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Robert E. Richardson Jr.

Robert E. Richardson Jr.

Term: 2008-2017

With his election to Board Chair, Richardson, 37, an alumnus of the university who once served as undergraduate Student Body President, became the youngest person to ever serve as chairman of UC’s Board of Trustees. He is also the youngest currently serving board chair among the nation’s research-intensive public universities. (Identified as having that “very high research activity” on The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.)


According to Richardson, “It is an honor to serve my alma mater, just as it was an honor to serve as Student Body President 15 years ago. Now, as in the past, it will be my goal to listen to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader community. Together we will change outcomes and build on UC’s great legacy by focusing on inclusion, innovation, and student engagement.”

Richardson received his UC Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 2002 and his Juris Doctor from the university in 2005. While a student at the university, he established the first college chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the tristate and was elected Student Body President in the spring of 2001. During his senior year in 2002, Richardson was awarded its highest honor for undergraduates - the UC Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence. In 2013, he was also awarded the Jeffrey Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.

Mr. Richardson has served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees since 2008, and has provided youth mentorship in bridge programs linking local high school students to academic programs at the university, including the UC Scholars Academy bridge program with Hughes STEM High School, which focuses on college readiness and leadership development for the innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Most recently, Richardson not only played an instrumental role in founding the UC Scholars Academy but has also taught at UC as an adjunct instructor in a fall 2015 UC Forward course, “Inquiry to Innovation: Leading Change at UC.”

Richardson knows firsthand how student mentorship and a residential college experience for high school students, like the UC Scholars Academy, can alter a career path. He credits UC’s Emerging Ethnic Engineers (“E3”) Summer Bridge Program with preparing him to enter and succeed in the university’s College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Law. Richardson often mentions that without the E3 program he would not have made it through engineering. That’s why he is so committed to providing students the same opportunities he had. That’s also why he has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships including the Marathon Petroleum scholarship, one of the largest corporate scholarships for diversity at UC. Professionally, Richardson is a marketing construction representative while also serving “of counsel” with the law firm Branstetter, Stranch& Jennings specializing in labor and employment and securities litigation.

Mr. Richardson serves on several other boards including: Build 513, Coalition for Sustainable Communities, the University of Cincinnati Research Institute, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Cincinnati College Of Law.