Dr. Richard Guarasci is the 18th President of Wagner College, where he was previously the Provost and Senior Vice President, responsible for academic and student affairs, admissions, and support service, in addition to serving as the chief operating officer. He holds the rank of Professor of Political Science and he teaches in the areas of democracy, citizenship and American diversity.
At Wagner, Dr. Guarasci founded The Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, the four-year curriculum for all undergraduates, that draws together a substantive liberal arts core into a series of learning communities and experiential learning tutorials. The Wagner Plan is now recognized as one of the leading undergraduate curricula in the United States by TIME Magazine, US News and World Report, The Association of American Colleges and Universities, The American Association of Higher Education and The Washington Center for Learning.
Dr. Guarasci was Dean of the College and Professor of Political Science at Hobart College from 1992-1997. There he served as a senior officer, significantly involved in a highly successful capital campaign that raised $107 million in 5 years. He also helped construct the Colleges’ Strategic Plan. At Hobart & William Smith he formed a major in community-based and service learning as well as an eighteen-course curriculum in diversity and citizenship. Previously he served as Dean and founding Director of the First Year Program at St. Lawrence University, a nationally celebrated model program of democratic living and learning required for all first year students that joined first year housing to a two semester schedule.
Dr. Guarasci is the author of Democratic Education in the Age of Difference: Redefining Citizenship in Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 1997), and numerous other publications including 3 books, more than 20 articles and more than 50 conference presentations. He is now a national leader in higher education with many speaking engagements throughout the United States. He is an active educational consultant for more than 20 universities and colleges. Time Magazine selected him as a National Undergraduate Educator and he received awards from the Sears Foundation, the Glitz Family Prize and many other citations including a day of recognition by proclamation of the City Council in Geneva, New York.
Recently, Congressman Vito Fossella and the Staten Island Civic Association both cited him for public service on Staten Island. He served on the National Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, The Board of Trustees of the Independent Colleges Fund of New York and he is co-chair of New York State Campus Compact. He is a Fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education (SVHE) and a PEW Foundation Fellow with the Washington Center for Learning in building natural leadership in Learning Communities. He is a member of the faculty for the Asheville Institute and an Advising Board Member for the Models for Democracy Project of SVHE. Dr. Guarasci recently authored ‘Developing the Democratic Arts” in About Campus (Feb. 2001) and “On Becoming the Good College: Lessons Learned” in Liberal Education (forthcoming).
In August 2002 Dr. Guarasci was named the first “Staten Islander of the Year”. He was chosen as a member of the Institute on the Future of Higher Education to work on a grant-funded project to discuss and formulate models for the higher education of the future. In January 2003 he served on a national panel at the annual Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) conference, “Critical Patriotism: Liberal Education, Citizenship and the Public Good”.
Dr. Guarasci holds a Bachelor of Science from Fordham University. He received a master’s in Economics and a doctorate in Political Science from Indiana University.