University of Richmond president to step down
Ronald A. Crutcher plans to leave presidency by July 2022
University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher announced Wednesday he has asked the board of trustees to begin a search for his successor, with plans to have a new president take office no later than July 1, 2022.
Following his term as president, Crutcher and his wife, Betty, will travel to Berlin for a sabbatical year and he will then return to the university as a professor. Before he came to Richmond in 2015, Crusher was president of Wheaton College. The Cincinnati native and world-renowned musician was the first cellist to receive a doctor of musical arts degree from Yale. He currently sits on the boards of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Crutcher became university president in 2015, and on June 30 of this year he accepted an extension of his five-year term, saying that an “extension of no longer than two years would be desirable, helpful and appropriate,” according to a letter addressed to the University of Richmond community sent on Wednesday. He had originally planned to step down at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year, but due to the pandemic he decided to make his announcement earlier.
“[As] I considered the great disruption and challenges facing higher education due to the pandemic, and contemplated what would best ensure the success of a future presidential search and our institutional momentum, I decided that it was important for the university to have as much time as possible to effectively identify and recruit the next president,” Crutcher said in the letter. “I have decided to inform you of my plans now so that the search process may begin soon.”
“The board is extraordinarily grateful for the thoughtful manner in which President Crutcher has approached his decision, announcing his plans now to ensure time for a successful presidential search in this challenging national and global climate,” Paul B. Queally, the board’s rector, said in a statement. “As he indicated to the board, the university’s momentum of recent years is too important to risk interrupting, and we fully agree.”
Some of Crutcher’s accomplishments during his tenure with the University of Richmond include the creation of the Teaching and Scholarship Hub, the Office of Scholars and Fellowships and the Making Excellence Inclusive initiative; hiring a more diverse faculty (36% in the past five years); as well as renovations to academic buildings, among intangible accolades.
“We look forward to the further achievements that are sure to come under President Crutcher’s continued leadership,” Susan G. Quisenberry, vice rector, said in a statement. “As he has indicated, he remains intently focused on what he intends to accomplish in the years to come, and the board very much looks forward to our continued work together in this time.”
Despite his intention to step down, Crutcher will continue to guide the university through its pandemic-related challenges, according to his letter.
“This year will certainly bring challenges, but it will also offer all of us new possibilities,” Crutcher said in his letter. “In every instance, we must seize such moments as opportunities to advance our shared aspirations and dreams for the university — and to realize our goal of being, and being recognized as, one of the strongest liberal arts institutions in the nation. That work continues to encourage and inspire me every day, and I look forward to what we will accomplish together over these next two academic years.”