University of Richmond board of trustees announced its election of Dr. Ronald Andrew Crutcher as the 10th university president in a campus-wide email sent Monday morning. Crutcher will officially replace President Edward Ayers on July 1, 2015.
"I look forward to working with the University community to chart the University’s course for the coming years," Crutcher said in an email. "The University has accomplished so much in recent years, and from my vantage point as a liberal arts college president for the past decade, I can assure you that people are taking notice."
Patricia Rowland, Westhampton College ’77 and rector of the board of trustees, said in a press release that the board was thrilled to have Crutcher as president.
“[Crutcher] embodies the excellence that defines the university,” Rowland said, “and is deeply committed to the teacher-scholar model that allows Richmond to make a transformational difference in students’ lives.”
Allison Weinstein, co-chair of the presidential search committee, wrote in an email, "[Crutcher's] record of leadership at a range of institutions, his national stature in higher education and his passion for helping students achieve their full potential will serve the university very well. It has been a pleasure for all of us on the Board and on the Committee to get to know him."
The committee has been working on the search process for the new president since July 2014.
The campus-wide email that announced Crutcher's presidency also introduced his wife, Betty. Betty has been actively engaged with surrounding university and college communities in the past such that she has consulted and led workshops in cross-culturing mentoring for several organizations and institutions, according to the email.
"Betty and I very much look forward to returning to an academic community," Crutcher said. "We are also eager to get to know faculty, staff, students and alumni and the city of Richmond – to make the campus and the broader community our home."
A brief program introducing Crutcher to the university will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the Robins Center arena, which the board of trustees encouraged students and faculty to attend in the the email.
Crutcher previously served as president of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, from 2004 to 2014. He stepped down from his position on June 30, 2014, according to Wheaton’s website.
During his final years at Wheaton, Crutcher led “Go Beyond: Campaign for Wheaton,” a fundraising institutive that generated more than $120 million, making it Wheaton’s “most successful philanthropic effort in the college’s 178-year history, despite having begun in the midst of one of the nation’s deepest recessions,” according to its website.
Crutcher also served as provost of Miami University of Ohio from 1999 to 2004. As provost, Crutcher helped develop new academic facilities and programs, including securing funding for an Institute of Ethical Leadership.
In addition to serving as president, Crutcher will be a professor of music at Richmond, according to the press release. Crutcher is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and is a cellist member of The Klemperer Trio, which toured America and Europe after Crutcher stepped down from his role at Wheaton, according to Wheaton’s website.
Crutcher said he was fortunate to assume the presidency at a time of "great institutional momentum."
"It is clear to me that Richmond is not looking for — and does not need — a new direction," he said. "Rather, the University community desires ... to deepen and sustain excellence and continue this remarkable momentum. That still leaves a lot of room for innovation and creativity."
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.