Office of the Provost

University of Rhode Island

Provost's Office Green Hall 35 Campus Avenue Kingston, RI 02881-1303


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Donald H. DeHayes

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Phone: 401-874-4410
  • Fax: 401-874-7844
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: Provost's Office
    Green Hall
    35 Campus Avenue
    Kingston, RI 02881-1303


In December 2007, Dr. Donald DeHayes was appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Rhode Island (URI), a proud Land, Sea, and Urban Grant Institution.  As Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. DeHayes is responsible for providing leadership, strategic financial management, planning, inspiration, and innovation for all academic programs and initiatives of the university as well as for the Offices of Admissions, Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, Institutional Research and all university support programs.  The URI is a vibrant learning-centered research university and community of about 16,750 undergraduate and graduate students, 820 full- and part-time faculty, and an academic enterprise consisting of 10 academic colleges, the Graduate School, University Libraries, and Information Technology Services.  Dr. DeHayes has overall responsibility for the annual unrestricted Academic Affairs budget of approximately $160 million and the strategic allocation of an additional $61 million of financial aid that is critical to the university’s mission and vitality.

As an academic leader, Dr. DeHayes is interested in harnessing the intellectual capacity of the university and deploying our most innovative pedagogical and scholarly resources and deepest passions to promote learning, discovery, and innovation to advance the human and global prospect for the 21st century. He aspires to bring ecosystem thinking, interdisciplinary learning, and leadership to the forefront on a global scale.  At URI, Dr. DeHayes has engaged the community in an inclusive, transparent, and data-considerate process to generate a new Academic Vision and a detailed Academic Plan, which includes the goals, strategies, and actions necessary to implement that plan and to transform learning and discovery in the university.  The implementation of that Plan along with a new strategic and sustainable financial investment model is underway.

Dr. Donald DeHayes was formerly the Dean of The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at The University of Vermont (UVM).  As Dean, Dr. DeHayes was responsible for all educational, research, outreach activities, and financial and fund-raising matters of The Rubenstein School as well as establishing and nurturing numerous partnerships with agencies, non-profits, and corporations.  Dr. DeHayes led the effort to define a distinctive niche for The Rubenstein School — exploring and understanding the human relationship with the natural world and a focus on holistic, interdisciplinary analysis of complex environmental challenges and opportunities.

At UVM, Dr. DeHayes established a culture of philanthropy and raised more than $34 million in private funds in support of program initiatives and endowed professorships and scholarships, including a $15 million naming gift for The Rubenstein School and a $7.8 million gift to establish and endow the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.  In 1993, Dr. DeHayes was the recipient of the Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching at UVM, an honor given by the university to just one full professor each year.  In 2001, Dr. DeHayes was recipient of UVM’s University Scholar Award in recognition of sustained excellence in research and scholarship.  In 2006, the endowed Donald DeHayes Multicultural Scholarship Fund was established with gift funds at UVM to honor Dr. DeHayes efforts in support of cultural diversity, multiculturalism, and equity.

Dr. DeHayes received his Ph.D. in forest genetics from Michigan State University and has maintained an active teaching portfolio and research program focused on the health, productivity, and sustainability of forest ecosystems.  He is recipient of research and education grants exceeding $14 million and is author of about 100 published articles and book chapters and numerous invited presentations on recent research focused on biological implications of anthropogenic stresses on forests and the genetics of forest ecosystems.  He has played an important and collaborative role in numerous state and federal legislative partnerships and appropriations and was instrumental in the establishment of several active research/outreach enterprises designed to discover and share new knowledge at state and regional scales, including the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, The Watershed Alliance, Conservation Study Institute, Vermont Climate Change Collaborative, and the Vermont Tourism Data Center. 

Dr. DeHayes is currently Past President of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs, a consortium of 69 mostly public research universities as well as several partner agencies and non-profits.  He also has been a member of the Board on Natural Resources of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now the APLU) and has chaired its Forest Resources Section.  He was recently a member of the Vermont Governor’s Commission on Climate Change.

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