Bryant President Machtley Steps Down After 24 Years, Leaving a Transformed Institution as His Legacy
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. Machtley is succeeded by Economist Ross Gittell, Ph.D., Former Chancellor at Community College System of New Hampshire.
“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.”
“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.