Columbia Teacher's College professor Linda Darling-Hammond was officially named dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education by President Neil L. Rudenstine yesterday.
The appointment, first reported in The Crimson yesterday, makes Darling-Hammond the first Black dean of a Harvard graduate school.
Darling-Hammond is co-director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, School and Teaching. The New York Times has called her "one of the movers and shakers of school reform."
"We're in the process of living schools for the next century," Darling-Hammond said at a press conference yesterday afternoon. "Harvard can make a significant and substantial contribution to that process."
A National Leader
The newly-appointed dean said the School of Education is "a national leader in the areas of research, policy and practice."
Darling-Hammond's appointment as dean of the school makes her a national leader as well. And even yesterday, the news of her appointment just a few minutes old, she was campaigning for changing America's schools.
The "schools for the next century" should be "focused on the needs of learners, rather than the demands of bureaucracy," Darling-Hammond said. She said schools need to develop "communities of learners," adding that schools need to be personalized so students don't slip through the cracks.
Rudenstine has identified primary and secondary education as one area where closer cooperation between Harvard's different faculties can be helpful. Darling-Hammond endorsed that assessment, saying she looked forward to cooperation between the School of Education, the Kennedy School of Government and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Darling-Hammond, 40, was an undergraduate at Yale University and received her Ed.D. from Temple University. Before going to Columbia, she served 10 years at the Rand Corporation, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
Rudenstine said in yesterday's press conference that he first discussed the past with Darling-Hammond in June 1991. He said Darling Hammond withdrew from consideration for the post in mid-winter. A three year appointment for Darling-Hammond's husband as a lecturer at the Kennedy School made the appointment possible, Rudenstine said.
Praise for New Dean
Rudenstine said in a statement that Darling-Hammond "has the kind of intellectual power, insight and energy that not only makes her own work excellent, but has the capacity to motivate others."
Gregory Anrig, president of the Educational Testing Service and a 1963 graduate of the Harvard School of Education, said in a statement that Darling-Hammond was an excellent choice. "This is an appointment that is good for Harvard University, good for the Graduate School of Education and good for education in this country."
Darling-Hammond will move to Cambridge in September, but will not assume her duties as dean until January 1, 1993. "It's going to take them a little while to get disentangled," Rudenstine said.
Patricia A. Graham, Darling-Hammond's predecessor, served as dean of the school from 1982 until 1991, when she resigned to become president of the Spencer Foundation.