Ross Gittell, Ph.D., is the ninth president of Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. His presidency began July 2020. During the first year of his tenure, with careful planning to address the challenges of the COVID pandemic, Bryant was one of the few colleges in the nation to remain open without interruption to in-person classes and residential life and was the only university in RI to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies for students and families.
Drawing on his expertise in strategic management and as an economist and economic development scholar and advisor, President Gittell has led the University community in developing Bryant’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan: Education Through a New Lens. Vision 2030 sets a bold trajectory for the University’s next decade through academic excellence, transformative student life, competitive athletics and student outcomes ranked among the nation’s top 1% for return on investment and economic mobility. The centerpiece of Vision 2030 is education for 21st-century skills and emerging career opportunities at the intersection of business, STEM fields and the liberal arts.
Under President Gittell’s leadership, Bryant is ascending in rankings and national recognition that affirm the superior value of the Bryant experience. Bryant has recently announced an expanded School of Health and Behavioral Sciences; new facilities including a landmark Convocation Center and Arena; new majors in high demand fields such as Healthcare Analytics, Exercise and Movement Science, and Digital Communications; and membership in new Division 1 athletic conferences. The incoming Class of 2026 is the largest class in Bryant history.
President Gittell previously served for nearly a decade as Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). He 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 on such issues as economic policy, workforce development, job creation strategies, community development and the business climate.
His teaching career in strategic management and economics spans more than 20 years. 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. In addition to the University of NH, he has taught at the Graduate School of Education, Economics Department and Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
President Gittell is extensively published, including books, numerous articles and professional studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.