Photo by Margeaux Gagnon| CIGAR |“Our students are better than ever. More young people want to come here, more adults want to return to college. That is encouraging.”
President David Dooley is a well-known name at the University of Rhode Island, tasked with the responsibility of all things URI. Needless to say, Dooley is a busy man with a lot of Rhody pride.
“As president of the University, [I am] ultimately responsible for everything, practically that happens here,” Dooley said. “[Being] President bares the responsibility for how the institution performs and how well it produces graduates, how well-prepared the graduates are and how well the institution serves the people of the state.”
Dooley explained that he has always loved school. He attended the University of California at San Diego as an undergraduate, and received his doctorate degree in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. He started his career as an assistant professor of chemistry at Amherst College in 1978 and worked there for 15 years. He then moved to work at Montana State University as the head of the chemistry department, while also acting as a vice president there for 10 years. Dooley was then asked to come to URI in 2009 and has been president of the University for nine years.
“I love school,” Dooley said. “In fact, you could say I loved it so much, I never left.”
When asked what advice he would give to the students of URI today, Dooley replied that it is important to never give up on what you are learning.
“Don’t be discouraged or intimidated,” Dooley said. “I think our students are very much aware of the challenges that are out there… whether its climate change or inequality… but what really encourages me is that they don’t seem at all intimidated. They just come here, they know how big the challenges are and they are prepared to meet those challenges.”
Dooley described the future of URI as bright and positive. He seemed hopeful, attributing that to the great minds on campus today.
“I am very optimistic about the future of the University of Rhode Island,” said Dooley. “Our students are better than ever. More young people want to come here, more adults want to return to college. That is encouraging.” Dooley said.
Dooley explained that aside from hobbies such as reading, traveling, and hiking in the summer, he enjoys many aspects of his job as well. His favorite part of his job at URI is getting to interact with and support the students.
“We try to go to as many [games] as we can,” Dooley said.
From attending basketball games and tennis matches to supporting student groups, he tries to stay as involved as possible with the many amazing organizations for students on campus.
Dooley also noted that he likes to spend time at many places on campus, such as the new science buildings, botanical gardens and the quad.
“I love the Ryan Center, I’ve gone to all kinds of events there,” Dooley said. “And I really like to go and just sit sometimes, at the botanical gardens on Upper College Road… that and the quad on a nice sunny day.”