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Patricia J. Gumport

Patricia Gumport PhotoPatricia J. Gumport was appointed Stanford University's first Vice Provost for Graduate Education in January, 2007. She is concurrently serving as Vice Provost, Professor of Education, and Director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research at Stanford University.

As a sociologist of higher education, Dr. Gumport has focused her research and teaching on key changes in the academic landscape and organizational character of American higher education. She has studied the dynamics of academic change in several arenas, to illuminate what facilitates it and what impedes it, within different types of colleges and universities. Driven by an abiding interest in knowledge change, she has analyzed how organizational, intellectual, political, economic and professional interests redefine the content, structure, and relative legitimacy of academic fields. Specific studies include: the conditions in which new areas of knowledge emerge and become institutionalized, the professional socialization that occurs during graduate education across disciplines, the tensions arising within organizational restructuring as academic fields attempt to weather rounds of budget cuts and selective investment, and the ascendance of industry logic within public higher education during the last quarter of the 20th century. Her research in the U.S. and the European Union examines how universities that are ostensibly competitors determine when and how to collaborate.

Her academic publications include six books and over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Academic Pathfinders (2002) examines the emergence of feminist scholarship to identify the conditions in which new knowledge is created and becomes institutionalized. Academic Legitimacy (forthcoming) analyzes the ascendance of industry logic—expectations for public higher education to adopt corporate forms and to develop more and deeper ties with industry. She shows how organizational restructuring has yielded notable gains but also intensified tensions among divergent beliefs about what a college or university should do and how it should be organized to gain prestige and legitimacy.

Dr. Gumport has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. She received the 2006 American Educational Research Association’s Exemplary Research Award in recognition of her outstanding scholarly contributions to the study of higher education. She has successfully competed for approximately $17 million in research grants from government agencies and foundations. Her largest grant award (1996–2004) led her to serve as the founding Executive Director / Principal Investigator of the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement headquartered in the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research at Stanford University.

Dr. Gumport’s expertise is recognized both nationally and internationally. She has presented over 100 papers at professional conferences and over 75 invited addresses to higher education organizations and institutes in the United States (such as the American Council on Education, the Association of Governing Boards, and the Washington Higher Education Secretariat) and abroad (in Copenhagen, Hiroshima, Kassel, London, Mexico City, Rome, Stockholm, and Sydney). She has served on the editorial boards of three leading higher education journals: The Review of Higher Education, Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, and The Journal of Higher Education (Chair, 1994–1995).  She has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and on advisory boards for several national research projects.

Dr. Gumport’s consulting activities span a wide range of topics and clients. Through interviews, focus groups, in-depth case studies, and short-term projects, she has provided expertise to higher education leaders and policymakers facing contemporary pressures for change, challenges in academic restructuring, curricular change, strategic planning, academic program review, faculty productivity, graduate education, and interdisciplinarity. For state systems, she has consulted on undergraduate education, academic planning, academic program reviews, inter-organizational collaboration, and public higher education system design in Arizona, California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, and Texas. At the national and trans-national level, she has served the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Council of Graduate Schools, the Fulbright Commission, the National Science Foundation, the OECD, the Social Science Research Council, and the U.S. Department of Education. She has also advised philanthropic foundations such as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Dr. Gumport received her graduate degrees, two master's degrees (sociology, education) and a PhD (higher education administration and policy analysis), from Stanford University. Her BA in philosophy was from Colgate University, where she later worked as assistant dean of admissions and served on the Board of Trustees. After receiving her PhD, she was a postdoctoral researcher in comparative higher education and an assistant professor of organizational studies in higher education at UCLA. Since she joined the Stanford faculty in 1989, she has chaired the Social Sciences, Policy and Practice division in the School of Education and has a track record of longstanding service on university committees, including the Provost’s Budget Group, Faculty Senate, University Planning and Policy Board, Diversity Cabinet, Provost's Committee on the Status of Women, and the Executive Committee of Stanford's AAUP Chapter. She has been named a Fellow in the Stanford University President's Leadership Academy and a Fellow in the American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley.

Revised January, 2012.

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