University Leadership

Administrative Officers


President Marc Parlange

Marc B. Parlange became the 12th president of the University of Rhode Island on August 1, 2021. President Parlange joined URI from Monash University, Australia’s largest research university and one of the world’s top 100 universities for excellence in research and teaching. As provost and senior vice president at Monash, Parlange expanded the institution’s global relationships and helped to spur ambitious projects in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, new-generation building construction, and sustainability. At URI, he has engaged in broad community conversations that informed a new strategic plan, Focus URI, that will extend and amplify URI’s presence on a global scale through collaboration both on the University’s campuses and with other institutions of higher learning the world over.

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Barbara E. Wolfe became provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in January 2023. Wolfe, an internationally recognized expert on psychiatric and mental health nursing and eating disorders, had previously served as dean of the URI College of Nursing since 2016. Before coming to URI, she served as associate dean for research and professor at Boston College’s William F. Connell School of Nursing. In addition to her work at Boston College, she served as a psychiatry lecturer at Harvard Medical School and president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Bethany Jenkins joined the University of Rhode Island in 2005 and was appointed vice president for research and economic development in June 2024, following a term as interim vice president. Jenkins is a professor of cell and molecular biology and oceanography with considerable research experience who has held membership and leadership roles on national scientific committees. She works closely with the provost and fellow members of the President’s Leadership Team to ensure the integration of research, scholarship and creative work with other components of the University’s academic mission.

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Abby Benson joined URI in December 2021 and previously served as the University’s senior advisor to the president and chief of staff. She was appointed vice president for administration and finance in March 2024, following a term as interim vice president. She serves in a leadership role in the establishment of fiscal policy for the University and integrates business affairs functions to achieve a level of efficiency and effectiveness that supports the overall mission and goals of the University. Other areas and departments under her supervision are budget and financial planning, controller’s office, W. Alton Jones Campus, the Ryan Center and the Boss Arena.

Faculty Senate

With the concurrence of the president, the Faculty Senate has the authority to formulate policy concerning teaching and research, study, exercise, discipline, and government. Faculty Senate leadership includes the president and vice president of the Senate who work closely with the University president and provost and participate in the University President’s Stewardship Council and other joint policy committees. Further, Faculty Senate leadership oversees maintenance of the University Manual, the primary policy document created through the framework of shared governance between the University faculty and administration. 

Board of Trustees

The University is governed by a 17 member board of trustees. The board is a public body that appoints the president and is responsible for establishing performance goals for the University, its buildings, employees, property, and approving the budget.


The University of Rhode Island is the state’s flagship land- and sea-grant research institution, with a commitment to urban initiatives. A student-centered research institution, URI actively partners with other organizations globally and locally to advance knowledge and to develop informed residents and leaders. URI is committed to high-quality education, community engagement, and solving the world’s most important challenges. Situated on the traditional land and territories of the Narragansett Nation and the Niantic People, URI strives to create a diverse and inclusive environment for researchers, teachers, learners, and community members.