Law Practice
• Julie Johnson, J.D., CASA Supervisor, Dallas CASA
• Edward J. (Ted) Keating, J.D., Former Managing Attorney, TDFPS
• Cheri Whiteside, J.D., CASA Supervisor, Dallas CASA
• Ken Upton, J.D., Supervising Senior Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal, South Central Regional Office

The CLE takes place on Wednesday at the Rees-Jones Training Center for Dallas CASA, 2715 Swiss Ave. from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The program is $20 but free for GLFD members and for attorneys who have represented a party within the last 12 months in a suit affecting the parent‐child relationship filed by Child Protective Services. Non-attorneys may attend.

—  David Taffet