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May 31, 2007

SMU selects new education dean

David Chard, associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon, a frequently published scholar in reading and learning disabilities, and a former public school teacher, has been named dean of the SMU School of Education and Human Development. Chard will begin his duties at SMU this fall, replacing U. Narayan Bhat, who has served as interim dean of the school for the past year.

David Chard

Now in its second year of operation, the SMU School of Education and Human Development comprises undergraduate and graduate programs; research institutes, including the Institute for Reading Research and the Gifted Students Institute; and the Diagnostic Center for Dyslexia and Related Disorders. Other programs include teacher education, dispute resolution, counseling, liberal studies and lifelong learning through noncredit continuing education classes.

“Dr. Chard brings just the right blend of experience and expertise to move our new School of Education and Human Development forward, especially in its early, formative years,” said SMU Interim Provost Thomas Tunks.

Chard holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and a B.S. degree in mathematics and chemistry education from Central Michigan University. He has held faculty positions at Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin, in addition to the University of Oregon. He also was a California public school teacher and a Peace Corps educator in Lesotho, Africa. At Oregon, he is associate dean for curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education.

“I am very honored and excited to become the Dean for the School of Education and Human Development at SMU,” Chard said. “I see this as an opportunity for us to build on the exceptional work already under way. By supporting the fine faculty and staff at SMU and attracting additional exceptional scholars, we will strengthen and build the scholarship of research and teaching in important social and educational domains. I am particularly grateful for the generous leadership of Interim Dean Narayan Bhat, who has skillfully positioned the school for success.”

Chard has been a research review panelist at both state and national levels, including panels of the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education. His research emphasis includes reading and mathematics strategies for early grades, learning disabilities, special education, and reading instruction for students with disabilities. He has published more than 30 research articles; co-authored 12 books, including children’s textbooks in mathematics and literacy; contributed 12 book chapters; and has either written or co-written 18 technical reports, monographs and training guides, most of which focus on reading and mathematics instruction for students at risk for school failure. He is a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities.

Chard’s work as a co-principal investigator on reading aloud curricula in first-grade classrooms has been awarded $3.8 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education, and he was the principal investigator on research about early learning in mathematics that received a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant. Since 1993, his research has been awarded more than $11 million in federal, state or private grants.

A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, Chard has taught courses on behavior management, special education reading and writing, learning disabilities, and special education law. He has served on more than 30 doctoral dissertation committees in special education, communication disorders and sciences, literacy and language, school psychology, and cognitive psychology.

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