The University of Richmond has selected Ronald A. Crutcher as its 10th president, making him the first African-American to lead the Virginia school founded in 1830. Crutcher will take over on July 1, succeeding Edward L. Ayers, who announced last year that he will step down in June.
“It is an exceptional honor to be named president of the University of Richmond,” Crutcher said in a release issued by the university Monday night. “This has long been a place of academic excellence, and it is also a place of substantive progress on issues that all of American higher education is seeking to address such as ensuring access to educational opportunity to the most promising students of all backgrounds.
“Much that animates Richmond has animated my own work over decades, and I look forward to working with the University community to build on Richmond’s remarkable foundation.”
Crutcher is president emeritus of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. During his tenure as president, he oversaw the college’s largest capital project, a $46 million science center. He also has served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University of Ohio.
“[Crutcher] embodies the excellence that defines the University and is deeply committed to the teacher-scholar model that allows Richmond to make a transformational difference in students’ lives,” said Patricia L. Rowland, rector of the university’s board of trustees. “He brings to Richmond’s presidency more than four decades of academic and administrative achievement at a diverse range of institutions. We believe he will provide outstanding leadership to continue the University’s strong trajectory and standing among the nation’s leading institutions.”
A distinguished cellist, Crutcher also will be a professor of music at Richmond. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies. He received a doctorate from Yale University. He also earned a master’s from Yale and a bachelor’s degree in music from Miami University.
Crutcher currently serves as co-chair of Liberal Education and America’s Promise, the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ campaign to promote understanding of the importance of liberal education in preparing students for careers and citizenship. He also has served on the board of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Fulbright Association.