Donald J. Farish, who as president of Roger Williams University since 2011 has been credited with expanding programs and redefining the school for the 21st Century, plans to retire in June 2019 when his contract expires, the university’s Board of Trustees announced today.
Farish, 75, who has broadened RWU’s connection to the Rhode Island community and been instrumental in upgrading and improving the college, will cap a career in higher education of more than a half century.
Among the initiatives that Farish championed during his tenure are a doubling of the size of its presence in downtown Providence; hiring the college’s first-ever chief diversity officer; growing the Community Partnerships Center to involve more than 2,800 students engaged in more than 250 community partnerships and launching “The Vision Project,” with more than 20 committees of faculty, staff, students and trustees working jointly to articulate a bold new core values in teaching and learning for RWU, which has about 4,000 undergraduates and hundreds of law and graduate students at its campus, which overlooks Narragansett Bay in Bristol, R.I.
“As president, Don Farish has done nothing less than redefine Roger Williams University, ushering in a new era of relevance, forging key partnerships with underserved populations and providing students with real-world experience needed not only to make them good employees but valuable members of their communities,” said Richard L. Bready, chairman of the board of trustees.
This summer, the trustees will hire a search firm and lay the foundation for the RWU community to undertake a presidential search over the coming academic year.