Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley steps down after 24 years, leaving a transformed institution as his legacy

Date : 30/06/2020 @ 23:23
Source : PR Newswire (US)

Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley steps down after 24 years, leaving a transformed institution as his legacy

SMITHFIELD, R.I., June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Visionary Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley will step down from office on June 30, after nearly a quarter of a century at the helm of the school he helped transform from a regional business college to a top ranked national university. One of the nation's longest serving college presidents and among only a handful to come to the job from national public service in the U.S. Congress, the Honorable Ronald K. Machtley became president of Bryant College in 1996. Under his leadership Bryant has experienced unprecedented growth in all areas including academic excellence, enrollment, student programs and athletics, facilities and campus expansion, and endowments.

Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley will step down from office today, after nearly a quarter of a century at the helm of the school he helped transform from a regional business college to a top ranked national university. He is joined in retirement by his wife Kati C. Machtley '17H, founder and Director of the Bryant Women's Summit, an event that has empowered, inspired, and helped advance women for 23 years.

Bryant University news story here>>>

"Ron Machtley has been a catalyst. In each of his 24 years of service, Ron established and then met key goals including building new facilities, creating new academic programs, going to Division I in athletics, and establishing a global mindset across campus," said Bryant University Board of Trustees Chair William J. Conaty '67. "Ron and his wife, Kati, made a tremendous commitment to our community. Bryant University's Board of Trustees is extremely grateful for all that they accomplished in making Bryant the world-class institution we are proud of today."

Under President Machtley's leadership, Bryant has emerged as a nationally recognized university positioned on a dynamic trajectory of continued future success. His demonstrated results include:

  • Establishing the College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences, elevating Bryant from a college to a university;
  • Creating the School of Health Sciences and its first clinical program, the MSPAS Physician Assistant program, which is the first in Rhode Island to be granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA);
  • Prestigious positions earned in national rankings, including a U.S. News & World Report regional ranking jump from #24 to #10, with nationally-ranked programs in International Business and Marketing;
  • A move to highly competitive NCAA Division I athletics;
  • Quadrupling undergraduate applications, to more than 7,700 from across the country and around the world in 2019 – higher than any point in Bryant's history;
  • Hiring 102 additional full-time faculty and staff to serve a full-time student population that grew from approximately 2,200 in 1996 to over 3,500 undergraduates and 300 graduate students in 2020;
  • Increasing the percentage of students employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation to 99% in 2019. At $60,000 annually, the median first-year earnings for members of the Class of 2019 tops that of Bryant's peers;
  • Redeveloping Bryant's campus by adding almost 500,000 square feet of academic, library, residence hall, athletic, and other facilities, with twenty new facilities including the award-winning Quinlan/Brown Academic Innovation Center, the Physician Assistant Learning Center, the Bulldog Strength and Conditioning facility, and Conaty Indoor Athletic Center;
  • A record-breaking capital campaign that exceeded its stretch goal of $100 million, including a $1 million commitment from Ron and Kati Machtley. More than 24,000 constituents expressed their support for Machtley's vision by participating;
  • An endowment that has increased to approximately (pre-COVID) $180 million from $96 million;
  • Making global perspective an integral part of a Bryant education, creating the unique Sophomore International Experience and a campus in Zhuhai, China.

Mrs. Kati C. Machtley '17H, founder and Director of the Women's Summit at Bryant University, leaves a lasting legacy as well. Established in 1997 as a forum to inspire, empower, and advance women, for 23 years the Women's Summit at Bryant has been one of the most highly sought-after programs of its kind. Each year the Women's Summit sells out in hours and is attended by more than 1,000 women and men from throughout the region. On June 10, the 2020 Women's Summit, Expand Your Vision, moved forward as a virtual conference and was a tremendous success. Together, President and Mrs. Machtley have been an integral part of the Bryant community, a dedicated and supportive presence at student events, and an exceptionally successful husband and wife partnership.

"It has been an honor to serve as the president of Bryant University. Bryant has made historic progress, from new academic programs to a transformed campus and life-changing residential experience. We are financially very strong. Most important, Bryant is equal to any institution in graduating outstanding students who are prepared for leadership roles around the world," Machtley said. "Kati and I love this institution, its faculty, staff, and students. There may be many university presidents more accomplished, but I can't imagine there are any who have cherished more the opportunity I was given to strengthen a learning community and help improve the lives of students."

Ronald Machtley is succeeded by incoming Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. Dr. Gittell previously served for nearly a decade as Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). A distinguished economist and economic development expert, Gittell is Vice President, Board Member and Forecast Chair at the New England Economic Partnership.

Born in Johnstown, PA, President Machtley is a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a juris doctorate in 1978 from Suffolk University Law School.  He served on active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired as a captain from the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1995 after 25 years of service.  From 1992 to 1995 he was a member of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy. A three-term U.S. Congressman (1989-1995) and the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors, President Machtley currently serves on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors for college sports and on the board of Amica Mutual Insurance Company. Previously, he served on the boards of The Rhode Island Foundation, the Newport Preservation Society, and as President of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

About Bryant University

For 157 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Located on a contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3800 undergraduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron's. Visit 

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