Office of the President

Green Hall 35 Campus Avenue, Kingston, R.I. 02881

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Presidential History

The University’s Leaders – Past and Present

David M. Dooley

David M. Dooley, 2009 – present

With more than 30 years of experience in public and private higher education, Dr. David M. Dooley became the University of Rhode Island’s 11th president in July 2009. Known for his collaborative leadership style that encourages entrepreneurial approaches to problem solving and program development, President Dooley fosters a community of discovery that involves all URI […]

Robert L. Carothers

Robert L. Carothers, 1991 – 2009

Known for his inspirational leadership, during his 18-year tenure President Carothers initiated and made a series of progressive changes to the university’s structure, infrastructure and curriculum. The University became know as a preeminent public institution for higher education, and a comprehensive branding initiative clearly defined the University’s distinctiveness in the marketplace. During his tenure, the […]

Edward D. Eddy

Edward D. “Ted” Eddy, 1983 – 1991

President Eddy, known as “Ted” to many, was successful in enhancing the University’s image nationally and abroad during his tenure. He was instrumental in expanding the Graduate School of Oceanography and improving its programs and research initiatives. He also secured a ten-year accreditation for the University from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. […]


Frank Newman, 1974 – 1983

President Frank Newman navigated the University through troubled times and reversed a tide of declining enrollment. He created the College of Human Science and Services, revamped the general education curriculum to emphasize global perspectives, launched the research vessel Endeavor, and recognized the importance of higher education in the lives of older students. President Newman was […]

Werner A. Baum

Werner A. Baum, 1968 – 1973

Werner A. Baum had been the deputy administrator of the Environmental Science Services in the U. S. Department of Commerce before he was named as the University’s seventh president. As at universities nationwide, President Baum faced student protests, outcomes of actions taken at Kent State, and war. During his tenure, URI Library holdings few by […]

Francis Horn

Francis H. Horn, 1958 – 1967

The University’s sixth president, Francis “Fran” Horn led the University as it transitioned from a small ‘country’ college into what would become an internationally known university. When Horn came to campus in 1958, URI’s enrollment was under 3,000, and the school received little recognition outside the state. State leaders often dismissed the University as a […]

Carl R. Woodward

Carl R. Woodward, 1941 – 1958

Carl Robert Woodward came to the Rhode Island State College as president, and just one year later became president of The University of Rhode Island. President Woodward led the charge to grant the college with its university status. Having started as URI’s fifth president just one month before Pearl Harbor, President Woodward led the University […]

Howard Edwards

Howard Edwards, 1906 – 1930

Howard Edwards was the University’s longest-serving president. During his 24-year tenure, what was then the Rhode Island College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts was renamed Rhode Island College. President Edwards fostered the URI’s growth from what once was a tiny agricultural school into a full-fledged college. For example, President Edwards opened the educational opportunities for […]

Kenyon L. Butterfield

Kenyon L. Butterfield, 1903 -1906

Before joining the Rhode Island College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts, President Kenyon Butterfield had been an Instructor in Rural Sociology at the University of Michigan. He also had served as superintendent to the Michigan Farmers’ Institute and as field agent for the Michigan Agricultural College, and earlier was editor to the Michigan Grange Visitor. […]

John Hosea Washburn

John Hosea Washburn, 1892-1902

John H. Washburn was appointed to be principal of the Rhode Island Agricultural School. The land for the college had been appropriated for Rhode Island with the passage of the Morrill Act of 1862. Washburn’s fete was to wrest the appropriation of land-grant status from Brown University for the Rhode Island Agricultural School to become […]

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