Machtley and Machtley: a profile of the University's First Couple
The average college president stays seven years. Ron Machtley, in partnership with Kati, his wife of 42 years, has steered the Bryant ship for 17 years. The Providence Journal took a look at their dedication to Bryant - and to one another - in a front-page feature.
The couple's leadership and involvement since their arrival have transformed the school, the article says. In 1996, "Bryant was a college with about 2,000 students and five empty dorms. Today, it’s a university with 3,000 undergrads filling every dorm, including six new ones. There are 500 grad students. Bryant used to have 16 Division II teams. Now it has 22 at the Division I level. And a week ago Bryant announced plans to open a business school in China," the article states.
The article notes the strong presence President and Mrs. Machtley have on campus. They know students, faculty and staff by name. "It’s as if they are two parents of a very large family" who "project parental values and acceptance."
"The Machtleys, who live on campus, say it’s their goal to play a parent’s role — especially at night when staff and faculty leave the rural campus and, aside from school police, they are often the most visible adult presence," the article adds. "Theirs is almost always a friendly relationship with students, but Ron says he’s also serious about rules, having found Bryant a bit raucous when he first arrived. 'As the father figure,' he says, 'students need to know they can’t cross a line. If you throw the first punch, you’re going to be thrown out of school and you’re not going to get back your tuition.'"