• September 1, 2014

Goucher's President, Creator of Study-Abroad Requirement, to Resign in 2014

Sanford J. Ungar will resign as president of Goucher College next summer, capping off 13 years at the helm of the liberal-arts college in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Md., college officials announced on Monday.

Mr. Ungar, 68, is known for his blunt talk about the state of higher education. At a 2011 meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges, he encouraged his colleagues to "stop whining" and start making a better case for the importance of a liberal-arts education.

"Higher education for the most part has only itself to blame for the position it finds itself in this country today," Mr. Ungar said. "Something happened along the way where we gave up a lot."

Before assuming the Goucher presidency, in 2001, Mr. Ungar was director of Voice of America, the U.S. government's principal international-broadcasting agency. He came to Goucher with prior administrative experience in academe, having served as dean of communications at American University, but Mr. Ungar does not have a Ph.D.

Under Mr. Ungar's leadership, Goucher gained distinction for instituting a requirement that all students participate in some form of study abroad.

When the college announced its decision, in 2006, Mr. Ungar quipped that he thought the requirement would give prospective students an incentive to come to Goucher "other than getting to 'G' in the alphabet when you're looking at liberal-arts colleges."

After he steps down, Mr. Ungar plans to take a yearlong sabbatical. In the fall of 2015, he expects to return to Goucher to teach history and communication.

"I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to be the 10th president of Goucher, and I am pleased to have traveled around this country and many other parts of the world as its representative," Mr. Ungar said in a news release. "I will, of course, always be a Gopher at heart and will do anything I can to promote the college's prospects and reputation for the rest of my days."

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