One of the University of Rhode Island’s most famous professors is receiving a national honor. Robert Ballard will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Oceanography professor Robert Ballard first came to international prominence when discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985. Ballard received his doctorate from URI in 1974, and joined the School of Oceanography in the mid-2000’s. He now heads the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography.
The University of Rhode Island broke ground this morning on a center for the school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. The center is unique among college campuses.
URI says it’s the only school in the nation to design and build a center specifically for the LGBTQ community. State officials were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking, including Governor Lincoln Chafee, and state senator Frank Ferri, who championed Rhode Island’s push for legal same-sex marriages. Annie Russell is the center’s director.
The University of Rhode Island breaks ground Wednesday on a new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Center.
URI officials say the start of construction is groundbreaking in more ways than one. They believe URI is the first university in the country to have a separate building dedicated solely as an LGBTQ center.
In the past, URI has faced criticism for being an unfriendly campus to gay and lesbian students. The university has also faced accusations that officials forced out a popular advisor, Andrew Winters, who worked on gay and lesbian issues.
University of Rhode Island officials have announced they plan to arm campus police, despite vocal critics, who say the change will not make campus safer.
The university announced the decision after a year of public meetings and discussions with faculty, students and staff. In a statement, URI President David Dooley called the change critical.
"In order to provide the safest environment possible and to ensure a timely response to any threat to the safety of our campuses, our police officers must be equipped properly to function as first responders,” Dooley said.
A team at the University of Rhode Island has launched a website about climate change and its impacts to our state. The website, Rhode Island's Climate Change: Waves of Change, is designed for a range of people: from high school students to parents to business people.
Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the University of Rhode Island Friday for being selected to take part in a presidential initiative to send more students to Latin America. URI is one of four school selected for the project.
The goal of the presidential initiative is have 100,000 American students studying in Latin America and to bring 100,000 Latin American students to the United States.