Abu Bakr

Planning Services and Professional Development (retired)

To: All Members of the URI Community
From: David M. Dooley, President
Naomi Thompson, Associate Vice President Community, Equity & Diversity
Date: February 6, 2013
Subject: Abu Bakr Retires
After 35 years of service to the University of Rhode Island community, Abu Bakr retires to pursue new opportunities and devote more time to family. It is with a mixture of regret and good wishes that the URI community says farewell to a university leader whose commitment spans four decades. His rich contributions and long legacy will not be forgotten.

During 2012, while serving as the Interim Associate Vice President for Community, Equity and Diversity, Abu also assumed increased responsibility as the primary caretaker for his two aging parents. Unfortunately, his father just passed away this January 2013.

Abu Bakr’s legacy as a university leader began in 1970, after transferring from Duke University as a student scholar athlete. While on the dean’s list, Abu served as captain for the men’s basketball team during the two years that he played for URI. Abu Bakr continues to hold the distinct honor of ranking in URI’s top five all time in career rebounders. Abu was also proudly selected to serve as a counselor for the Talent Development program during his undergraduate years.

After a successful basketball career in Europe, Abu returned to URI to earn a Master’s of Science in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies and an MBA. Abu began his professional career working in the Counseling Center as a clinical graduate assistant. Abu then worked for 17 years at the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education holding progressively increased responsibilities leading up to the position of Director of Student Services.

In 1997, Abu returned to the Kingston campus where he served as Assistant Director for the department then known as Professional Development Leadership and Organization Training (PDLOT) and this led to his appointment as Executive Assistant to the President. In January 2012, Abu was named Interim Associate Vice President for Community, Equity and Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer, and worked in the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity until his retirement on January 25, 2013.

We thank Abu for his four decades of dedication to the University of Rhode Island. His presence will be missed by the university community, but we wish him a deservedly happy and prosperous retirement.