Photograph by Jamie Betts

The university will have a new president by the end of the 2021–22 academic year. In September, President Ronald A. Crutcher announced his intention to step down when his current term expires June 30, 2022.

Crutcher wrote that he made the announcement so far in advance because of the disruption and challenges to higher education due to the pandemic.

“I decided that it was important for the university to have as much time as possible to effectively identify and recruit the next president,” he wrote.

The remainder of his term promises to be busy. In March, he will become chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities.

The appointment is the latest of several recent acknowledgments of his leadership. Richmond Times-Dispatch named him a 2020 People of the Year honoree; Virginia Business included him on its inaugural “The Virginia 500 — The 2020 Power List”; and he joined a new bipartisan task force on campus free expression.

Crutcher’s tenure at UR has focused on advancing the academic excellence for which the university is known. Under his leadership, the university established the Teaching and Scholarship Hub, increased the quality and diversity of the student population, improved retention and graduation rates, and completed a $37 million, multiyear investment in arts facilities.

Other initiatives have increased Richmond’s reach and reputation, including the establishment of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships — which assists students applying for competitive national and international awards — and the launch of a national branding program.

He has also led significant efforts to make the university an inclusive community. “We are working to harness our rich diversity to foster a welcoming campus culture and to build a skilled intercultural community where constructive dialogue across difference is part of our institutional identity,” he wrote to the campus community.