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Scenes from Green Hall

About President Dooley

David M. Dooley


07/2009 - present President, University of Rhode Island

06/2001-06/2009 Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

06/1999-05/2001 Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

07/1993-05/1999 Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana

07/1978-06/1993 Department of Chemistry, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
    7/1978-6/84 Assistant Professor
    7/1984-6/89 Associate Professor
    7/1989-6/93 Professor
    7/1986-6/89, 7/1991-6/93 Chairman

10/1986-06/1993 Graduate Faculty, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts

06/1984-09/1986 Associate Faculty, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Massachusetts

01/1982-08/1982 Visiting Scholar, Stanford University

08/1981-12/1981 Visiting Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Administrative Organization and Management

I functioned as MSU's second-ranking administrator and frequently represented or filled-in for the President. I worked closely with the other Vice Presidents to coordinate university activities and planning. I had 19 direct reports (including the Director of the Thermal Biology Institute, recently added to my office). In addition, I was a member of the President's Executive Council, the F&A Policy Committee (which set policy for the use of recovered indirect costs for facilities and administration), the Board of Directors of our Advanced Technology Park, the Information Technology Governance Council (the leadership team for IT at MSU), and the Executive Oversight Committee for the Long Range Campus Development Planning Process (charged to develop a five, ten, and twenty-five year plan for the development of the MSU campus). Some notable administrative responsibilities included: management of our international partnerships and relationships; providing leadership and oversight for our Extension and Experiment Station activities (jointly with the President for the latter); working with our affiliated 501c3 organizations, including the Foundation; and working in a leadership capacity for development and campaign planning.

Chair, University Planning, Budget, and Analysis Committee

This committee was responsible for strategic planning, assessment, and for setting the university's general operating budget ($126.3 million in FY09). The committee was charged with developing a balanced budget that reflects university priorities. All committee meetings were public, and representatives of local media frequently attend. As Chair, my responsibilities included setting the agenda, guiding the processes of budget development, planning, and priority- setting, moderating discussion, and presenting the budget to the university community and the President. I also served as the principal representative for the committee to external constituencies, the media, and the public.

Campaign Planning and Fundraising

Montana State University had engaged in systematic planning for a comprehensive campaign. I worked closely with the deans and other leadership to develop the goals and objectives of that part of the campaign that focus on the instructional, research, and outreach missions of the university. I worked with the President and the Executive Director of the MSU Foundation on all aspects of university development, and was a member (ex officio) of the Board of Directors of the Foundation. In addition, I was one of the principals in our "game day" activities, which included pre-game events and sharing cultivation responsibilities in the President's box. I accompanied the football team on selected away games to meet with alumni and donors.

Board of Trustees, Museum of the Rockies

The Museum is part of the university, but also functions as a separately incorporated 501c(3) organization. I served on the Executive Committee of the Board. The Dean and Director of the Museum reported to me, and I served as the hiring authority. As both Provost and as a board member I participated in governance, management, and fundraising for the Museum.

Governmental, System, and External Relations

I was a member of MSU's senior leadership team for governmental relations. Between legislative sessions I worked with staff of the governor and other executives, as well as interim legislative committees on budgets, accountability measures, and planning. During sessions of the Montana Legislature I provided the primary testimony for the university budget and building requests, and worked throughout the session on issues of interest to the university. I also worked with our Congressional delegation and our federal relations firm on appropriations and policy issues. I worked closely with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and attended meetings of the Montana Board of Regents. I regularly present proposed action items, information, and background material to the Board. In addition, I served on multiple Board taskforces or focus groups, addressing such subjects as accountability, tuition and fee policies, distance education, general education requirements, and admissions standards. A key component of my responsibilities as Provost was to communicate and work with external constituencies. These included the Chamber of Commerce and other local groups, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Graingrowers Association, the Farm Bureau, and local companies and businesses, especially those in the high technology and biotechnology sectors.

Other Professional Activities

I served as an evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (a regional accreditation organization) and was a member of teams that have reviewed the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, and the University of Oregon. I completed a term as a member of the governing council for the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. Finally, I currently served as a member of the scientific advisory board for Viamet, a new biotechnology startup venture.


This section outlines some of the changes at MSU during my service as Provost. It must be noted that all of these new initiatives and programs were developed by rich collaborative processes involving the faculty and others in the administration. Many faculty members, deans, department heads, administrative staff, and other senior leaders at MSU share the credit for these accomplishments. I believe very strongly in shared governance and certainly one of the most satisfying accomplishments has been the development of a vibrant culture for shared governance at MSU that includes faculty, students, and staff. Building this culture was a sustained goal of the President, the university community, and me.

Vision, Mission, and Strategic Planning

MSU has become a major research university, ranked in the Carnegie "Very High Research" category. During my service as Provost annual research expenditures grew from $45 million (1999) to over $100 million in 2007. At the same time, MSU committed itself to excellence in undergraduate education and to the success of its students. The "integration of learning with the discovery of knowledge" is at the heart of MSU's values and goals. MSU is dedicated to providing "hands-on" learning experiences to all students. These values are expressed in the core curriculum and the capstone experience featured in all departments. As Provost I helped lead the strategic planning process that incorporated these goals and values into MSU's Five-Year Vision, which is assessed and updated annually, and the university's marketing plan. There grew a broad consensus at MSU to continue the endeavor to achieve distinction as a top Carnegie research university where undergraduates are an integral part of the research, scholarly, and creative work of the institution.

Undergraduate Education
  • Fostered the development, working closely with faculty, of a nationally-recognized, new core curriculum that includes a required first-year seminar taught in small sections, quantitative reasoning, writing, inquiry courses in the major disciplinary areas, contemporary issues in science, diversity, and an undergraduate research experience.
  • Developed new interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees in Liberal Studies and American Studies based in the new University College; new undergraduate major in Paleontology, Bioengineering, and Medical Laboratory Science (based entirely at MSU, previous program required students to go elsewhere for their final year); minors in Latin American and Latino Studies and Museum Studies; instituted Chinese language instruction, expanded Arabic language program and offerings in Spanish; instituted learning outcomes assessment for all departments.
  • Greatly expanded internship programs and service learning opportunities.
  • Working with one our affiliated two-year campus in Great Falls, MSU brought two-year educational opportunities to Bozeman and our local region.
Student Success and Community
  • Expanded MSU's central academic advising office and added an advisor especially for students changing majors.
  • Provided leadership to a multi-campus effort to substantially improve transferability in the Montana University System
  • Created the Academic Advising Council to develop university-wide improvements in advising and to identify and share best practices.
  • Instituted convocation, particularly targeting first-year students.
  • Established learning centers for mathematics and chemistry in residence halls.
  • Improved relationships with Athletics Department to enhance the success of our student- athletes.
Graduate Education
  • New Ph.D. programs in Animal and Range Science, Neuroscience, Ecology and Environmental Science, History (first Ph.D. in the humanities at MSU), Computer Science, Earth Sciences (including Paleontology) and Molecular Biosciences (a multidisciplinary, cross-departmental program). A new Ph.D. program in English (emphasizing the public humanities) and a novel collaborative Ph.D. in American Studies with European university partners are in the final stages of planning.
  • New M.S./M.A. degrees in Native American Studies, Neuroscience, Ecology and Environmental Science, Environmental and Ecological Statistics, Science and Natural History Filmmaking, and the Art History.
  • Increased the number and funding of graduate teaching assistantships.
  • Reorganized the administration of graduate education and initiated an assessment, planning, and implementation process to set priorities and improve the strategic use of resources.
Faculty Development
  • With the Vice President for Research created a "Short-Term Professional Development Leave" program to enable and support faculty travel and participation in activities that will enhance their capabilities for scholarship and teaching.
  • With the Vice President for Research created a "buy-out" program that provides funding for a one semester reduction in teaching load to enable faculty (especially those outside of science and engineering) to advance or complete scholarly work.
  • With the Vice President for Research created a university award that recognizes faculty who engage undergraduates in research or creative work in an exemplary fashion.
  • With the Vice Provost for Outreach created and funded a university-wide award for engagement and service.
  • Initiated a review and revision of MSU's policies and procedures for promotion and tenure to improve the clarity and consistency of the university's expectations, and to insure that our standards are consistent with MSU's emergence as a research university that values and rewards excellence in both teaching and scholarship.
Budget, Planning, and Capital Projects
  • With the senior leadership, led the implementation of a new budget and planning process for MSU. The Provost chairs the University Planning, Budget, and Analysis Committee, which sets the general operating budget of the university in an open, inclusive, and public process.
  • With the Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the Vice President for Research, had a lead role in securing the approval for the new $24M Chemistry and Biochemistry building and overseeing its completion.
  • Represented MSU to the Legislature to secure funding for the renovation of the former chemistry building into a state-of-the-art instructional facility (approximately $34M).
  • Worked with senior leadership and staff to develop MSU's new long-range campus development plan.
  • With others in leadership developed MSU's principles for space management and set up the Space Management Committee to lead and supervise the strategic allocation of space.
Diversity and Internationalization
  • Upgraded the Native American Studies Program to full departmental status, and added faculty lines.
  • Made recruitment of women and other under-representative groups into leadership and faculty positions an academic priority. Five of MSU's nine deans are women and one is Native American.
  • Implemented strategies to increase enrollment of Native American students and international students.
  • Increased the emphasis on international partnerships, leading to new relationships with, among others, Norway, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Japan, India, Korea, and Turkey. One notable aspect is the development of novel dual degree programs with Turkish universities.
New Institutes & Divisions Established
  • The Energy Research Institute for comprehensive energy research, including carbon sequestration, clean coal technology, fuel cell technology, materials science, wind energy, solar energy, and biofuels. MSU is the lead institution in a partnership that was recently awarded $66.9 million from the Department of Energy for Phase III research on carbon sequestration. Partners include several major research universities and national laboratories.
  • The Humanities Institute for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies in the humanities.
  • The Big Sky Institute for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
  • The Division of Health Sciences, to provide leadership and coordination for research and education in health and biomedical disciplines, as well as fostering interdisciplinary research and education.
  • Center for Native Health Partnerships for community based public health research and outreach on tribal reservations (supported by the NIH, among others).


California Institute of Technology, Pasadena - Ph.D. in Chemistry, 1979
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla - B.A. in Chemistry, 1974


NASULGC Council on Academic Affairs & Committee on Undergraduate Education Council for Undergraduate Research

American Chemical Society, Inorganic Division and Biological Chemistry Division

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry


Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Distinguished career of sustained discovery and innovation in biological inorganic chemistry and in university research, technology and education administration, 2012

Awarded Honors Ceremony and Blanket, MSU Pow-Wow, 2006

Elected Chairman 2006 "Metals in Biology" Gordon Research Conference (Vice-Chairman in 2005)

Elected to the Council for Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 2003

Foundation for Inorganic Chemistry, Visiting Scholar, University of Sydney, 1996

Wiley Award for Meritorious Research 1996

Chairman 1995 Gordon Conference on "Quinones and Redox Active Amino Acid Cofactors" (Vice-Chairman, 1992)

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Award, Grant Program in Chemistry for Liberal Arts Colleges, 1989

A.M. (hon.), Amherst College, 1989

Elected to Sigma Xi, 1978


Distinguished Lecture, Ibaraki University, Mito, Japan, March 2008

Vice Provost for Research Colloquium, Baylor University, April 2008

International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (ICBIC 13) July 2007

Science and Faith Seminar Series, Baylor University, April 2007

Japan/China Crossover Science Symposium, October 2006

Penn State Summer Symposium on Molecular Biology, June 2006

Pacific Chemistry Conference (Pacific Rim Chemical Societies), Honolulu, December 2005

International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (ICBIC 12) July 2005

Gordon Conference on Metals in Biology, Ventura, CA, January 2005

8th International Congress on Amino Acids and Proteins, Rome, Italy, September 2003

Biophysical Society, 47th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, March 2003

International Symposium on Paramagnetic NMR Spectroscopy and Structural Studies of

Metalloproteins, Mito, Japan, March 2003

International Symposium on Structure and Function of Copper Proteins, Okazaki, Japan, March 2003

5th International Symposium on Vitamin B6, PQQ, Carbonyl Catalysis and Quinoproteins,

Southhampton, UK, April 2002

Gordon Conference on Metals in Biology, Ventura, CA, January 2002

Gordon Conference on Quinone and Redox-active Amino Acid Cofactors, Ventura, CA, January 2002

10th International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry, Florence, Italy, August 2001

Pacific Chemistry Conference (American Chemical Society) Honolulu, HI, December 2000

NSF Inorganic Biochemistry Summer Workshop, Athens, GA, August 2000

International Conference on Biological Inorganic Chemistry (ICBIC 9) July 1999

Gordon Conference on Quinone and Redox-Active Amino Acid Cofactors, June 1999

FASEB Summer Research Conference on Micronutrients: Trace Elements, June 1998

NSF-Inorganic Biochemistry Summer Workshop, Athens, GA, August 1998

Enzyme Structure and Mechanism Symposium, American Society of Biochemistry and

Molecular Biology Annual Meeting, August 1997

Penn State Summer Symposium on Molecular Biology, August 1997

Gordon Conference on Metals in Biology, January 1997

Gordon Conference on Quinone and Redox-Active Amino Acid Cofactors, May 1997

Lecturer, NSF-Inorganic Biochemistry Summer Workshop, Athens, GA, 1996

Lecturer, International Conference on Copper Proteins, Manziana, Italy, 1995

Repligen Award Symposium, National American Chemical Society Meeting, Washington, DC, 1994


$1,340,192 Structures, Mechanisms and Biogenesis of Amine Oxidases, NIH GM27659, 9/06-8/10.

$540,000 Mechanism and Structure of Nitrous Oxide Reductase, NSF MCB 0744289

$255,448 Assessment of the Efficacy and Mechanism of Action of Selected Inhibitors (inhibitors synthesized at Case Western Reserve), NIH GM-48812 (PI Sayre, Case Western Reserve) subcontract to DM Dooley 4/06-4/09

$5,958,716 Research support from NIH, NSF, American Heart Association, USDA, MAES, Petroleum Research Fund, and Research Corporation

$4,215,095 Institutional support for graduate training (NSF) and multiple awards for scientific equipment


2010 - State of Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Board of Directors

2010 - Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

2005 - Scientific Advisory Board, Viamet Pharemaceuticals

2004 - Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

2003-2008 Council, Society for Biological Inorganic Chemistry

1999-2003 Member of Metallobiochemistry Study Section, NIH

1998-1999 U.S. Organizing Committee, 10th International Symposium on Vitamin B6 and Carbonyl Catalysis and 4th Meeting on PQQ and Quinoproteins

1998-2002 Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

1997-2000 Metabolic Biochemistry Review Panel, NSF

1993-1999 Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

1983-1998 Ad-hoc reviewer for various NIH Study Sections


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