Vice Provost Ray Vito to Retire
Following 37 years of service to Georgia Tech as a professor, researcher, administrator and advocate, Ray Vito has announced his intention to retire at the end of May.
For the past five years, Vito has served Tech’s Vice Provost for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, overseeing academic activities such as curriculum development and educational technology, as well as experiential learning initiatives such as the Honors Program, cooperative education and the InVenture Prize.
“The most rewarding aspect of my career has been anything that impacts student success,” he said. “It’s amazing how clear your thinking on an issue becomes when you ask, ‘what would be best for the students?’”
Following his official retirement, Vito will return on a part-time basis later this year as an emeritus faculty member and special assistant in support of institutional initiatives for both the Office of the Provost and Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.
“Ray has been one of the driving forces in creating the kinds of student experiences that highlight Tech’s commitment to entrepreneurship and creativity,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Rafael L. Bras. “As we start to put the building blocks in place that support our 25-year strategic plan, we will benefit from his experience, his perspective and his enthusiasm.”
On the research side, Vito’s involvement will focus on commercialization, the multifaceted process for bringing ideas from concept to reality and, ultimately, to market.
“Through programs such as the Georgia Tech Fund for Innovation in Research and Education and our startup accelerator Flashpoint, we are making significant investments to help foster the creative spirit of our faculty, students and the local community,” said Executive Vice President for Research Steve Cross. "Ray's leadership and passion for these initiatives have been instrumental in their success."
An expert in bioengineering and computer-aided engineering design who was named an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow in 2006, Vito has remained connected to the School of Mechanical Engineering, both as an instructor and as a faculty advisor to Tech’s student chapter of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi.
"Ray Vito was in the vanguard of bioengineering research in the 1980s along with Don Giddens and Bob Nerem and really helped to put us on the map,” said William Wepfer, chair of the School of Mechanical Engineering. “In the last few years Ray has been a strong advocate for students and for the emphasis on creativity and innovation in the undergraduate curriculum. Ray's contributions to Georgia Tech are epic in impact and I am glad that he will be working with us after retirement to continue to advance these goals."
A retirement celebration event, co-hosted by the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Office of the Provost, is being planned for the beginning of the fall semester.