University statement on Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald DeHayes

February 4, 2021

Today, Provost Donald DeHayes announced he will be stepping down from his position as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs later in 2021. In his announcement to the URI community Provost DeHayes highlighted, “It has been an extraordinary honor to serve as Provost and Chief Academic Officer for the past 13 years and, in particular, to work side by side with so many dedicated and creative faculty, staff, students, and committed colleagues who have passionately embraced and enhanced the academic core mission of this great university.”

Provost DeHayes acknowledged, “…there is so much work yet to be done.  The continued success and support of our students and our faculty remain vital to the future of our university.  In particular, we all must remain keenly attentive to student success to sustain the upward trajectory of the university. We remain in the midst of a global pandemic that has turned the lives of our students, staff, and faculty upside down and that continues to threaten the vitality of our university and world.  We must remain vigilant in our actions and commitment to each other to overcome the scourge of COVID in our community and beyond…Over the next few months, we will implement Anti-Black Racism at URI: An Academic Affairs Agenda for Change.  I know we have asked a lot from each of you over the past many months, but please join me in affirming that Black Lives Matter with actionable strategies and a focus on outcomes that will lead to measurable progress in the URI community.”

“The URI Board of Trustees is grateful for Provost DeHayes’ leadership and willingness to continue to serve in his role as the Board completes the search for a new president. Provost DeHayes has overseen and supported academics, admissions, enrollment, information technology, the honors program, and faculty recruitment and development at URI and his leadership in these areas has led to the most significant gains in student retention and graduation and research funding in the University’s history,” stated Margo Cook, Chairwoman of the URI Board of Trustees.

“There is much to celebrate about the transformative career and contributions of Provost DeHayes.  At URI, he has instilled a long-lasting commitment to academic quality, research, and strategic thinking in all of the University’s Colleges,” stated David M. Dooley, president of the University of Rhode Island. “He has recruited and hired eleven of the current College Deans, our Chief Information Officer, and all four of the Vice Provosts. Together with the Faculty and the Deans, Provost DeHayes led the development and implementation of the University’s two Academic Strategic Plans and Strategic Reinvestment Process that has transformed the academic enterprise throughout URI.  Further, he oversaw the most recent accreditation review of the University by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Provost DeHayes’ unwavering commitment to excellence at URI and his pursuit of innovative and transformative programs is evident in all corners of our community and we are deeply grateful for his leadership and service. Simply stated, Don is the finest Provost I have known and worked with.”