Richard Guarasci


Wagner College

President: Wagner College
Staten Island, NY

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 services 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.

Dr. Guarasci was Dean of the College and Professor of Political Science at Hobart College from 1992 to 1997. 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 who joined first-year housing, with a two-semester schedule.

Dr. 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 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. The Staten Island Civic Association cited him for public service on Staten Island.

He is currently chairman of the board for Campus Compact and president of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and a member of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. His is immediate past chairman of the New American Colleges & Universities and a former chairman of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

He is a Fellow of the Society for Values in Higher Education 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 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 Dr. Guarasci’s essay on “Civic Engagement: Matching Students’ Wants With Communities’ Needs” (May 19, 2015).

Dr. 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.