About URI

Introduction

The University of Rhode Island has the intimate feel of a smaller university, but our thinking—and our research, innovations, and cross-discipline collaboration—is very big. At URI you’ll find some of today’s leading innovators, discoverers, and creative problem solvers offering a constant flow of big ideas to address global issues. From new technologies for identifying and treating killer diseases, to the latest solutions for environmental challenges, to forensic sciences that protect against global and cyber terrorism, and more, the University of Rhode Island is prepared to help.

In addition to traditional major degree programs, unique interdisciplinary programs blending such disciplines as languages with textiles, engineering with business, pharmaceuticals with engineering, and archaeology with marine sciences engage URI’s 13,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students in real-life, problem-solving initiatives. They work side by side with approximately 600 full-time tenure-track teaching faculty, as well as with dedicated lecturers, researchers, and adjunct faculty. Our students come from most states and dozens of countries, and our alumni can be found in more than 80 countries around the globe.

For enrollment statistics and a host of other facts about URI, including retention and graduation data, visit the website of the office of Institutional Research: uri.edu/ir.

Mission

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

Campus Facilities

From the rolling farmlands and surrounding forests to the ocean and coastal watershed, we enjoy natural resources that inspire our students and faculty to innovate and discover daily. Our main campus is located in the beautiful, historic, rural town of Kingston. It’s just 30 miles south of Providence and close enough to New York and Boston to collaborate easily with fellow experts in any discipline. At the center of campus lies students’ favorite place to hang out, study, and enjoy New England’s foliage and scenery—a grassy quadrangle surrounded by handsome, old granite buildings that are home to classrooms, auditoriums, computer labs, and more. Elsewhere on campus, our students learn and live in state-of-the-art, environmentally award-winning academic buildings, and a wide range of student residence halls, and fraternity and sorority houses. On the plain below Kingston Hill are gymnasiums, athletic fields, tennis courts, a freshwater pond, agricultural fields, and the University’s Thomas M. Ryan Center.

Our urban Feinstein Providence Campus is home to the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education (ASFCCE), the University’s biotechnology manufacturing program, and the “Admission Option” for incoming traditional-aged students. Our coastal Narragansett Bay Campus, six miles east of Kingston, overlooks the West Passage of Rhode Island’s prized bay and is the site of URI’s internationally renowned Graduate School of Oceanography, as well as ocean engineering labs and marine sciences research. And 20 miles to the west lies our W. Alton Jones Campus—2,300 acres of pristine woods, fields, streams, and ponds that form the backdrop for environmental education, research, and conference and wedding facilities.

URI is a fully networked university, with classroom media support services, telephone services, multi-media development services, and instructional support for faculty provided by URI’s office of Information Technology Services (ITS).  In our residence halls, students have access to both hardwired network outlets and wireless internet service, and all general-purpose classrooms are equipped with multi-media equipment and wireless network access. For more technology details, visit uri.edu/its.

University Libraries provides access to millions of print and electronic resources at the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons on URI’s Kingston campus, the Pell Marine Science Library at the Narragansett Bay campus, and the College of Continuing Education Library at the Providence campus. We’re a member of the Higher Education Library Information Network (HELIN), giving 24/7 borrowing privileges to faculty, staff, and students at 10 regional institutions of higher learning and several Rhode Island health sciences libraries via an online public access catalog. For more library details, visit uri.edu/library.

History

Our history of big thinking began in 1888, when a handful of South Kingstown residents, the South Kingstown Town Council, and the State of Rhode Island made a collective donation of $5,000 to purchase the 140-acre Oliver Watson Farm and establish a state agricultural school and experiment station. We were the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts then. As Rhode Island’s land-grant institution, charged by the Morrill Act of 1862 with agricultural, mechanic arts, and industrial education, we graduated our first 17 students in 1894.

By 1909, we’d established the Ocean State’s first marine laboratory, created an outreach department, offered our first master’s degree, begun our Greek system, and become Rhode Island State College. We became the state’s flagship university with a name change to the University of Rhode Island in 1951, and were named the state’s only sea grant and urban grant university in 1966 and 1995, respectively.

We’ve long since outgrown our original charge to teach agriculture, military tactics, mechanical arts, and classical studies, and are now gaining national and international recognition as a preeminent research University tackling global issues.

21st Century Learning Environment

Although we’ve invested nearly $1 billion over the last 20 years into building, rebuilding, and renovating more than 50 campus buildings designed to increase cutting-edge resources for students and faculty, we are not bound by bricks and mortar. We’re also taking steps toward a 24/7 learning environment, creating online programs, increasing online courses, and doubling our hybrid courses. And, we know that learning outside the classroom is as important as learning inside the classroom, so we’re increasing and improving meaningful opportunities for experiential learning through research, creative work, and scholarship. Thousands of students take part each year in practical internships and study abroad opportunities with partners in Rhode Island and around the globe through our Office of Experiential Learning and Community Engagement and our Office of International Education. For more information, visit  uri.edu/internships and uri.edu/international.

Research and Economic Development

As the principal public research institution in the state of Rhode Island, URI houses innovative research facilities as varied as our programs of study. For details, visit the website of the college or department in which you are interested.

The strength and expertise of our researchers and programs of scientific inquiry attract more than $100 million per year in research funding from federal and state agencies, foundations, and commercial firms. The strength of our research funding allows the students and faculty of our research enterprises to do work with the potential to improve the lives, health, and economies of people in Rhode Island, the nation, and the world, while generating hundreds of millions of dollars for our state and local economies, creating additional high-paying jobs, and increasing state and local tax revenues. Our Division of Research and Economic Development and URI Research Foundation are strengthening liaisons among the University, its researchers, and corporations around the globe, leveraging investment capital to market inventions, expand resources, and support additional research. For details, including copies of current and past annual reports, visit uri.edu/research/tro.

Community, Equity, and Diversity

Our campus communities are made up of students, faculty, staff, and alumni representing a wide diversity of cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, religions, political affiliations, and philosophies. As such, our commitment is to help all members of the campus community develop the ability to communicate, understand, and engage productively with people different from themselves.

For more information about URI’s Office of Community, Equity, and Diversity visit uri.edu/diversity.

The culture of URI is defined in the “Cornerstones” below, developed by the Quality of Student Life Committee and endorsed by the URI Student Senate:

The University of Rhode Island is a principled community guided by values. As members of this community, we subscribe to the following principles, which form the foundation of our endeavors.

• We pursue knowledge with honesty, integrity, and courage.

• We promote independent choice, intellectual curiosity, open-mindedness, and free expression.

• We respect the rights and dignity of each individual and group.

• We reject prejudice and intolerance, and we work to understand differences.

• We accept personal responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

• We actively cooperate to improve the University, the state of Rhode Island, and the global community beyond our borders.

• We strive to be a community where the environment and property are treated respectfully.

• We seek to create and maintain an environment conducive to personal health and wellness.

• We work to develop skills that promote lifelong learning, leadership, and service.

Additionally, various organizations, such as the Alumni Association, work to encourage the continued support and engagement of current and future alumni as committed partners of the University, its mission, and its traditions. Recognizing more than 100,000 alumni throughout the world, the URI Alumni Association is an interdependent organization offering programs and services for alumni and raising funds to support scholarships and programs. For details, visit advance.uri.edu/alumni/association. The University of Rhode Island Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3), is charged with conducting all charitable fundraising efforts on behalf of the University and administering the investment of the University’s endowment portfolio. For details, including copies of current and past annual reports, visit urifoundation.org.

Globalization of Opportunities and Experiences

As technology breaks down borders and time zones, we are taking steps to ensure that our students are prepared to live and work in an increasingly globalized economy. We’re developing relationships with businesses, institutions of higher education, and communities on the other side of the globe for meaningful study abroad and internship opportunities for more students. We’re developing new and blended academic programs that will increase the number of graduates fluent in languages other than English. And we are taking steps to triple our population of international students who can bring diverse world cultures to our community of students and staff right here in Rhode Island.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination

The University of Rhode Island prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identification or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status, or status as a special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Vietnam era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of students, the recruitment, hiring, or treatment of faculty and staff, and in the operation of its activities and programs, except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law and cases that may arise under applicable federal and state law and regulations, including but not limited to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments to the Higher Education Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; ADA Amendment Act of 2008; the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Executive Order 11246, as amended; Executive Order 91-39; Executive Order 92-2; and Rhode Island General Law 28-5.1, as amended; and all other laws which pertain to access and equity.

Inquiries concerning compliance with antidiscrimination laws should be addressed to Roxanne Gomes, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity, Suite 201, Carlotti Administration Building, 401.874.2442. Questions regarding provisions for students with disabilities should be directed to the director of Disability Services for Students in the Office of Student Life, 330 Memorial Union, 401.874.2098 (TTY via R.I. Relay, 711); uri.edu/disability/dss.

Think Big We Do

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