Alan (Al) E. Guskin, a leading voice in higher education leadership and innovation, will retire at the end of August after a 30-year career with Antioch University and timeless legacy of helping others. A distinguished university professor at Antioch University’s PhD program in Leadership and Change, as well as the university’s President Emeritus, Guskin has held many leadership positions in higher education. He is also credited with leading the University of Michigan student group widely recognized for persuading John F. Kennedy to establish the Peace Corps in 1960.
“Whether on a global scale or through efforts of the university community, Al understands the components of inspiring change from within,” said Antioch University Chancellor Felice Nudelman. “His contributions have made a difference in the lives of many, many people not only directly, but exponentially, by sharing his knowledge with others who carry forth his tradition of stimulating meaningful social change.”
Guskin was President of Antioch University and Antioch College simultaneously from 1985 to 1994 and after a university reorganization, Chancellor of Antioch University from 1994 to 1997. Among his accomplishments, Guskin who has worked for more than four decades as a teacher, leader, administrator, and tireless advocate for social justice, was a driving force in the creation of the PhD in Leadership and Change program at Antioch University.
Guskin’s prior work in higher education leadership includes serving as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1975 to 1985, Acting President at Clark University from 1973 to 1974, and Provost of Clark University from 1971 to 1973. He has held faculty positions at the University of Michigan as well as Clark University, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Antioch University, where he shares his extensive life of service mentoring others to do the same.
After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1958, Guskin attended the University of Michigan to earn a PhD in social psychology. While a graduate student in 1960, he was initiator and a leader of the student group on the Ann Arbor campus that is widely credited with persuading John F. Kennedy to establish the Peace Corps.
Guskin interrupted his graduate education in 1961 to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the first group to go to Thailand as a university faculty member at the Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn University. From 1964 to 1965 he served as a senior administrator in the creation of the domestic Peace Corps, VISTA. The following year, he directed the Florida Farm Worker Program, a poverty initiative serving 14 counties in southern Florida.
Guskin has presented to countless professional organizations, consulted with prestigious groups on the topics of change in higher education, and shared his expertise through serving on many educational and humanitarian boards and leadership councils. As noted in remarks he recently shared at an Antioch University event to celebrate his career, in retirement he hopes to continue working with and supporting others who are committed to higher educational change while also spending more time with his wife, Dr. Lois LaShell, and his daughters and grandchildren. Guskin and his wife live in Edmonds, WA and spend part of the year in Walnut Creek, CA near two of their three daughters and two grandsons.