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.
Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Bethany Jenkins joined the University of Rhode Island in 2005 and was appointed interim vice president for research and economic development in March 2023. 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.
Interim 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 interim Vice President for administration and finance in April 2023. 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.
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 public learner-centered research university. We are a community joined in a common quest for knowledge. The University is committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions. URI is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreach serve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island’s heritage of independent thought, we value:
- Creativity and scholarship
- Diversity, fairness, and respect
- Engaged learning and civic involvement
- Intellectual and ethical leadership
Endorsed by the URI Faculty Senate on Oct. 20, 2005. Approved by the President Nov. 1, 2005. Approved by the Board of Governors for Higher Education on Jan. 23, 2006.