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Richard Guarasci (by Paul O'Mara) 070830 (WEB)Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College, was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which he called “one of the largest, if not largest, professional associations in higher education. I’ve been going to their meetings and have been an active part of their work since 1987.”

Guarasci served two previous 2-year terms on the AAC&U board; after a hiatus, the board invited him back this winter to serve again.

Initially established in 1915 as the Association of American Colleges, AAC&U has been one of the major forces behind the defense and development of liberal arts education in the United States. Two of its most recent campaigns are the 2007 LEAP Initiative — Liberal Education and America’s Promise — which identified the essential aims, learning outcomes and guiding principles for a 21st century college education, and last year’s presentation of “A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future” at a White House conference, calling for new efforts to make civic learning for all students a widely shared national priority.

In addition to serving on the AAC&U Board of Directors, Guarasci is chairman of the board of New American Colleges and Universities. He also serves on the Anchor Institutions Task Force and the national board of Campus Compact. Locally, he serves on the boards of Staten Island University Hospital and Project Hospitality.

Richard Guarasci was elected president of Wagner College by the school’s board of trustees in 2002 after serving 5 years as its provost and vice president for academic affairs, in which capacity he spearheaded the creation of the school’s signature curriculum, the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts. Before that, Guarasci was the dean of Hobart College, and professor and associate dean at St. Lawrence University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University, and his master’s degree in economics and doctorate in political science from Indiana University. Guarasci was born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

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