Picture of Kenneth P. Ruscio

Kenneth P. Ruscio


Washington and Lee University

Kenneth P. Ruscio was elected the 26th president of Washington and Lee University on March 7, 2006. W&L alumnus and distinguished scholar in the study of democratic theory and public policy, Dr. Ruscio served as the Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at University of Richmond for four years before assuming his present position.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Richmond, he held various positions at W&L including Professor of Politics, Associate Dean of The Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, and Dean of Freshmen. He was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1983 to 1985, and taught at both Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Kansas University.

Ruscio earned his B.A. in politics from Washington and Lee University in 1976 and earned an M.P.A. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1978 and 1983, respectively.

Ruscio’s has authored numerous articles and essays and the book, The Leadership Dilemma in Modern Democracy (Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 2004). He recently completed his second term as national president of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership society begun at W&L in 1914 that now has chapters at over 300 campuses. He has led, and served on, dozens of academic, professional, and civic committees.

An exploration of several questions in considering the role of trust in shaping the relationship between leader and follower: Why should trust matter? What generates trust? Is trust a normative concept based on values and principles of duty, obligation, and responsibility, or is it a construct based on rational and self-interested calculations?
Leadership— Informal Powers of Persuasion, Trust, and Judgment
An Interview with Kenneth P. Ruscio— A PKAL Village Elder