Judy Jolley Mohraz, appointed president of Goucher College, has a resume that would light up any search committee. A historian who specializes in women's studies, American intellectual history and education, she's also headed academic affairs, admissions, financial aid and fund-raising at Southern Methodist University, where she started as an assistant professor 20 years ago. Even as a busy administrator, she regularly takes time to teach undergraduates, a gesture that should endear her to students at Goucher as it moves toward its 110th year.
Dr. Mohraz will need all of these skills and more, not because Goucher is sinking, but because it has survived the storms battering all liberal arts colleges the past few years and now needs strengthening -- and calm seas -- to sail safely into the new century.
In retrospect, Goucher's decision to accept men in 1986 was an economic life-saver, but it had a major disadvantage: Coeducation removed the one thing that had distinguished Goucher from most other small liberal arts schools in the upper-middle range of quality. Among Dr. Mohraz's challenges will be to find a marketing niche for the school. Can it survive as a national college with national name recognition, or must it shift its emphasis to the region? If it does the latter, it will face a new set of competitors in the perpetual struggle among colleges to maintain enrollment.