David Chard

David Chard Ph.D.

David Chard Ph.D.


David J. Chard, Ph.D., is the Chair of NCLD’s Development and Innovation Committees and serves on the Executive Committee.

He became Dean ad interim of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development on June 1, 2018. He was previously President of Wheelock College and led the college successfully through its merger with Boston University. Prior to that, Dr. Chard served as Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he created a strategic vision focused on undergraduate and graduate programs built on evidence-based practices.

Among his accomplishments at SMU were developing a qualified and diverse faculty, strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations, building new academic programs and fostering a positive culture. During his 10-year tenure, the Simmons School grew to include five departments with an operating budget of over $25 million and more than $60 million was raised in support of the school and its mission.

Dr. 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, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, he oversaw curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education.

Dr. Chard has published more than 100 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, and has served in leadership roles in numerous professional organizations. Prior to his becoming dean, Dr. Chard was an active researcher focused on studying instructional practices that are most effective at meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities. He has directed or co-directed grants and contracts totaling more than $15.5 million.

He is the author of numerous instructional programs on early literacy, language arts, and mathematics spanning K-12 education and has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the U.S. Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa.

A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, Dr. 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.

In October of 2011, Dr. Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES). He was confirmed in 2012 by the U.S. Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013.

Dr. Chard is the father of three adult children.

Why are you an advocate for individuals with learning disabilities?

“All of my professional career I have worked with individuals who struggled to learn. Nearly all of these individuals were motivated and worked hard to overcome the obstacles. I also learned firsthand that with appropriate supports, there was nothing they couldn’t achieve. Advocacy means believing that everyone can succeed academically, socially, and in life with the right supports.”