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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

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

Swift named interim vice provost
for academic affairs at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 14, 2003 -- Judith Swift of Kingston, a professor of both communication studies and theatre and a well-known and respected director and playwright, has been appointed interim vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Rhode Island. Her two-year term became effective Aug. 1. Swift succeeds Richard C. Rhodes III, an award-winning animal science professor, who left the interim post to return to the classroom.

In making the announcement, M. Beverly Swan, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs, said: "I expect that Judith’s experience both within and outside the University will be of benefit to my office as we work to serve the academic mission of the University of Rhode Island."

The job won’t be entirely new ground to Swift who served as a special faculty assistant to Swan from the fall of 1997 to the fall of 2000.

In her new position, Swift’s primary responsibility will be to assist the Provost by working directly with Enrollment Services, Admissions, the Curricular Affairs Committee, the Faculty Senate, as well as with committees dealing with issues of master planning and space review and allocation. Swift will also provide support on matters related to accreditation and general support for faculty, staff and students.

"I would like to see more resources for academics and I would like to see academics continue to flourish in an environment where ownership is less important than outcomes," says Swift, the recipient of the 2002 URI Foundation Scholarly Excellence Award.

"URI is the land, sea and urban grant Ocean State University. We have a special opportunity and obligation to employ this exceptional setting to give our students a sensibility, which will inform them throughout their personal and professional lives," continues the interim vice provost. "There are numerous issues facing our graduate and undergraduate students, indeed, all of us as a society. Among them, the preeminent concern is captured in the word sustainability, a term that encapsulates the environment, social equity and economics."

Swift joined the URI faculty in 1972 and has served in a number of administrative roles including theatre department chairperson. She has been a member of numerous committees, including the Ryan Center Building Committee, the Sustainable Communities Initiative, and the Master Plan Committee. She also completed a comprehensive study of URI’s affirmative action process and currently serves as chair of the Athletic Advisory Board.

Outside of the University, Swift has directed numerous venues both Off and Off-Off Broadway, as well as New England-based companies including Wickenden Gate, Trinity Repertory Co., SF-GT, Ocean State Lyric Opera, Theatre-by-the-Sea and the Providence Shakespeare Festival. She also co-developed a video series on Boston’s Channel 5 and has constructed, authored or co-authored more than 30 productions based on historical events or science. She currently serves as resident director for Rites and Reason Theatre at Brown University.

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Page last revised Thursday, August 14, 2003 .