Photo of Dr. Ronald L. Vaughn, President, University of Tampa

Dr. Ronald L. Vaughn, President, University of Tampa

March 13, 2023

Dr. Vaughn came to the University in August 1984 as the Coordinator of the Marketing Department and holder of the Max H. Hollingsworth Endowed Chair of American Enterprise. Since then he has served as Director of the MBA Program, Dean of the College of Business and Graduate Studies, and Co-
Chief Academic Officer. He became President of UT January 1995 and has now served for 26 years.

Under his leadership and with the help of others, the University has entered a period of growth and expansion unlike any in its 90-year history. University full-time enrollments have almost quintupled during his tenure and new records have been set 24 times during his presidency. The University now
enrolls about 10,500 students from all 50 states and most of the world’s 195 countries. President Vaughn’s goal is to create a comprehensive medium-sized private University noted for academic excellence and a rich residential learning environment. Since 1995, the University’s annual budget has increased by over ten times from $28 million to $370 million for the 2022 academic year. The record growth has fueled dynamic improvements in academic and student life areas. Over 600 new faculty, staff and vendor-contracted positions have been added during the past 27 years. Since 1997, UT’s campus has been totally transformed by 45 completed or underway construction projects totaling $750 million in value. This was the first major campus-wide construction since the University was created. In addition to spearheading the expansion, President Vaughn has acquired more community-based financial support than any UT President before him. Among fundraising achievements, the University has raised about $250 million in its first two comprehensive capital campaigns and a third campaign is now underway.

President Vaughn has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a MBA degree from Indiana State University, along with a Ph.D. in Marketing from The University of Georgia. He also has substantial business experience having owned his own multi-office marketing research/consulting company where
he served as president and consultant on several hundred projects for a broad clientele. Ron began his academic career at Bradley University as a faculty member and Chairman of the Marketing Department. Continuing his academic career at UT, he served over 20 years as a faculty
member and in administrative leadership positions prior to becoming President. He is active in various community service and leadership roles. He has served on numerous boards including the Straz Performing Arts Center, the Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Aquarium. He is a past Board Chair of the Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and on the Tampa Downtown Partnership Board. Other leadership positions have included serving as President of the Florida West Coast Chapter of the American Marketing Association, President of the Tampa Bay Chapter of The Planning Forum, Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross Tampa Bay Chapter, three time President of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference and Chairman of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. He has been a member of Leadership Tampa, Leadership Tampa Bay, Leadership Florida, and the Florida Council of 100.

Ron has received many honors and recognitions including Peoria City Council Resolution and Mayor’s Commendation for service and community service awards from the Peoria Police Department and Optimist Club. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award and Silver Helmet Award for service to Delta
Sigma Pi, a national professional business fraternity, and has twice been selected as Hillsborough County Administrative Volunteer of the Year for Tampa Bay’s Chapter of the American Red Cross. In 1997 he received Indiana State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 1998 was the first
educator recipient of the National Career Achievement Award for Delta Sigma Pi. He was named an Outstanding College President in 2002 by the All-American Football Foundation, a “Person of Vision” in 2003 from Prevent Blindness of Florida, and in 2003 “Executive of the Year” by the Tampa Chapter of
Sales Marketing Executives. In 2004, Ron received a prestigious national award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and in 2006 the Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts selected him as their Distinguished Citizen Award recipient. In 2007, the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross honored Ron and
Martha (his deceased wife) by establishing the “Vaughn Humanitarian Award” due to their chapter and community service. In 2007 CEO Magazine recognized him as “Community Action CEO” of the Year. In 2008 the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce awarded him the “H. L. Culbreath Leadership Award” and in 2008 the Tampa Bay Business Journal selected him as “Business Executive of the Year”. In 2010, President Vaughn was inducted into the “Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame”, in 2011 he received the “Visionary Award” from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, in 2013 he received University of Georgia’s inaugural “Graduate Alumni of Distinction Award”, in 2014 he received a regional “President’s Award” from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, in 2016 he was named the South Tampa Chamber “Citizen of the Year” and in 2017 received the “William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education”. In 2019, Ron received the “Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award” from the Tampa Metro Civitan organization. In 2022 The Hillsborough County Bar Association honored Ron Vaughn with their Liberty Bell award that recognizes an outstanding non-lawyer citizen whose community service strengthens the effectiveness of the American system under the law. A UT campus building (the “Vaughn Center”) is named in his honor.

Ron and his wife Renée have been married since 2008. Renée serves as the first lady of the University and is very involved in supporting UT’s mission through numerous social, community and campus activities.