Headshot of Dr.Ronald A. Crutcher

Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher

President Emeritus and University Professor
Senior Fellow, The Aspen Institute
  • Profile

    Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher, a national leader in higher education and a distinguished classical musician, was the President of the University of Richmond from 2015-2021. Dr. Crutcher is also President Emeritus of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Prior to Wheaton, he was Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University of Ohio. In August 2021, he was named a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

    Dr. Crutcher writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education, the democratic purposes of higher education, diversity and inclusion, and free expression on college campuses. He is a Senator of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, a member of the Board of Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad), and a member of the Board of Governors of Bard College Berlin. He is also a former Chair of the Board of the American Council on Education (ACE). For the University of Richmond, he serves as a board member of the Jepson Scholars Foundation and the Spider Management Company. He previously served on the boards of the Posse Foundation, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Fulbright Association, and he was Chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. His thematic memoir, I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership, was published in February 2021.

    Throughout his 45-year career in higher education, Crutcher has consulted with higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations in the USA and abroad on issues related to organizational culture, especially bridging racial and cultural divides, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies. For almost forty years, he performed in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio. He has served on the boards of the Austin Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, and the Berklee College of Music. Earlier in his career he was President of Chamber Music America, director of the highly-ranked Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, and dean of the Conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

    Dr. Crutcher began studying cello at the age of 15 with Professor Elizabeth Potteiger, a faculty member at Miami University. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in March 1985 and was the first cellist to receive the doctor of musical arts degree from Yale University, where he also earned his master’s degree. During his graduate study, he received a Fulbright Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University (Ohio), he has received honorary degrees from Wheaton College (MA), University of Richmond, Colgate University, Muhlenberg College, Randolph-Macon College, and University of New England.

    Dr. Crutcher has been married for more than forty-four years to Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, an educational consultant and community volunteer. They have one adult daughter, Sara Crutcher Moore, who is an entrepreneur and children’s book author. Sara was recently married to Lieutenant Commander Daniel Moore, a JAG in the Navy. They live in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain.