Openly gay SMU dean faces Senate confirmation hearing to earn spot in Obama administration

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer


David Chard

Openly gay Southern Methodist University Dean David Chard has been nominated to the National Board for Education Sciences by President Barack Obama.

If approved by the Senate, Chard will be one of 15 voting members appointed by the president. The board is the research arm of the Department of Education.

Chard is unable to comment about the position until after the confirmation hearing.

He was among three people named to the board by Obama on Oct. 19. The others are Larry V. Hedges and Hirokazu Yoshikawa.

Hedges is professor of statistics and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.  Yoshikawa is professor of education and the academic dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Chard has been dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development since 2007. He served as director of graduate studies for the department of special education at the University of Oregon from 2003 to 2005, and as associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Oregon from 2005 to 2007.

Since arriving at SMU, Chard has become active in the LGBT community. Working with Resource Center Dallas, he created a counseling internship program that is a partnership between his school and the Oak Lawn agency.

He also spearheaded efforts to get SMU to become a Black Tie Dinner sponsor.

The Education Department position is advisory. The members consult with the director to approve priorities and guide the work of the institute.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.