University of Richmond President Elected ACE Board Chair

December 10, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher has been elected chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities.

Crutcher will begin his term in March 2021. He will succeed Paul J. LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, and will serve for one year. Crutcher currently serves as ACE Board vice chair.

“I have focused throughout my career on higher education access, affordability, and inclusive excellence, all principles that are more important than ever as our institutions and students face unprecedented challenges,” Crutcher said. “It is a privilege to serve as the chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education, an organization that also focuses on these vital goals on behalf of all of American higher education, and an honor to join visionary leaders like Paul LeBlanc in taking on this role.”

Crutcher, a national leader in higher education and a distinguished classical musician and professor of music, became president and professor of music at the University of Richmond in 2015 after serving as president of Wheaton College (MA) for 10 years. Under his leadership, the University of Richmond joined 30 of the nation’s most respected colleges and universities as charter members of the American Talent Initiative, whose goal is to increase socioeconomic diversity in higher education. He writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education and the democratic purposes and civic mission of higher education.

“ACE’s mission of leading advocacy efforts that shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practices to help colleges and universities best serve their students, communities, and the wider public good has never been more vital. We value the commitment of these leaders to help us fulfill this mission,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell.

ACE's membership also elected Michael Rao, president of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), as vice chair.