Darling-Hammond Seizes Reins at Education School

Financial Difficulties Top Agenda of Columbia Professor

Linda Darling-Hammond will have to do a little financial juggling next year as the new dean of the Graduate School of Education, but faculty members say they are pleased with the school's performance this past year.

Despite financial difficulties, the Ed School finished a successful year, celebrating its 100th anniversary and seeing admissions continue to rise.

Acting Dean Catherine E. Snow says the appointment of the new dean was the highlight of the past year. The school has been without a permanent dean since Patricia A. Graham stepped down last spring.

Faculty applaud the selection and say the former Columbia Teacher's College professor will be the key to next year's success.

Darling-Hammond, who was also co-director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching, will be the first Black dean of a Harvard graduate school.


"The biggest accomplishment [of the year] was landing Linda Darling-Hammond as the new dean. I think she is going to be terrific dean," says Jerome T. Murphy, professor of education.

Senior Lecturer on Education Arthur E. Levin agrees. saying Darling-Hammond's selection was the "high point of the year."

"After a very long search the Ed School got our first choice. We talked to many people, and the person we wanted most became dean," he says.

Levine says Darling-Hammond is especially qualified to lead the school in future endeavors. she has a reputation as "one of the movers and shakers of school reform," according to The New York Times.

"Harvard can participate in the national debate on the purpose and performance of education, train new leaders, and do research on issues of theory, policy and practice. [Darling-Hammond] can do all three," he says.

But Snow says financial strategy may provide quite a challenge for the new dean.

"The School of Education has less than one half of the endowment dollars per student of the next lowest graduate school. It's immoral for people to graduate with large debts, but we can't help them with financial aid," she says.

According to Snow, the Ed School reduced expenses this year by paying its faculty less and offering students less in financial aid.

As a result, students who will be underpaid in the workplace graduate with too many loans to repay, she says.

"The entire society suffers when the field of education is allowed to be impoverished. It is an embarrassment to the University that student are allowed to be impoverished here as well as when they enter society," she says.