Dr. Carol Guardo

Carol Guardo Larger photo of Carol Guardo

Carol Guardo, left: 2003, right: 2004  (click thumbnails for larger images)

Carol Guardo served as the interim president of the College of St. Benedict during the 2003-2004 academic year. The main goal of her presidency was to guide CSB through a smooth transition during the presidential search process.

Guardo had a long career in higher education and was a successful college administrator. She was a psychology professor, trustee, provost, consultant, and a general administrator at various public and private colleges. She has held administrative positions in secular universities with professional areas like business, education, pharmacy, and engineering. Guardo was the first woman chosen to head a public college in Rhode Island when she became president of Rhode Island College in 1985. According to Guardo, her background as a psychologist, with an interest in how students learn, what motivates them, and how the teaching/learning process has changed, drove her commitment to scholarship and the liberal arts.

Guardo has helped CSB/SJU on multiple occasions. She was a consultant for CSB and SJU in areas of strategic planning and governance from 1993-2003. Guardo participated in the 1995 presidential search which selected Mary Lyons; and she assisted in the establishment of the coordinated academic administration for CSB and SJU. Later, Guardo led an extensive assessment of the effectiveness of CSB and SJU’s coordinated administrative structure.

During Guardo’s brief tenure as interim president of CSB, she continued the momentum of academic growth from the previous presidencies. She continued the coordinate relationship with SJU with the support of then SJU president Br. Dietrich Reinhart, OSB. She concentrated on the initiation of a three-year task force that examined gender development at CSB and SJU. In 2003-2004, the task force considered what a college for women means. The next year, under presidents Baenninger and Reinhart, the task force contemplated what a college for men means. Lastly, in 2005-2006, the task force ruminated on the meaning of the coordinate relationship between CSB and SJU.

Guardo’s successful interim presidency concluded with a smooth transition into the presidency of MaryAnn Baenninger. Before Carol Guardo left CSB, she reflected on her acceptance of the interim presidency of CSB: “The experiences of these past few months have confirmed all of my reasons for accepting the invitation to serve a year as interim president. My reasons were three-fold-I like to call them my ‘three p’s’-the people, the programs, and the partnerships.” [ “From the president,” Saint Benedict’s Today, Fall 2003, p. 1 ]

For more on Carol Guardo:

Special thanks to Meghan Flannery ’15 for drafting this text.