iOS app Android app

Patricia McGuire
Patricia McGuire is president of Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. She earned her B.A. in political science from Trinity and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and received honorary degrees from Georgetown University, College of New Rochelle, College of St. Elizabeth and Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom. She is a board member of the D.C. College Success Foundation, Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, Women’s College Coalition, Washington Metropolitan Consortium of Universities, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Washington Hospital Center, United Educators, and the UNIFI Mutual Holding Company and she is a member of the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.

President McGuire is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, is a passionate advocate for women, and is committed to the transformative power of education. She has testified before US Senate and House committees and she writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics. Her writings have been published by the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Inside Higher Ed and other publications. She blogs about contemporary issues at

Entries by Patricia McGuire

Not the Disruption We Need

(1) Comments | Posted February 14, 2016 | 10:11 AM

"Disruption" is a favorite term among critics describing the comeuppance due to overly-expensive under-performing colleges and universities. Changing demographics, consumer resistance to tuition prices, new technologies, workforce demands and public expectations for better outcomes are all part of the disruption. Some observers claim the disruption will force higher education to...

Read Post

Bernie and Bloat

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2015 | 10:32 AM

At the Democratic National Debate on Saturday night, Presidential Candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said, in explaining why college tuition has risen faster than inflation, "I understand in many universities [there are] a heck of a lot of vice presidents who earn a big salary." He also...

Read Post

The Re-Education of Justice Scalia

(4) Comments | Posted December 13, 2015 | 12:50 PM

While Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's comments doubting the ability of Black students to succeed at competitive universities may not be a total surprise, given his well-known and relentlessly right-wing views, they are extremely disappointing given his leadership position in American society. He made the comments...

Read Post

Guns v. God on Campus

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2015 | 3:34 PM

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s shameful grandstanding and naked aggression toward Muslims is an affront to the whole idea of the university and the responsibilities of the office of the university president. Not only did this academic president reject the fundamental intellectual basis of higher education by...

Read Post

College Scorecard Sandbags Equity in Higher Education

(4) Comments | Posted September 13, 2015 | 11:16 AM

In the tsunami of data about higher education that the Obama administration unleashed on an unsuspecting nation late last Friday, one fact emerges that was already painfully clear: the "haves" in higher education have quite a lot; the "have nots" struggle mightily. And this economic chasm...

Read Post

Safety and Security: Not Just for College Students

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 12:08 PM

Members of Congress and other legislators around the country have worked up a considerable frenzy enacting laws and regulations governing campus safety and sexual assault. Colleges and universities are coping with an increasingly bewildering and burdensome morass of often-conflicting legal rules aimed at guaranteeing...

Read Post

Disrupting the Daisy Chain: What Modern Women's Colleges Really Do

(9) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 5:59 PM

Defying the conventional wisdom that it's almost impossible to kill a college, the trustees of Sweet Briar College decided to make a swift end of that distinguished institution when they saw no way out of the inevitable decline in the school's enrollment. Pundits quickly leapt at...

Read Post

Teacher Regulations Worthy of George Orwell

(55) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 1:22 PM

Who will remain to teach the nation's schoolchildren when the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) succeeds in its plan to force every single pupil, teacher, school, college and university to conform to its Orwellian plan for constant surveillance and measurement of teachers via standardized tests and surveys?


Read Post

'Free' Community College: Gift Horse or Trojan Horse?

(8) Comments | Posted January 11, 2015 | 9:58 AM

I'm all in favor of any plan to get more people to become more educated, and in particular, to help more people who live on the margins to get the educational tools they need to gain greater economic security. So, from that perspective, President Obama's "America's College Promise"...

Read Post

Confessions of an Altar Boy Wannabe

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 9:54 AM

Envy, the nuns warned us in Catholic grade school, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I had to go to confession a lot when I was a kid --- especially when it came to envy of the stuff my brothers had that I craved. Lincoln Logs. Tonka...

Read Post

Teaching, Learning and the College Ratings Framework

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2014 | 11:36 AM

In a tale worthy of O.Henry's combs and watch fob, just as colleges and universities across the country have begun to get the hang of good practices in learning outcomes assessment, in large part due to pressure for accountability imposed by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on...

Read Post

Wearing of the Pink

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 10:51 AM

When the NFL wears pink, I see red.

Watching NFL football in October can be very hard on the eyes, and I'm not just talkin' 'bout any game involving Washington's football team. Hot, shocking pink is plastered everywhere on those behemoth bodies...

Read Post

Perfect v. Good: Higher Ed Reform Edition

(1) Comments | Posted September 7, 2014 | 4:38 PM

Government officials are spending quite a lot of time these days in a well-meaning quest to make higher education perfect. The continuous imposition of new and increasingly complicated regulations on colleges, as well as a new rating system, seems to arise from a deeply held belief that if only presidents,...

Read Post

College Presidents Must Lead on Sexual Assault

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2014 | 11:55 AM

College presidents, usually a verbose bunch, have been remarkably silent in the media on the topic of campus sexual assault and remedies for this plague. Why the silence? Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of this issue; every single president I know agrees that sexual assault...

Read Post

Putting the Oxygen Back into Improving Education

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2014 | 11:40 AM

"I believe testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools." -- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a blog post.

Oops. Did Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just say the equivalent of "never mind" on high stakes tests?...

Read Post

Ferguson's Lessons for the Fall Semester

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2014 | 12:52 PM

The most serious educational failure in America was on display in Missouri last week, and it has nothing to do with high stakes testing even though the stakes are very high for our nation. Ferguson is the latest, but not the only, community...

Read Post

Perilous Plagiarism

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 2:48 PM

The accused claimed that the plagiarism was a mistake, the result of a medical condition, no big deal, surely offset by an otherwise stellar record. These words were shockingly familiar to me as a college president who has seen my fair share of plagiarism cases. They are part of the...

Read Post

A College President's Worst Nightmare

(7) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 8:58 AM

Elliot Rodger is a college president's worst nightmare: the unstable student whose deep illness only becomes clear in the aftermath of a homicidal rampage. Even as our hearts go out to his victims, their families and the community of the University of California at Santa Barbara,...

Read Post

Lost Girls Are Everywhere

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 11:59 AM

How many girls are lost? Consciousness is growing of the massive tragedy in Nigeria, where nearly 300 schoolgirls are kidnapped and possibly sold into sex trafficking rings by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Closer to home, the face of Relisha Rudd haunts...

Read Post

Giving Dreamers a Chance

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 4:29 PM

Dreamers received a remarkable boost for their educational aspirations last week when Donald Graham and a bipartisan group of visionary business and civic leaders announced the creation of TheDream.US, a scholarship program to help undocumented young people achieve their dream of a college degree....

Read Post