University of Rhode Island

file / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was running his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

A collaborative effort to research and treat autism is rolling out in Rhode Island. This new consortium includes universities, hospitals and state agencies.

The Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment, or RI-CART, brings doctors researchers and educators together to advance autism research and put a spotlight on the disorder. Dozens of organizations are involved, including Bradley Hospital, Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Education.

The Rhode Island School of Design in Providence has named Carol Strohecker as the new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Strohecker comes from a position as Director of the University of North Carolina’s multi-campus Center for Design Innovation, according to RISD officials.

Investigating Rhode Island's Tsunami

Jul 9, 2013
Bradley Campbell / RIPR

Scientists are still trying to understand what caused ocean levels across the state to fluctuate last month without warning. The event remains a relative mystery, but a group from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography believes it may have been a tsunami. 

The author H.P. Lovecraft wrote: "But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean." Such is the case in this story. It starts on June 13th, when Chuck Ebersole had a really unusual day. He's a Steward at the Wickford Yacht Club.

Tis the high season of summer in the Ocean State and the time of hijinks at the State House. As the hours dwindle towards adjournment, items big and small sometimes get lost in the last-minute shuffle as the competing egos in the House and Senate square off.

One very important economic development and education issue to watch: the fate of the resolution needed to move forward the plan to revive a gateway to the old Jewelry District in Providence by putting a nursing school in the old Dynamo Building, the onetime South Street power station.

URI Trip to Antarctica Yields Microscopic Finds

Jun 20, 2013
Caitlyn Lawrence / URI GSO

A professor at the University of Rhode Island just flew back from Antarctica with scientific cargo. Phytoplankton, will be used to study the plant’s resiliency to climate change.

Phytoplankton is microscopic plants that float in water near the surface of the Ocean. And a URI professor just hand-delivered fresh samples of the phytoplankton taken from the Southern Ocean to URI. Associate Professor of Oceanography, Tatiana Rynearson, said the samples will help scientists understand the different types of phytoplankton in the ocean.

Rhode Island has lifted a ban on armed police forces at state colleges, after a Board of Education vote last night. The board’s new policy allows each state institution to make the decision about whether campus police officers will carry guns.

Michael Donnermeyer / Wiki Commons

State colleges and universities in Rhode Island can now arm campus police after a vote Thursday night at the State Board of Education.  Critics said more guns on campus will not make students safer, but supporters, including University of Rhode Island President David Dooley, said campus police should carry guns to do their jobs more effectively.

Dooley said he believes arming police is logical decision for URI.

There’s a meaty agenda on tap this week at the State Board of Education. The group is scheduled to vote Thursday on a controversial proposal to allow police to carry guns on state college campuses. The board is also scheduled to vote on adopting new science standards and consider a contract extension for Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

How Frequent are Tornadoes in New England?

May 22, 2013

It’s hard not to be moved by the plight of Moore, Oklahoma which was hit by a catastrophic tornado Monday.  Hundreds of buildings were flattened and at least 24 people, including nine children, were killed.

Experts say New England is less likely to be hit by a tornado than anywhere else east of the Rocky Mountains.  New England averages eight tornadoes a year, but they tend to be weak events – on the scale of EF0 or EF1.  The storm that hit Moore, Oklahoma has been categorized an EF5.

The Atlantic Hockey blog mentions that the University of Rhode Island is being considered by league brass to replace the University of Connecticut, which is moving its Division 1 hockey team into the Hockey East.

The Atlantic Hockey Conference is known as a stepping stone conference for colleges moving up to Division 1. Quinnipiac, for example, started in Atlantic Hockey and is now a national power that plays in the ECAC conference along with such Ivy League schools as Brown and Yale, which won the national championship a few weeks back over Quinnipiac, Yale’s New Haven neighbor.

Arming Campus Police in Rhode Island

May 20, 2013

The state Board of Education is scheduled to vote this week on a proposal to arm campus police at the state’s three public colleges.   Under the proposed rule, campus presidents would have the authority to decide whether armed security is necessary on their campuses.

A key house committee has put off voting on a bill that would allow campus police to carry guns at state universities, saying lawmakers need more time to gather information.

Rhode Island is currently the only state that prohibits guns on state college police forces, although some individual schools have decided against the practice. Proponents of the bill to arm campus police say it will speed response times in an emergency, a concern that was underscored during a gun scare at the University of Rhode Island last month.

The Chronicle of Higher Education finds University of Rhode Island President David Dooley is 134th in the country when it comes to his compensation package.

Safety Concerns Push URI Graduation Indoors

May 8, 2013

The University of Rhode Island is moving its graduation indoors. The university said it’s for safety reasons. 

URI said the recent gun scare on campus and the bombings in Boston prompted it to move the graduation ceremony into the Ryan Center.  Graduating student Kelly Harris is unhappy with the move.  She said students are limited to bringing two guests and that will make it harder for her friends and family to see her walk across the stage.

“This is affecting the vast majority of graduating seniors,” said Harris.