Ivany attended college at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, he received a Ph.D in History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Serving as the commandant (president) of the War College capped Ivany’s 34-year career in the Army. During his various commands as an armored cavalry officer, he led soldiers in the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Federal Republic of Germany and Vietnam where he was wounded in action and decorated for valor.
When not assigned to troop units, he assisted several nations in the transformation of their armed forces, including stints in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Ivany also served in several unique positions, including serving as the Army Aide to the President of the United States from 1984 to 1986.
Ivany also served as an assistant professor of history and as a football coach at the Military Academy at West Point. As the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington, he directed a diverse organization of 5500 civilian and military employees based on seven installations in three states and the District of Columbia.
Prior to his retirement from the Army with the rank of Major General, Ivany had presided over one of the nation's most respected institutions for the education of strategic leaders: the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There for three years, he instituted programs to develop the next generation of military and civilian leaders from the United States and 42 foreign countries to meet the challenges of cultural change, organizational transformation and a drastically altered national security environment.
After completing his Army service in October 2003, he joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University as an adjunct professor in Executive Education. He worked with senior executives in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States in leader development, strategic planning and cultural change.
On July 1, 2004, Dr. Robert Ivany became the eighth president of the University of St. Thomas. He was formally installed into office in January 2005 at a reception which featured the presence of former United States President George Bush. He resides in Houston with his wife, Marianne, and his children.
Ivany has significantly increased the St. Thomas endowment during his short tenure and initiated several academic programs that have substantially added to St. Thomas' prestige.
During Ivany's tenure as president of the University of St. Thomas, he has made it a priority to develop intercollegiate athletics as a means to increase school spirit among students, alumni and donors. In the summer of 2005, Ivany called for the formation of the Athletics Advisory Council to study intercollegiate athletics at UST and make recommendations. The Council concluded that intercollegiate athletics would help the university's image and would not result in a reduction in funds for other programs. The program was initiated as the St. Thomas Celts.
Leadership Development Initiative
Ivany has spoken on the topic of leadership development to varied audiences, including:
- Cleveland City Club
- 2002 Peter F. Drucker Conference for Nonprofit Management
- Union League of Philadelphia
- First Friday Club of Cleveland
- Atlanta Rotary
- Northeast Regional United Way Conference
- Quanex Corporation
- CenterPoint Energy
- Walt Disney Resorts
- Houston Junior Achievement
- Houston Partnership Board.
Ivany has been interested in the leadership challenges facing military and civilian leaders for several years. His article "Soldiers and Legislators: A Common Mission" appeared in Parameters in 1990 and received the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in Military Writing. He is conducting research on the leadership attributes of 20 generals and admirals who have transitioned to corporate leadership.
Memberships and awards
Ivany belongs to the Leader to Leader Institute, the Army Football Club, Mental Health Association and the Knights of Columbus. He has received the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom, the Humanitarian Medal from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Association, the Director's Award from the US Secret Service, the Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton Award for Leadership, and together with his spouse, the Aaron and Hur Award from the U.S. Army Chaplaincy. He was named a distinguished graduate of St. Ignatius H.S., Cleveland, Ohio and has earned numerous military awards.
Ivany is married to the former Marianne O'Donnell; they have four children, daughter Julianne Sara and sons Brian Michael, Mark and Chris.
- "Dr. Robert Ivany". University of St. Thomas. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Major General Robert Ivany, Ph.D.". whatsakyer.mu.nu. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Roch, Jessica (2005-09-01). "ST president speaks candidly". Cauldron Online (University of St. Thomas). Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Tang Dao, "UST moves towards intercollegiate sports", UST Cauldron, March 29, 2006