Updated March 27 at 12:27pm

Dooley named next URI president


PROVIDENCE – David M. Dooley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Montana State University, will be the next president of the University of Rhode Island.

The R.I. Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) last night named Dooley to replace Robert L. Carothers, who is stepping down June 30 after 18 years as URI’s president.

“David Dooley is an outstanding choice to be the next president of the University of Rhode Island,” Judge Frank Caprio, Board of Governors chairman, said in a statement. “He has clearly demonstrated that he understands the university’s aspirations and is well acquainted with what it will take to achieve them. At the same time, he is mindful of the challenges that URI faces and he is committed to finding ways that will move the university forward.”

Caprio praised Dooley, 56, for his track record at Montana State, located in Bozeman, Mont., especially his championing of their research funding.

“He has a reputation of being someone who can unite people toward a common purpose and lead as well as inspire them toward that goal,” Caprio said.

Commissioner of Higher Education Jack R. Warner said Dooley “understands the importance of building relationships with a variety of on-and off-campus constituencies and of leveraging those relationships for the greater good of the institution.

“We were most impressed with how he worked with and supported the teaching responsibilities of faculty and promoted student success while still supporting and expanding the research mission at Montana State,” said Warner. “URI is committed to a greater focus on research and we believe that Provost Dooley is the right person to shape and develop that focus and put it into practice at the university.

“At the same time, he has demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to the university’s role in economic and work force development, Warner said.

Montana State, like URI, is a land-grant institution and has slightly more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students (URI’s enrollment was 15,904 as of fall ’08). Dooley has helped attract considerable research dollars to Montana State, according to a news release from the Board of Governors, helping to grow that budget from almost nothing to $100 million during his tenure.

Dooley, a native of California, was selected from a group of three finalists for the position after a nationwide search which attracted 55 candidates. He 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.

He began his career in higher education in 1978 as an assistant professor at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., and later became a full professor and department chair there.

Dooley has nearly 16 years of experience as chief academic officer and department chair at Montana State.

He is chair of the university’s planning, budget and analysis committee, which is responsible for strategic planning, assessment and for setting the university’s operating budget. He also manages the university’s international partnerships.

The Board of Governors did not say what Dooley’s starting salary will be.


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