F. C. Richardson became the sixth president of Buffalo State College and the college's first African American president on July 1, 1989. Before coming to the college, Dr. Richardson served as the vice-president for academic affairs at Moorhead State University. He previously held the same position at Jackson State University.
During the Richardson years, the posts of provost and vice-president for institutional advancement were created. The Sports Arena opened in 1991, later becoming the setting for the college's commencement ceremonies.
President Richardson focused on developing a new mission statement for the college and a five-year strategic plan to take the college into the millennial year.
New student programs were central to the goals of the Richardson administration. The Freshman Year Experience, a national award-winning array of programs to introduce first-year students to college study; participation in Project Connect, a state of the art video/computer network connecting Buffalo State faculty with area high school classrooms; and a new master's program leading to a multidisciplinary degree in Great Lakes environmental studies were examples of the administration's commitment to providing quality learning experiences.
Dr. Richardson resigned as president of the college on January 1, 1996. He received a position as senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in Washington, D.C. On July 1, 1996, he assumed the post of chancellor at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana.