Dr. Donald DeHayes has been the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Rhode Island for the last nine years. In charge of all things academics, DeHayes is responsible for everything from budgets of the academic programs to the admissions and enrollment process, overseeing many things that are vital to keep the University running smoothly.
“It’s an exciting job… there’s always a ton going on,” said DeHayes. “It’s an opportunity to work with the faculty and really shape the academic programs of the University, and I hope to improve them.”
DeHayes enjoys many aspects of his job, including getting to work with students and the diversity of opportunities. He explained that each day there is a new experience or activity that he gets to take part in, which is particularly exciting for him.
“Students here really are passionate about what they do, not only their learning in the classroom, but our students are giving to the community,” said DeHayes. “My second favorite piece of this job is the diversity of it. On a given day, I might be over at the art gallery… or attending a lecture in the chemistry department.”
Speaking of the people he works with, DeHayes is grateful for all of the opportunities the University has given him and is inspired by all of the faculty working around him.
“I have the good fortune of working with some of the smartest people on Earth,” said DeHayes. “It’s awe-inspiring to be around smart people all the time in such tremendously diverse fields.”
When asked if he had any advice for the students of URI, DeHayes had many points to make about student involvement.
“Get involved at the University,” he said. “Sometimes students come to campus and take classes and then go home. And they are missing a big part of their education and life’s experience. Stretch beyond your academic field… take in all that this university has to offer.”
DeHayes has many hopes for the future of URI. He looks forward to all of the improvements that will be made in the next few years and for the new students that will be coming to the University.
“Right now the future of URI looks absolutely superb…the University is on an upswing and its at the high point in its 125 years,” said DeHayes. “We have the highest enrollment in our history, we have the largest number of applicants in our history… and we are just beginning… a major fundraising campaign for the university.”
DeHayes also spoke of the projects that the University is working on right now to improve the campus. These include the new general education program, an undergraduate research, an initiative campaign and a new “Writing Across URI” program to include writing in classes among all majors.
“If in any given year we don’t have new projects, we aren’t doing our job,” DeHayes said.