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Bryant's Board of Trustees announces the appointment of economist and CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell, Ph.D. as Bryant's ninth President. Earning unanimous support from Bryant Trustees, Gittell will succeed Ronald K. Machtley in July 2020.
Bryant University Board of Trustees announces appointment of Economist and CCSNH Chancellor Dr. Ross Gittell as Bryant’s Ninth President
Mar 04, 2020
Ross Gittell, Ph.D.
Dr. Ross Gittell 

SMITHFIELD, RI – The Bryant University Board of Trustees has announced that after an extensive national search it has appointed distinguished economist and economic development expert Dr. Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) since 2012, as the university’s next president. Earning unanimous support from Bryant Trustees, Gittell will succeed Ronald K. Machtley, who has served as Bryant’s eighth president since 1996.

“We are thrilled to find a leader like Ross Gittell, who embodies the character and future vision for Bryant University,” said William J. Conaty ’67, Chair of the Bryant University Board of Trustees. “Dr. Gittell’s outstanding academic credentials and experience as the CEO of seven community colleges within a complex organizational setting make him a perfect fit to succeed the legendary Ron Machtley as Bryant’s next president.” 

“We are thrilled to find a leader like Ross Gittell, who embodies the character and future vision for Bryant University."

Dr. Gittell is highly regarded in economic and policy circles for his economic analysis and forecasting. With an extensive background in university teaching, strategic planning, and management, Gittell’s focus has been on applying economic, organizational, and management theory to regional, state, and community economic development issues. He has frequently served as an expert resource for government, non-profit, and business leaders in New Hampshire and nationally on topics including economic policy, workforce development, job creation strategies, community development, and the business climate.

“Throughout higher education, we need new models for enhanced student success aligned with economic growth and opportunity, and societal needs. With its exceptional student learning outcomes, engagement with industry, and deep commitment to educating future leaders, Bryant University is at the forefront. I am excited to begin the next era at Bryant.” 

Dr. Gittell holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University, Dively Fellow; a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, Beta Gamma Sigma; and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to his appointment as CCSNH Chancellor, he was the James R. Carter Professor in the Department of Management at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

“Throughout higher education, we need new models for enhanced student success aligned with economic growth and opportunity, and societal needs,” notes Dr. Gittell. “With its exceptional student learning outcomes, engagement with industry, and deep commitment to educating future leaders, Bryant University is at the forefront. I am excited to begin the next era at Bryant.” 

His teaching career spans more than 20 years and includes, in addition to the Whittemore School, teaching at the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and the Graduate School of Education, Economics Department and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dr. Gittell is active on numerous boards and commissions, in the New England region and nationally, and is extensively published. Beyond the academic arena, his background includes senior economic consulting for corporate and public sector clients.

"As the President of Bryant University, Dr. Gittell will build on Bryant’s upward trajectory while setting the course for the university’s next chapter."

Founded in 1863, Bryant University today is the result of 157 years of continuous innovation and evolution. Transitioning from a regional business college to a respected university in 2004, over the last decade Bryant has garnered growing national recognition as a pioneer in student-centered learning delivered through a distinctive combination of academic knowledge and character-building learning opportunities including highly competitive NCAA Division I Athletics.

The university’s unique academic model integrates business, the liberal arts, sciences, and high-impact pedagogies. The university’s academic programs have been nationally recognized by organizations including the Davis Educational Foundation and Hanover Research. Bryant’s student learning outcomes and return on investment are recognized among the best in its peer group. A survey of recent graduates confirmed that 99 percent are employed and/or enrolled in post-graduate study within six months, with a median salary of $60,000.

As the President of Bryant University, Dr. Gittell will build on Bryant’s upward trajectory while setting the course for the university’s next chapter. Since its founding, Bryant has inspired excellence in an ever-changing world, developing moral and ethical leaders who exemplify a global perspective. The university is located in Smithfield, RI, and currently enrolls approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 53 countries.

Ronald K. Machtley announced his retirement date as president of the University in May 2019. He will continue to serve as president through the 157th Commencement for the Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020. Machtley became Bryant's president in 1996. Under his leadership, Bryant has experienced unprecedented growth in all areas including academic excellence, enrollment, facilities and campus expansion, and endowments.

Bryant’s presidential search was conducted in partnership with preeminent global executive search firm Spencer Stuart. The Presidential Search Committee co-chairs were Chair of the Board of Trustees William Conaty ‘67, Senior Vice President (Retired), Corporate Human Resources General Electric Company; and Bryant Trustee Dr. Patricia O’Brien P ‘15, Chair of the Bryant Board of Trustees Academic Affairs and Faculty Committee and Associate Provost for Budget & Planning at Boston University. As the human resources leader for over 300,000 GE employees worldwide, Conaty was widely acclaimed for his track record of innovation and the architect behind many of GE's HR practices in the areas of workforce differentiation and succession planning. Dr. O’Brien previously served as Deputy Dean of Harvard College, Dean of the Simmons College School of Management, on the faculty of the Harvard Business School, and held teaching positions at Babson College and Brandeis University. 

Members of Bryant’s Presidential Search Committee also include Bryant University faculty members Diya Das, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management; Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., Professor of Biology; and Christopher Roethlein, Ph.D., Professor of Management; in addition to members of Bryant’s Board of Trustees, Tim Barton '88; Bob Calabro '88; Lisa Churchville '09H; Joe Paparelli '17; Ed Santos '81, P’18; Peg Van Bree, MHA, Dr.PH; David Weinstein; and Rita Williams-Bogar '76. Tim Paige, Bryant University Vice President for Human Resources, served as ex-officio member of the search committee.

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 www.Bryant.edu. 

Media Resources

Contact: Cecilia Cooper | Director, Public Relations | 401-232-6932 | ccooper@bryant.edu 

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