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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI appoints familiar face to be
vice president for student affairs

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 26, 2001 -- University of Rhode Island President Robert L. Carothers announced today that after a nationwide search, he has appointed Thomas R. Dougan, Ph.D., a resident of West Kingston, vice president for student affairs. Dougan has served as interim vice president since January. He succeeds Dr. John McCray who was named Vice Provost for Urban Programs.

In announcing the appointment, President Carothers said: "Tom Dougan has been a leader in student affairs at URI for nearly 17 years. He has been the "go to" guy when things have been tough here, and he has earned the respect and admiration of two generations of students. I have been impressed by his commitment to fairness and diversity and his willingness always to go the extra mile for our students."

"I’m both flattered and honored that the president has confidence in me and my abilities," said Dougan. "I’m extremely proud of our hardworking staff and our hands-on, inclusive work with young people. I feel URI is my University. We’re a great team -- the students who learn here, the faculty who teach them, and the staff that facilitate it all."

With an annual budget in excess of $50 million, Dougan will have executive responsibility for the Division of Student Affairs, including the offices of Housing and Residential Life, Dining Services, Intercollegiate Athletics, Student Life, the Memorial Union, Health Services, and the University Bookstore.

In addition, he will be responsible for the offices of Career Services, Multicultural Student Services, the Counseling Center, and oversight of the dean of students.

Dougan said his division’s first priority will be to be a major player in the University’s effort to increase its retention rate. Roughly 77 percent of URI freshmen will become sophomores, according to Dougan. That percentage is slightly lower than the national average for other colleges in URI’s category. However, Dougan points out that URI is unique in that 50 percent of its students come from out-of-state and out-of-state students generally have a higher rate of attrition. "Not only do we want to attract good students, we want to create an atmosphere and a learning environment that will make them want to stay." Dougan says another division priority will be to continue to address substance abuse and violence on campus. No other issues on any college campus affect learning more than alcohol, drugs or violence, particularly violence toward women. This division has instituted a number of programs and partnerships to educate students about the responsibility and consequences of their actions."

Dougan notes that he continues to keep in touch with former students, offering them advice, support, and recommendations. "We have a terrific group of alumni," he says.

Dougan has more than 25 years of experience as a student affairs officer, beginning as director of student activities at Longwood College and Capital University in the 1970s, and later as assistant dean for student services at the University of Florida from 1977 to 1985. He joined URI as director of student life in 1985, and then served as interim executive officer for student affairs before becoming assistant vice president in 1988. At one time he also served as interim director of athletics.

He earned his bachelor's degree in math education from Edinboro State College (Penn.), a master's degree in college student personnel at Western Illinois University, and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Florida.

For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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