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Education

UR President Ronald Crutcher announces plans to step down from post in 2022

Following a sabbatical, Crutcher will return to the faculty as a university professor.  

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Ronald A. Crutcher has announced his intention to step down as president of the University of Richmond with the goal of the next president taking office no later than July 1, 2022.

“As I considered the great disruption and challenges facing higher education due to the pandemic, and contemplated what would best ensure the success of a future presidential search and our institutional momentum, I decided that it was important for the University to have as much time as possible to effectively identify and recruit the next president,” Crutcher said in a letter to alumni, faculty, staff, and students.

“The Board is extraordinarily grateful for the thoughtful manner in which President Crutcher has approached his decision, announcing his plans now to ensure time for a successful presidential search in this challenging national and global climate,” said Paul B. Queally, the board’s rector. “As he indicated to the Board, the University’s momentum of recent years is too important to risk interrupting, and we fully agree.”

Crutcher will continue to advance a variety of critical University initiatives, including guiding UR through the pandemic and the uncertainty and disruption it has brought.

“This year will certainly bring challenges, but it will also offer all of us new possibilities,” Crutcher wrote in his letter. “In every instance, we must seize such moments as opportunities to advance our shared aspirations and dreams for the University — and to realize our goal of being, and being recognized as, one of the strongest liberal arts institutions in the nation. That work continues to encourage and inspire me every day, and I look forward to what we will accomplish together over these next two academic years.”

Under Crutcher’s leadership the University has achieved the following:

  • Enhanced resources available to faculty, including programs focused on academic leadership and the creation of the Teaching and Scholarship Hub.
  • The creation of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships and the growing record of students’ success in securing prestigious national awards.
  • An increased national reputation for academic excellence as evidenced by the University’s highest ever U.S. News & World Report ranking of 22 among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges for 2021.
  • Important attention to developing and implementing strategies to ensure greater diversity and a more inclusive community, as detailed in the University’s Making Excellence Inclusive initiative.
  • A more diverse faculty, with 36% of hires in the last five years being persons of color or international and 42% being women.
  • Increased pride among UR alumni, who are more actively engaging with the University and contributing to historic levels of fundraising success.
  • Outstanding new facilities for well-being and Athletics.
  • Renovations of academic facilities in the arts and in the humanities, including an expansion to Ryland Hall to develop a center for the humanities.

“We look forward to the further achievements that are sure to come under President Crutcher’s continued leadership,” said Susan G. Quisenberry, vice rector. “As he has indicated, he remains intently focused on what he intends to accomplish in the years to come, and the Board very much looks forward to our continued work together in this time.”

The Board will begin the search for the University’s next president this fall and will soon establish and charge a search committee to identify and recommend candidates. The search committee will include trustees, as well as members of the Spider community. Details about the search process, committee, and timeline will be communicated in the coming weeks. Input from the University community about the priorities the new president will be asked to advance and the qualities and skills most important to seek in candidates will also be crucial to the success of the search and the University’s next president.

Following a sabbatical, Crutcher will return to the faculty as a university professor.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

Business

MEDARVA Foundation opens interactive medical science learning space at Short Pump Town Center

The center, open through the end of August, will let visitors learn about human anatomy, surgery, and the MEDARVA Foundation’s work to support scientific research and medical access in Central Virginia.

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The MEDARVA Foundation has opened Surgeon Immersion, an experiential center at Short Pump Town Center, during the month of August. Admission-free, the center will let visitors learn about human anatomy, surgery, and the MEDARVA Foundation’s work to support scientific research and medical access in Central Virginia.

“We are excited to celebrate MEDARVA Healthcare’s 70th anniversary by bringing our mission directly to the community,” said Joanne Whiley, chair of MEDARVA Healthcare’s Board of Directors. “We were well known as the Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital for our first fifty years. This is a great opportunity to educate the community on the ways we have evolved since and how we provide service today.”

MEDARVA Healthcare is the last Richmond-based, independent, non-profit health system, operating MEDARVA Surgery Centers at Stony Point and West Creek, MEDARVA Imaging Center, MEDARVA Low Vision Center, and the MEDARVA Foundation.

“The MEDARVA Foundation has been quietly funding medical research at VCU Medical School and UVA Medical School, among others, as well as supporting other local nonprofits that provide direct care to the medically underserved,” explained Cheryl Jarvis, chair of the MEDARVA Foundation Board of Directors.  “But during the pandemic, we started to see the need to support younger scientific researchers as they first start out in middle and high school.  The level of work these students are performing is amazing, and when we started to think about how we could highlight them and inspire others, we developed the idea of a community space that would engage and educate.”

MEDARVA Foundation’s Surgeon Immersion will be open every day in August from Short Pump Town Center’s opening until 7:00 pm (6:00 pm on Sundays) and includes a state-of-the-art digital cadaver table, and simulated surgery kiosks, 2022 Science Fair winning projects, children vision screenings, and more.

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Education

UR Awarded Nearly $250K NIH grant for biomedical research; funding will support 11 faculty and 70+ research students

The funding will support 11 faculty from biology, chemistry, and psychology and more than 70 undergraduate research students, enabling them to perform state-of-the-art computations. Chemistry professor Carol Parish is serving as the principal investigator on this project.

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The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Richmond a nearly $250K grant to purchase a high-performance computer for biomedical research.

The funding will support 11 faculty from biology, chemistry, and psychology and more than 70 undergraduate research students, enabling them to perform state-of-the-art computations. Chemistry professor Carol Parish is serving as the principal investigator on this project.

“Our faculty are committed to producing cutting-edge research while also providing professionally meaningful training and research experiences to our students,” said Parish. “A high-performance computer cluster designed for optimal biomedical research will allow us to have a greater impact on solving problems related to a variety of diseases — from developing anticancer treatments to curbing bone density loss, to preventing the spread of insect-borne infections.”

The NIH Basic Instrumentation Grant program supports the purchase of research-critical instrumentation, including HPCs. To be eligible to apply for the award, an institution must hold a minimum of three NIH research grants. Parish noted this latest project helps UR continue to stand out in the liberal arts arena and makes the University more competitive with major research institutions.

“We currently have five faculty receiving NIH support for important biomedical projects, which is very unusual for a primarily undergraduate institution,” Parish said.

The computer will be purchased over the summer and available for faculty and students to begin using for the 2022–23 academic year.

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Education

Virginia Museum of History & Culture Offers Professional Development Programming for Educators

Primarily Virginia is an online course designed for K-12 teachers to explore Virginia’s past through objects and primary sources.

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As part of its summer programming, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) will offer a series of professional development workshops for teachers both in person and virtually.

Primarily Virginia is an online course designed for K-12 teachers to explore Virginia’s past through objects and primary sources. All course work is completed online and there is no required in person meetings. By participating in the online course, educators can earn up to 45 recertification points, and thanks to the generosity of the WestRock Foundation, the online course is free of charge to Virginia teachers. The course is offered three times a year and will begin on June 27th, 2022. Registration must be completed by June 25th.

The Weinstein Properties Story of Virginia Teachers Institute invites educators to participate in a weeklong program that examines Virginia’s history, government, and geography through exhibition tours, guest speakers, primary source analysis, and self-guided tours of the museum.

The program is offered twice each summer to both private and public school teachers of any grade level, with the first session beginning July 11th- July 15th . This session will cover general Virginia history, and registration information can be found here. The second session runs from July 25th-July 29th and will focus on the museum’s largest new exhibition, Our Commonwealth. Registration information for this session can be found here.

Each of the Weinstein Properties Summer Teachers Institutes are held at the Virginia Museum of History & culture and include a day-long field trip to the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville, Virginia. The cost for each session is $50 which will be refunded upon completion of the class. Materials and lunch will also be provided free of charge and educators who participate will be eligible for recertification points.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is proud to serve as an aid and resource to educators in Virginia by offering updated content, structured training, and an open forum to share ideas. In addition to the Teachers Institute, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture will also be partnering with other cultural institutes to offer programming this summer for educators. A workshop entitled Power of the People: Engaging with American Democracy is being held at the museum on June 28th in partnership with the Library of Virginia. Registration information for this workshop can be found here. Educators are also encouraged to register for the August 10th & 11th workshop in partnership with five Richmond area museums, entitled Monumental Moments: Public Art and Public Memory.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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