Ron Vetter, Ph.D.

Department of Computer Science

601 South College Road

Wilmington, NC 28403



Dr. Ron Vetter is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Founding Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Vetter received B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from North Dakota State University and a PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota. He has published more than 120 journal, conference, and technical papers and has served as the PI or Co-PI on grants and contracts exceeding $8 million dollars. His research has been supported by the USWEST Foundation, NSF, DoD, USDA, NASA, US Department of Justice, and others.

Over the past twenty-five years, he has held numerous leadership and academic positions, as well as starting two technology companies (Mobile Education in 2007 and PowerPlay Mobile in 2010). From 2013-2018, Dr. Vetter served as the Associate Provost for Research (Chief Research Officer) and Dean of the Graduate School at UNC Wilmington. One of his primary areas of responsibility included oversight of the university's technology transfer and commercialization efforts, including a public-private research & development millennial campus with startup biotechnology tenants and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), a business startup incubator and meeting/events facility. During his tenure, more than 100 companies were incubated in the entrepreneurship center and the millennial campus.

Dr. Vetter is editor-in-chief emeritus of Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society and has served on the editorial board since 1995. He is currently the department editor for the monthly "Spotlight on Transactions" column. He previously served on the editorial advisory board of Communications of the ACM, the flagship publication of the ACM, from 1996-2008, and was an ACM Distinguished Lecturer. He was selected as the 2001-2002 ACM Outstanding Lecturer of the Year. Dr. Vetter is a recipient of the 2023 Richard E. Merwin Award for Distinguished Service, the IEEE Computer Society's highest level volunteer service award, for outstanding service to the profession at large, including significant service to the Computer Society or its predecessor organizations.

Vetter is a frequent consultant to education, business and industry on curriculum and program development, technology commercialization, patent litigation, and other computer science related topics.

Research Interests

Focus on cybersecurity curriculum development, web applications, computer and network security, digital forensics, and cyberphysical systems.

Current projects:


  • Currently on Administrative Assignment