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Former URI President Bob Carothers to leave university

April 5, 2012

Former University of Rhode Island President Robert Carothers says he plans to retire from URI in June and believes he is eligible for an early-retirement incentive for university employees aged 60 or more who have at least a decade of service.

Carothers says he will sever his formal ties with URI but may teach courses at the university in the future in an adjunct or part-time basis.

Carothers’ employment contract has been released by the state Board of Governors for Higher Education and it does not appear unusual. Carothers says the onetime payout he is entitled to amounts to about $73,000.

Carothers took over as URI president in 1991 and left the presidency in 2009. His wife, Jane Richmond, is a URI dean and Carothers says he plans to stay in Rhode Island in retirement.

Since stepping down as president, Carothers has been a professor and has served as president emeritus. He has been teaching classes in poetry and the law of education.

One element of Carothers’ tenure as president is undeniable – that URI became a much better institution during his presidency by almost any measure. Admission standards were raised, 47 buildings were renovated or built, fund-raising surged, minority students and faculty were recruited and the Thomas Ryan Center was built. The Ram basketball team even made the NCAA Elite Eight and came within 59 seconds of going to the final four.

“It has been a great run,’’ Carothers said in an interview.

Carothers also said that the family of Peter Lord, the Providence Journal environmental reporter who died Wednesday after a battle with cancer, has asked him to participate in a memorial service for Lord at URI on April 14 or 15. Lord taught in the Journalism program at URI.

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