Tuesday, June 11, 2013
For those who haven't seen it yet, yesterday Harvard announced that James Ryan will leave UVA Law School to be the new dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Jim has been a, if not the, leader on issues of race, segregation, and school finance ever since the late 90s and his ground breaking article Schools, Race, and Money in the Yale Law Journal. Just this past year, he pushed boundaries in a new area with his article Poverty as Disability and the Future of Special Education Law.
Jim, however, has been far more than a scholar. He has been a respected advocate, an exceptional teacher, and a generous member of the legal academy. As a law professor, Jim may not fit the typical mold of a school of education dean, but I cannot imagine a better person to have filled this position. I trust that Harvard selected him because it shares his vision of a more equitable and intergrated public school system, which makes his appointment all the more significant.