RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Board of Trustees of the University of Richmond has elected Ronald Andrew Crutcher – a national leader in higher education, a distinguished classical musician, and an accomplished administrator – as the institution’s 10th president. Crutcher will take office on July 1.
“The Board is thrilled to have Ron Crutcher as the University’s next president,” said Patricia L. Rowland, W’77 and GB’81, rector of the board of trustees. “He 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. 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.”
Crutcher is President Emeritus of Wheaton College (MA). During his tenure as president (2004-2014), he raised the institution’s profile, increased enrollment and diversity of the student body, created new interdisciplinary faculty positions and new programs in film and new media studies, bioinformatics, neuroscience and business and management and ensured the institution’s financial stability during a challenging economic period for all of higher education. During that time, Wheaton students also garnered prestigious academic honors including four Truman Scholarships, three Marshall Scholarships, two Goldwater Scholarships and two Rhodes Scholarships. Wheaton also consistently ranked among the top Fulbright Scholarship producers among liberal arts colleges, winning 71 Fulbright scholarships in the 10-year period.
He oversaw – from design to completion – the largest capital project in the college’s history, a $46 million science center. He also led the most successful campaign in Wheaton’s history, which secured $137.6M during a severe economic downturn, passing the $120M goal more than a year ahead of schedule. The campaign engaged 72 percent of alumni and raised significant funds for scholarships, athletic facilities, academic facilities, internships and faculty-mentored research. Crutcher also strengthened ties between the college and the surrounding community.
From 1999-2004, he was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University of Ohio.
“It is an exceptional honor to be named president of the University of Richmond,” said Crutcher. “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 currently serves as co-chair of LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise), the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ national campaign to promote wider understanding of the importance of liberal education in preparing students for careers and citizenship. He writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education and the democratic purposes and civic mission of higher education. He has also served on the Board of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Fulbright Association and was Chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts.
He also will be a professor of music at Richmond. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies and currently performs in the U.S. and Europe as a member of the Klemperer Trio with Erika Klemperer, violin, and Gordon Back, piano.
He serves or has served on the boards of the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera Association, the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble. He was President of Chamber Music America from 1996 to 2000. Earlier in his career, he was director of the highly ranked Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin (1994-1999) and dean of the Conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1990-1994), one of the nation’s most prominent music conservatories.
Crutcher, who began studying the cello at 14, became the first cellist to receive the doctor of musical arts degree from Yale, where he also earned his master’s. He earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University.
Crutcher is the recipient of honorary degrees from Wheaton College and Colgate University, the Presidential Medal of Honor from the University of Cordoba in Spain, the Yale School of Music’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Ellen S. Jackson Award for Excellence in Education from the Freedom House in Boston.
His election concludes an extensive national search. A presidential search committee, co-chaired by Allison P. Weinstein, board of trustees, and George W. Wellde Jr., B’74, trustee emeritus and past rector, included trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and student representatives.
“Our charge was to find an outstanding leader who would build on the University’s momentum and strengths, further enhance academic quality, engage alumni actively in the life of the University, secure wider recognition for the University’s excellence and ensure Richmond successfully navigates the challenges that all of higher education will face in the coming years,” said Wellde. “We believe we have found all of that in Ron Crutcher. Not surprisingly, the position attracted an exceptional pool of candidates, and even among this very strong field, Ron stood out.”
“Dr. Crutcher’s genuine passion for students is evident. He clearly earned the respect and admiration of Wheaton’s students, and he and his wife personally served as mentors to many students there,” said Alex Holva, a student member of the search committee and a Richmond senior. “Dr. Crutcher made it clear that he values student input and will be a champion for worthy student causes. He understands Richmond’s student-centered approach and is eager to showcase students’ talents and achievements.”
“Dr. Crutcher’s values align wholly with those of our community, and it is clear that he is the one to lead the University of Richmond into our next chapter,” said Dr. Crystal L. Hoyt, search committee member, University Faculty Council chair and associate professor of leadership studies and psychology. “He is passionate about transforming students’ lives through a holistic education grounded in the teacher-scholar model, and he is committed to promoting faculty and student scholarship. He has a sophisticated understanding of the essential role of accessibility and diversity in higher education. I am overjoyed to have Dr. Crutcher join us in preparing our students to become global citizens equipped to lead in a complex world.”
Crutcher and his wife Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, who consults and leads workshops for organizations and institutions in cross-cultural mentoring, are parents of Sara Crutcher, who lives in Chicago.
The university will hold a welcoming reception on campus for Crutcher and his wife on Feb. 27 in the Robins Center Arena. Crutcher will deliver remarks at 2 p.m. followed by a reception. All students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to the event.