Marc Parlange is a big thinker with a global view, a scientist and scholar, and a distinguished leader with a firm belief in the power of collaboration.
President Parlange comes to URI from Monash University, Australia’s largest research university and one of the world’s top 100 universities for excellence in research and teaching. As provost and senior vice president at Monash, Parlange expanded the institution’s global relationships and helped to spur ambitious projects in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, new-generation building construction, and sustainability.
An open door
After earning a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Marc Parlange began his teaching career at the University of California, Davis, in 1990, moving on to Johns Hopkins University in 1996. In his role as a chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering there, he started a practice of opening up his academic office to students and assistant professors seeking guidance and connection.
“It made me realize how important university leadership is in creating and cultivating an open environment,” he says. During his tenure, Johns Hopkins launched a new major in environmental engineering, which became one of the top 10 programs in the country, according to the prestigious U.S. News and World Report rankings.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping people motivate themselves, and supporting them to reach their potential. People want to be part of successful teams.”Marc Parlange
A firm believer in fostering collaboration across disciplines—and among institutions around the world—President Parlange aims to amplify innovative ideas, making URI an even more attractive school for top students and faculty.
“URI has a great reputation for its scholarship and the uplift it brings to the state of Rhode Island— including its outstanding work in oceanography and climate. The URI community is vibrant and inclusive, and its values and ambition are very much in line with my own vision of an ideal university.”
‘I will be there with you’
President Parlange’s arrival coincides with a highly anticipated and welcome return to in-person instruction and a more traditional version of campus life.
“I think we will all be overjoyed to be back on campus studying, researching, teaching and gathering together. It will be important to celebrate a return to campus in a COVID-safe way, while also acknowledging and addressing our losses—and the impact this has had on people’s lives. Study, teaching, research and service have all been affected, but hopefully without the constant disruption of new rules and restrictions, things should smooth out as time goes on,” Parlange says. “We will plan activities and gatherings, as appropriate. We will re-engage as soon as possible in clubs, sports and cultural events and performances.
“And I will be there with you.”
President Parlange is featured in the Summer 2021 edition of the University of Rhode Island Magazine