U of Richmond’s Crutcher, trained cellist and former music school dean, on confronting racism on campus and beyond

Posted on: March 2, 2021

“Dr. Ronald Crutcher, a classical musician and president of the University of Richmond … is looking back in history to help inform and improve future race relations,” reports Charlayne Hunter-Gault in Thursday’s (2/25) PBS Newshour. Crutcher “has long used his musical talent to create harmony. But harmony is also a key component of his efforts as the president of a university, which, like many institutions, is beset with issues of racism and division. At the University of Richmond, that came to the surface a couple of years ago when a student-driven organization unearthed a number of racist images in past yearbooks. Dr. Crutcher has said he saw the issue as a call to action, one he hoped would help not only his university confront the complexities of racism, but hopefully come up with lessons for all educational institutions and even the larger society. Dr. Crutcher recently published his book ‘I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership.’ ” The video includes Crutcher playing the cello and speaking about how students self-segregate; his Commission on University History and Identity at the University of Richmond; and his goal of developing cultures of trustworthiness.