Goldey-Beacom College announced that President Gary L. Wirt was elected chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. He assumed the post Jan. 1.
Elected to his first term as a commissioner in 2005, Wirt served as chair of the commission's committee on follow-up activities/candidate institutions, reviewing dozens of institutions in candidacy status or submitting follow-up materials, and served on the commission's presidential search committee. He has chaired 12 evaluation teams, including special visits to institutions and candidacy visits. He has also served as a trustee of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, where he was a member of the finance committee and the human resources committee. In 2011, he was re-elected to the Commission on Higher Education where he currently serves as vice chair.
Wirt became president of Goldey-Beacom College July 1, 2015. He previously served as vice president and as dean of students. He first joined Goldey-Beacom College full time in 1988 after teaching adjunct classes for over 14 years.
Wirt said, "It's a challenging time for the commission as we work to improve the quality of higher education, provide training and support to our institutions, and help the public understand exactly what accreditations means. Expectations from students, parents and the government have never been higher. As some schools face enrollment or financial crises, our role has never been more important in assuring students about quality."
Wirt is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Washington College and the University of Sarasota, where he earned his PhD in counseling psychology. A Delaware native, he is a resident of Old New Castle and Rehoboth Beach.
The commission is authorized by the U. S. Secretary of Education to accredit colleges and universities from New York to the District of Columbia, as well as schools in the Caribbean and overseas.