Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start
Faculty Advisory Board and Professor at GSE

Patti Gumport

Professor of Education
Director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research

Patti earned her graduate degrees from Stanford in education (PhD, MA) and sociology (MA), and she has been on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education since 1989. She founded the VPGE Office in 2007. Specializing in the sociology of higher education, her research, writing, and teaching have contributed to our understanding of major changes in the academic landscape and organizational character of American higher education. She focuses on the dynamics of institutional change in several arenas — what facilitates it and what impedes it in different types of colleges and universities — identifying implications for academic leaders who manage organizational change, knowledge change and professional socialization of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. Using theories and methods from sociology, her studies have illuminated the organizational, intellectual, political, economic and professional interests that redefine the content, structure, conduct and relative legitimacy of academic fields. Her most recent research work brings to light how public universities and colleges responded to pressures for change through initiatives in academic reorganization and innovations in interdisciplinarity during the last quarter of the 20th century, a pivotal era of changing societal expectations. Her current research focuses on leadership development and academic collaboration, an ideal match for her vice provost responsibilities. Her publications include seven books, two forthcoming. Her books are often used in teaching courses, including Sociology of Higher Education: Contributions and Their Contexts (2007) and American Higher Education in the 21st Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges (2016). For more on her academic background, visit her website at: Beyond Stanford, Patti devotes her time in the community to training and socializing puppy dogs and the people who love them.