Robert L. Carothers, 1991–2009

During his 18-year tenure President Robert “Bob” Carothers strengthened the University’s structure, infrastructure, and curriculum. He oversaw a branding initiative that defined the University’s distinctiveness among public higher education institutions in the marketplace.

Drawing on his unique strength as a poet, lawyer, scholar, and administrator, Carothers increased diversity among students, faculty, and staff. He also enhanced alumni and private support. He was visionary in his efforts to curb alcohol use at URI, in the state, and in the nation.

His educational philosophy encouraged moving students from being passive listeners to active learners with concern for their neighbors, whether across the street or across an ocean. As a result, in 2005, the same college guide that had earlier labeled URI as the top party school, instead named it a “college with a conscience.”

The tragic events of September 11 have left many Americans both sad and angry. The very principles that make America a great nation have been attacked…In the face of those attacks, it is imperative that each of us does all we can to preserve the Constitution that embodies our liberties and the rule of law that protects them. Just as we will not tolerate attacks of terrorists on our nation, we will also not tolerate acts of violence or harassment against any persons because of where they or their ancestors came from, or because they look somehow different or because they speak with an accent.

Robert L. Carothers