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Celebrating 25 years of Ronald Vaughn’s presidency

by Juliana Walter

The University of Tampa’s president, Ronald Vaughn, carries a legacy which is apparent throughout the campus. Whether it’s continuing the expansion of UT’s campus, adding to the growth of academic fields, or even just seeing him walk around campus, this legacy has changed and evolved UT.

This January, UT celebrated the 25th anniversary of Ronald Vaughn as the president of the University.

Before Vaughn stepped into the role, the university was in disrepair with failing finances and extremely low rates of graduation.

Over the time that Vaughn has been president, the university’s budget has increased 10 times the amount since 1997. There have been over 600 million dollars put into about 45 campus facility projects that have been implemented. The graduation rates have increased from the 20 percent range to the 60 percent range, according to the Office of the President.

Vaughn received both his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Indiana State University. He then received a doctorate in marketing from The University of Georgia.

President Vaughn first took a position at UT in August of 1984 as the coordinator of the Department of Marketing. Since then, he has served as the director of the MBA program, dean of the College of Business and Graduate Studies, and co-chief academic officer. In January 1995, Vaughn was appointed to be the president of the University.

Throughout his career, President Vaughn has received many honors and recognitions for his leadership at UT. In 2017, he received the “William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education”. While in 2014, he was recognized for the regional “President’s Award” by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Vaugh also has greatly influenced the Tampa Bay area. In 2016, he was named the South Tampa Chamber “Citizen of the Year”. Most recently, in 2019, he was distinguished in the Florida Trend magazine as a “Florida 500”. This list is based on Florida’s most influential business leaders, both in the business world and in academics.

Part of Vaughn’s success is partially due to his success in the business world before coming into academics. He previously owned a marketing research and consulting company where he managed several hundred projects for many clientele. During his academic career at Bradley University, he served as a faculty member and chairman of the marketing department.

In recognition of his service to the university, UT celebrated Vaughn’s anniversary through an honorary dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 22. Vaughn was able to enjoy the event with his colleagues, friends, and family, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Juliana Walter can be reached at juliana.walter@spartans.ut.edu

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