“We are called today to act boldly as our predecessors have acted, to open doors and serve both our students and the community.”
For the past 11 years, Dr. Slepitza has served as the 14th president of Avila University.
During that time, he presided over a remarkable renaissance on campus that resulted in the largest and most academically-talented student body in Avila’s history, more new construction and renovation than any time prior, and the most successful fundraising ever. He attributes that success fully to the good work, energy, and innovation of his leadership team and the many faculty and staff who are so devoted both to Avila’s success and especially the success of its students.
Dr. Slepitza is responsible for all aspects of institutional leadership. Most important, he emphasizes focusing the energy of Avila’s people, guided by the University’s mission consistent with that of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet . He is a catalyst for change, sharing the story of the University among the community, alumni, and friends and doing so with a strategic focus that energizes and guides. Avila is centered on experience-based student learning that seeks to create a graduate who is inspired, insightful, integrated, inclusive, innovative and influential.
In the Kansas City community, Dr. Slepitza serves on the Boards of Trustees for Rockhurst High School, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. He is chair of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri and a member of the Council of Presidents of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He is a leader in a local Rotary Club and mentor to youth through the Rotary’s Project REACH. Within the University, he has worked to engage its members more deeply in service to the community and in living the faith foundation of the University.
In addition to his involvements in mission-focused learning and community engagement, Dr. Slepitza has worked to infuse an understanding of the relationship between personal vocation and institutional mission into the University. He frequently is called upon to speak on topics of leadership, higher education, mission and vocation to educational and community groups. Dr. Slepitza's leadership and collaboration with the Jewish community has led to Avila's greater participation in interfaith dialogue in the Kansas City community.
He served for 13 years at Xavier University as vice president for student development and special counsel to the president for strategic planning. Prior, he was an associate vice president (1984-93) for student services at Creighton University.
Ron and his wife, Suzanne, have two children, Andrew and Molly, both of whom live on both coasts giving Ron and Suzanne an excuse to see the ocean.