University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies welcomes Ken Ruscio, an accomplished higher education administrator in Virginia for more than 25 years, to its faculty lineup this spring as senior distinguished lecturer.

Ruscio, who will complete his presidency with the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges in December, is president emeritus of Washington and Lee University. He served as president from 2006-2016. Prior to his W&L presidency, he served as UR’s dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies from 2002 to 2006. He also served as Jepson’s Leader-in-Residence from 2016 to 2017.

“Ken played a major role in shaping the Jepson School, the nation’s first undergraduate school of leadership studies, into the program that it is today,” said Sandra Peart, dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. “His teaching and scholarship are grounded in a firm commitment to democracy and his knowledge and experience will be a great benefit to our students.”

Ruscio, an expert on democratic theory and public policy and author of The Leadership Dilemma in Modern Democracy, will teach courses focused on democracy, its history and principles, political leadership, and how these topics are used to interpret the current state of affairs in American democracy.

“Given the current condition of democracy, it's important that students understand our political system, its principles, and how democratic theory has evolved throughout history,” said Ruscio. “As future leaders, students must begin to consider an ongoing dilemma for American democracy. What is the role of leaders in a democracy and how do we both empower and constrain them?”

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