David T. Vacchi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Office of the Provost
Lt. Col., U.S. Army, Retired
David T. Vacchi faculty photo


Professor David Vacchi, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized expert in the area of student veteran success and has worked in faculty or administrative positions in higher education since 2005. He is an expert in qualitative research and has overseen the doctoral research of over 40 candidates. A combat veteran of the U.S. Army field artillery in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, he has a reputation of impacting success at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels throughout his military and higher education careers. His book, entitled "Straight Talk for Veterans," is an evidence-based handbook intended to help veterans successfully transition to higher education or the workplace.

Areas of Expertise

  • Artillery
  • Ethics
  • Intel
  • Iraq
  • JPME
  • Koreas
  • Leadership
  • WMD

Professional Highlights


Assistant Professor of Education

Faculty member in the Education Ph.D. program at Liberty University - supervised the doctoral research of over 40 candidates. Revised the Qualitative course curriculum and doctoral process to facilitate more rapid completion of dissertations at a higher quality level.

Director of Curriculum Development

One year contract to revise the curriculum of the graduate programs at SANS Technology Institute.

Director of Veterans Services

Led the service and support of over 400 student veterans and their dependents at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Adjunct Professor

Taught topical electives in the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Operational Fires Director

Led the reestablishment of the Eighth US Army's Fires Directorate after nearly 20 years being offline. Facilitated the ROK JCS assumption of lead responsibility for the defense of the Korean Peninsula.

Professor of Military Leadership

Led one of the most successful Army ROTC battalions in the nation, with a 60% Distinguished Military Graduate rate.


Ph.D., University of Massachusetts (Amherst), 2018, Higher Education Administration

M.S., Central Michigan University, 1997, Administration

B.S., Purdue University, 1988, Organizational Leadership and Supervision

C.V. or Resume

Research Contributions and Publications

Campus Veteran Friendliness: Feasible, Folly, or What?
HigherEd Military, 2021

Veterans are Not Struggling in Higher Education
HigherEd Military, 2021

Straight Talk for Veterans: A Guide to Success in College
Straight Talk Press, 2020

Adjusting to the Classroom and Academic Rigor
From "Straight Talk for Veterans: A Guide to Success in College"
Straight Talk Press, 2020

Conceptual Models of Student Veterans’ College Experiences
From "Researching Student Veterans on Campus New Directions for Institutional Research"
Jossey Bass, 2017

Creating a Welcoming Environment for Veterans in Higher Education
Association of American Colleges & Universities, 2016

Student Veterans in Higher Education
From "Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. 29)
Springer, 2014

Student Veteran Success in Higher Education
From "Increasing Adult Learner Persistence and Completion Rates: A Guide for Student Affairs Leaders and Practitioners"
NASPA, 2014

Awards and Decorations

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star

Meritorious Service Medal
Six Time Recipient

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