University of Rhode Island

Courtesy URI

The University of Rhode Island is introducing a new winter semester similar to the Rhode Island School of Design’s signature “Wintersession.” The condensed term, which university offcials are calling “J-Term,” will run from January 2nd to January 17th.

Elisabeth Harrison

I had a chance to sit down with Diane Ravitch this week prior to her talk at the University of Rhode Island. She told me she thinks Rhode Island should give up the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) as a graduation requirement and halt plans to add test scores to teacher evaluations.

Ravitch also weighed in on charter schools, saying she believes they can play a helpful role in some circumstances. Here's the full interview.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s October, and that means students across Rhode Island are filling in bubbles on standardized tests. The annual use of testing in math and English has become a controversial tool for rating schools, and making decisions about high school diplomas, and it will soon be part of teacher evaluations too. One researcher who started out supporting standardized testing now says its part of the problem in public schools. Diane Ravitch has become one of the strongest voices in the national debate and she spoke at the University of Rhode Island last night.

As Rhode Island debates high school diplomas tied to test scores, a prominent critic of standardized testing comes to make her case at the University of Rhode Island. Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is scheduled to speak this evening as part of URI's honors colloquium on education.

Courtesy URI

The University of Rhode Island will unveil its new work-out center this week. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held this week on the new Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center.

It’s located in the former Roger Williams dining hall, which has undergone an eleven-million dollar renovation. It’s a 33-thousand square foot facility with state-of-the-art cardio equipment and weight lifting equipment.

Thomas Dougan, the university’s vice president for student affairs, said it replaces Mackal Field House, a much smaller facility that the school had long outgrown.

Paul Stein JC

Standardized testing is underway in Rhode Island public schools, where students take the New England Common Assessment Program or NECAP every October. The tests of math and reading are administered to grades 3-8 and 11 between October 1st and the 23rd. This year some 4,000 12th graders are also taking the test and must improve their scores to meet the state’s controversial new test-based graduation requirement.

John Bender

Minority students and faculty are in relatively short supply at the University of Rhode Island, but efforts are underway to improve their numbers. Rhode Island Public Radio Education Reporter and Morning Edition Host Elisabeth Harrison sat down with URI's Vice President of Community, Equity and Diversity Naomi Thompson to talk about the challenges to increasing diversity on URI's campus.

L. Patrick ``Pat’’ Devlin was known for years as one of the nation’s top scholars of presidential debates and campaign commercials. Now, Devlin, an emeritus professor of communication studies at the University of Rhode, is about to make URI a center for his archive of presidential television campaign ads.

Rhode Island’s politicians are talking about the economy again. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay warns of a campaign cliché voters ought to view with skepticism.

As predictable as the turning of autumn leaves, Rhode Island’s political campaigns will once again be filled with talk about creating jobs and jump-starting our stalled economy. Expect to hear the ancient Ocean State chestnut from the pols who’ll say, the biggest economic fear of Rhode Islanders is that their children can’t stay in our state because there aren’t enough jobs.

University of Rhode Island

Jewelry success story Alex and Ani has purchased naming rights to the basketball court at the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center for an undisclosed sum. The men's and women's basketball teams will take the court this season with the Alex & Ani logo prominently displayed at both ends of the floor.

URI is not the only state university upgrading facilities thanks to the company's largesse. The Alex and Ani name will also grace a new arts center scheduled to open this year at Rhode Island College.

file / URI

The days are getting shorter, our cobalt coastline is cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

Behind the teary parental goodbye hugs and lugging the laptops to the dorm looms an uneasiness in the realm of higher education these days. Students loaded down with mountains of debt graduate into an uncertain economy. ``Do you want fries with that diploma’’ is the gallows humor of our age.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Humans have been raiding nature’s drug store for millennia, coaxing everything from painkillers to beauty treatments from plants. But scientists believe there’s much more to discover. And those discoveries might be waiting closer to home than you think. Now, a University of Rhode Island researcher has found some promising properties in one of New Englanders’ favorite foods.

University of Rhode Island pharmacy professor Navindra Seeram meets me in the courtyard of his department’s sharp new building. He’s giving me a tour of a carefully manicured garden they’ve recently planted.

Rhode Island’s economy ended the second quarter on a positive note, according to the latest Current Conditions Index.  The index is a monthly rating of the state’s economy based on a dozen key indicators.


Senator Jack Reed said he’s confident that Rhode Island will receive federal money meant to boost the state’s manufacturing sector.

Reed and the three other members of the congressional delegation took part Monday in a manufacturing forum at URI’s Providence campus. About 100 people attended the discussion.

Reed said the outlook is good for Rhode Island to get a preliminary grant of up to 200-thousand dollars to foster a strategy for adding manufacturing jobs.

University of Rhode Island Research Professor Alan Rothman, a specialist on viral diseases, has received an $11.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his quest for a vaccine against dengue fever. URI officials say this is one of the largest grants ever received by a single URI researcher.

Dengue Fever, a mosquito-borne illness, affects an estimated 100 million people around the globe each year, mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Rothman has been studying the disease in his laboratory at URI’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics.