University of Richmond names next president

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Ronald Andrew Crutcher | University of Richmond photo.

The University of Richmond has named Ronald Andrew Crutcher as its next president. Crutcher, the retired president of Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., will become Richmond’s 10th president on July 1 when he’ll succeed Edward L. Ayers.

From 2004 to 2014 Crutcher was president of Wheaton College, a private college enrolling approximatley 1,650 students. The appointment concludes a national search by Richmond’s Board of Directors.

“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,” George W. Wellde Jr., co-chair of the search committee and a past rector at the university, said in a statement. “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.”

While at Wheaton, Crutcher oversaw 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 more than $137 million during the economic downturn. As president of

Wheaton, he also helped increase enrollment, diversify the student body and create new faculty positions and programs in film, neuroscience and bioinformatics, among others.

Prior to heading Wheaton College, he was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University of Ohio. Earlier in his career, he was director of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin (1994 to 1999) and dean of the Conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1990 to 1994).

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 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.

In addition to being president, Crutcher will be a music professor 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.

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.

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.

He is married to Betty Neal Crutcher, a consultant who leads workshops for organizations and institutions in cross-cultural mentoring. They have a daughter, Sara Crutcher, who lives in Chicago.

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