Wagner College President Richard Guarasci has been elected chairman of the Association of American Colleges and Universities board of directors.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AAC&U is one of the country’s largest professional organizations in the field of higher education, focusing on the improvement of undergraduate education and advancing liberal education. Founded in 1915, its membership includes more than 1,350 colleges and universities across the country.
Previously, Guarasci served for 1 year as AAC&U board vice chairman. Before that, he had completed four 2-year terms on the AAC&U board.
Since 2002, Guarasci has served as president of Wagner College, where he was previously the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In January, he announced plans to retire in June 2019. He holds the rank of professor of political science and teaches in the areas of democracy, citizenship and American diversity.
At Wagner, Guarasci was responsible for developing the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, the college’s four-year, signature curriculum, which draws together a substantive liberal arts core into a series of learning communities and experiential learning tutorials.
From 1992 to 1997, Guarasci was dean of the college and professor of political science at Hobart College. Before that, he served as dean and founding director of the First-Year Program at St. Lawrence University, a nationally celebrated model of democratic living and learning required for all first-year students.
Guarasci is a co-author of ‘‘Democratic Education in the Age of Difference: Redefining Citizenship in Higher Education” (Jossey-Bass, 1997) and of numerous other publications, including three books, more than 20 articles and more than 50 conference presentations. He wrote ‘‘Developing the Democratic Arts” for About Campus (Feb. 2001) and ‘‘On Becoming the Good College: Lessons Learned” for Liberal Education (Aug. 2002). The Huffington Post published his essay on ‘‘Civic Engagement: Matching Students’ Wants With Communities’ Needs” (May 19, 2015). Last March, Guarasci led a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Education conference on the topic, “Can Higher Ed Lift the K-12 System to New Heights?”
Guarasci is president emeritus of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. He is a former chairman of the New American Colleges & Universities and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.
Richard Guarasci holds a bachelor of science degree from Fordham University. He earned his M.A. in economics and his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University.
Read more about Richard Guarasci in “ ‘That’s Not a View — That’s a Mission’,” the story of his grandfather’s journey to America, his family history, and the development of his career as a scholar and leader, published in the Summer 2012 issue of Wagner Magazine.