Meet University of Richmond’s President-Elect Kevin F. Hallock
By Madyson Fitzgerald
After a months-long search by an appointed committee, Kevin F. Hallock has been chosen as the University of Richmond’s 11th president.
The board of trustees unanimously elected Hallock back in March, after current President Ronald A. Crutcher announced his plans to leave the university the year before.
“We are fortunate to have attracted to the presidency of the University of Richmond a person with the experience, character, and credentials of Kevin Hallock,” said Rector Paul Queally in a news release from the University.
“Kevin is a dynamic and hard-working leader with a strong track record of building consensus and bringing people together around a shared vision and purpose,” Queally continued. “We are confident that as president he will help us to continue to strengthen our leadership position among liberal arts institutions nationally.”
Richmond celebrated the conclusion of Crutcher’s six-year term on June 10, with a “A Sonata of Gratitude: Celebrating the Presidency of Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher.” He shaped the realm of free speech and civil discourse as president, while emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Crutcher also contributed to the expansion of sustainability practices on campus and refining the faculty experience.
In his original announcement regarding his retirement, Crutcher announced that he would be stepping down no later than July 1, 2022, to give the search committee as much time as possible.
Now, President-elect Hallock will be filling the role at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, which will be almost completely in-person. Additionally, Hallock will be serving as a professor of economics in the Robins School of Business. He will teach similar courses within the Jepson School of Leadership and the School of Arts and Sciences.
In a news release from the school, Hallock said that he wanted to immerse himself in the “impressive” liberal arts and sciences education Richmond provides. “I love Richmond’s combination of an outstanding liberal arts and sciences education with excellent professional schools,” Hallock said in a release from the school.
“From the creative work and research among the faculty, the intellectual energy and curiosity of the community, and the intense focus on the holistic development of students and care for their well-being ? Richmond drew me in, and I couldn’t look away,” he continued.
Hallock has most recently served as the dean of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. During his term, he fought for racial justice by fostering systems that improved diversity and minority recruitment. Before this, he was dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell. He also served as chair of the Department of Economics in The College of Arts and Sciences, the ILR School and the Department of Labor Economics.
Throughout his career, Hallock has taught 14 different courses, edited (and authored) 11 books and contributed to over 100 publications. He specializes in economic research wherein he critiques executive compensation, layoffs, market discrimination and more. As a result of his research, he has been considered a leading expert on unfair labor practices and fair compensation.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to serve in this role,” Hallock told UR’s newsroom. “I am inspired by the work of the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University, and I have been enormously impressed with the Board of Trustees and senior leadership,” said Hallock. “I am confident of a bright future for the University of Richmond.”
Before becoming a distinguished scholar and resolute leader, Hallock grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. He graduated summa cum laude at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in economics, and then received his master’s and Ph.D. from Princeton University.
The president-elect will be stepping into his new shoes amid social unrest. During the spring semester, hundreds of Richmond students, employees and community members protested the board of trustees’ decision to not rename numerous buildings on campus. After a 2019 proposal by the student government to investigate the history of these buildings, it was discovered that they were named after segregationists and eugenicists.
As the school year looms near, many are wondering what steps Hallock will take to ease the tension and bring about justice. Hallock told UR’s newsroom that he is encouraged by Richmond’s progress toward a more inclusive community.
“These are issues that I consider of foundational importance in all leading institutions like Richmond,” he said. “I believe that a central role of any academic leader is to help create and foster an atmosphere where everyone feels a sense of belonging and has the opportunity to thrive.”