Cheryl Richards, Ph.D., Appointed President of JWU Charlotte

Story by JWU Media Relations , on May 14, 2020 12:00 PM

Cheryl Richards


Charlotte, N.C. – May 14, 2020 – Cheryl L. Richards, Ph.D., has been appointed president of the Charlotte Campus of Johnson & Wales University (JWU), with a start date of June 15, 2020.

“Cheryl’s long and distinguished career in higher education has prepared her well to assume the presidency of the Charlotte Campus,” said JWU Chancellor Mim L. Runey, LP.D. “She has the vision and strategic thinking to grow enrollment and collaborate with the industries throughout the state to meet workforce, education and training needs. I know Cheryl, as an active and respected member of the Charlotte community, will also represent JWU well in the North Carolina higher education community. 

“Johnson & Wales has been integral to the Charlotte region’s economic prosperity over the past 16 years,” said incoming JWU Charlotte Campus President Cheryl Richards, Ph.D. “Today, more than ever, higher education institutions must work closely with industry to prepare students to be lifelong learners who can adapt to the changing workforce needs. I am humbled and proud to serve alongside the talented faculty and staff at JWU-Charlotte as we write the next chapter for the university and prepare graduates for vibrant and resilient careers."

Since 2011, Richards has served as the founding chief executive officer and regional dean of Northeastern University’s Charlotte Campus. As their chief academic officer, she championed the licensure and growth in academic program offerings from eight to more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in hybrid and online formats. Prior to Northeastern, Richards was a campus and academic dean at the Cato Campus of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

Active in the Charlotte community, Richards has served on a number of boards, including the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and MeckEd (Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education). She currently serves on Progressive AE, Apparo, the American Heart Association, and Smart Start of Mecklenburg County.  She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership for Higher Education at Capella University in Minnesota. She has a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication, both from Colorado State University.


About JWU

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 12,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni from 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit



Charlotte Campus:

Melinda Law, director of Communications & Media Relations | 980-598-1004