David M. Dooley, 2009 – 2021

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 fostered a community of discovery that involved all URI students, faculty and staff. He reshaped the University’s strategic direction, creating a set of broadly defined goals critical to the University’s evolution.

In 2010, his Transformational Goals provided leadership with the overall guidelines for creating a new academic plan and mission focused on achievement and institutional effectiveness. A Progress Report in 2014 highlights the distinctive accomplishments.

During his tenure, President Dooley lobbied and received significant support to improve facilities for teaching, research and service in Kingston and Providence. In 2010 and 2014, he campaigned successfully for two multi-million bond referenda that gained overwhelming support from Rhode Island voters – the $68 million Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences and $125 million for a new engineering complex. He also advocated for a partnership with Brown and Rhode Island College to build the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence.

Prior to joining the University, Dr. Dooley was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Montana State, Bozeman, Mont., for 10 years, having served for seven years as head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. During his tenure, he was a central figure in attracting research dollars, helping to grow that university’s budget to $100 million.

Dr. Dooley earned a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California in San Diego and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Dr. Dooley’s wife, Lynn Baker-Dooley, is a Baptist minister. The couple has two adult children, Chris and Samantha, and a dog named Rhody.