Biographical Sketch

Dr. Ralph Fitzpatrick, Sr.

Vice President for Community Engagement

Dr. Fitzpatrick is an alumnus of the University of Louisville where he completed two undergraduate degrees with honors in 1974 and master's degree in 1975. He was awarded a doctorate degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.

Dr. Fitzpatrick takes great pride as a visionary leader whose skills sets include strategic planning and implementing strategic initiatives, motivating and leading dynamic team/staff, creating powerful internal and external alliances and managing through crisis and change.

Dr. Fitzpatrick proudly celebrates a forty-year plus work tenure at the University of Louisville where he has been engaged at various levels throughout the university as it transitioned from a quasi-private municipal institution to a premier state supported metropolitan university.  His initial employment began with the University in 1974 as the coordinator of athletic academic services.  Other professional assignments included serving as program/project director, adjunct faculty, founding director of an academic enrollment unit [Preparatory Division], and special assistant to the President.

Through a cooperative agreement between the University of Louisville and Simmons College of Kentucky, Dr. Fitzpatrick served as the Provost and Senior Executive Vice President at Simmons College of Kentucky from May 2012 - August 2014.  As Simmons' Provost, he functioned as the senior strategic administrative partner to the President and the Board of Trustees of Simmons College of Kentucky in the development of a long term, organization wide plan supporting the institution's growth and sustainability.

In his role as UofL's Associate Vice President for Community Engagement primary assignments included:

  1. Working with the President and other senior university officials in coordinating and advancing the university's strategic planning initiatives
  2. Serving as the university's point person in the creation of new and effective partnerships between the university and the community
  3. Representing the President and the university community on several civic and community boards

As the Vice President for Community Engagement, Dr. Fitzpatrick reports directly to the President serving as a liaison between the Office of the President, the university and the greater community.  Responsibilities also include coordinating and advancing university-wide community engagement and advising the President on matters relating to the university's strategic objectives in the areas of community and public affairs.

In addition, Dr. Fitzpatrick is responsible for program/proposal development that yielded over $15 million from local, state and federal grants and private donors.

A native Kentuckian, Dr. Fitzpatrick readily volunteers his time and talent locally, throughout the Commonwealth and the region.  He is married to Brenda A. Fitzpatrick, and the father of two sons, Ralph Jr., and Byron Christopher Fitzpatrick.