As we send another class of graduates into the world and reflect on our 125 years as the state’s flagship public research institution, there is much to celebrate. We are a thriving community of scholars; our application and enrollment numbers continue to soar; our campus is alive with the sounds and sights of cutting-edge facilities that have in turn attracted talented new faculty members to the University. As a result of public support and investment, URI is increasingly a first-choice destination for exceptional high school seniors.
As a research university we have the unique opportunity to investigate nature – its present, past, and future. We also have the responsibility to identify and test solutions to challenges within it, whether these are associated with infectious disease, aging, pollution, or climate change, to cite just a few examples.
As we await the next steps in the conflict over immigration policy, it is worth articulating the importance of international partnerships and global engagement to the University of Rhode Island. In 2010 I wrote the following statement about our goal to internationalize and globalize the University of Rhode Island: “Our world is shrinking as technology […]
Uncertainty breeds anxiety. As we begin the spring semester in 2017 we must acknowledge that our community faces widespread uncertainty. Like many familiar issues that we face in the 21st century, the new uncertainties are global in scale, involving politics, economics, the environment, the nature and future of American society, and America’s role in the […]
We must recognize, no matter how difficult our own path may have been, that the path for other Americans may be even rougher, steeper, and more challenging than our own. “Equality of opportunity” might be an American ideal, but it has never been, and is not now, the reality for all Americans. Education, and especially higher education, has been one of the most productive mechanisms to fight inequality and to level the path to achieving the American Dream.
This has been a difficult and frequently discouraging summer for our country. The horrific shootings in Orlando, St. Paul, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, the corrosive gun-related violence that plagues many of our cities, the vitriolic and demeaning rhetoric of the political campaigns, and the escalating tensions associated with race and class and religion in America […]
As you may have read, I returned several days ago from a visit to Ghana. It was a trip that for me and the other members of our delegation – Associate Dean Deborah Sheely, Dr. Anton Post (Director of URI’s Coastal Resources Center – the CRC), and Reverend Dr. Joseph Quainoo – cogently illustrated the importance, impact, and value of the University of Rhode Island’s work in capacity building and international development. The visit was organized and coordinated by Dr. Brian Crawford of the CRC, who is “Chief of Party” for one of the USAID-funded projects currently underway in Ghana. He and his staff did an outstanding job in facilitating our visit and in making it very productive.
I am very proud of the activism of University of Rhode Island students, which is making a tremendous, positive impact on our community. Indeed, their impact extends far beyond the borders of Kingston. Here are a couple of amazing (to me, at least) examples.
As America moves further and further into what increasingly appears to be the “crazy season” of a presidential election, I find encouragement and hope in our community’s values and principles, as reflected in these statements. I am convinced that the primary goal of a public research university – the unfettered, honest, and courageous pursuit of knowledge – is more important than ever, at a time when ignorance and the obstinate denial of knowledge seem to be what are, all too often, celebrated and valued.