John Diamond, a sociologist of education, was recently named the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education with UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

“I am truly thankful to the Kellner Family for making this Distinguished Chair possible,” Diamond told UW School of Education News. “It is an amazing honor and the highest achievement of my career at UW-Madison. It feels wonderful to know that the UW-Madison School of Education sees value in my work and contributions.”

The Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education was previously held by Gloria Ladson-Billings, who retired from the university after more than 26 years on campus last year.

“Professor John Diamond is an excellent and innovative researcher, a highly regarded teacher, and an important contributor to equity projects in many school districts,” says School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “I am so pleased that he will hold the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education.”

Diamond is also a faculty affiliate with the Departments of Afro-American Studies and Educational Policy Studies. A sociologist of education, he studies the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity. More specifically, he examines how educational leadership, policies, and practices shape students’ educational opportunities and outcomes.

Diamond arrived on the UW-Madison campus in 2013 after spending nearly a decade as a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition to UW-Madison and Harvard, Diamond has also held faculty positions at Northwestern University and UW-Milwaukee.

“I have always believed that the work of the university, and my work as a professor, is most powerful when it is connected to the world outside of the institution and focused on important social challenges,” Diamond told UW School of Education News. “In fact, I came to UW in part because of the Wisconsin Idea – the belief that the research carried out at the university should enhance the quality of life for people beyond its boundaries.”

“The chair will help me deepen my connection to educational practice, enhance my scholarship and continue my work to prepare educators for work in the field,” he added. “It is very significant to me that the Chair foregrounds work in urban schools and classrooms and signals the School of Education’s strong commitment to such work. It is especially gratifying to be following Gloria Ladson-Billings in this role. Her groundbreaking work and leadership of the field is both legendary and inspiring.”