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Meet URI’s new president

Marc Parlange wants to expand the university’s international footprint and focus on climate change and a blue economy

Marc Parlange is URI's 12th president.University of Rhode Island/Handout

This article originally appeared in the Rhode Map newsletter. If you would like to get the newsletter as a convenient e-mail Monday through Friday, just sign up here.

Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and it’s kind of fitting that the Red Sox have a day off on Victory Day. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 155,825 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, after adding 260 new cases. The overall daily test-positive rate was 3.6 percent. The state announced no new deaths, keeping the total at 2,743. There were 40 people in the hospital, and 662,549 residents were fully vaccinated. Check our dashboard for more data.



He spent the summer hiking the Colorado Trail, but new University of Rhode Island President Marc Parlange has finally made it to the Ocean State.

Parlange officially started as the university’s 12th president last week, and so far he’s spent much of his time meeting with employees, talking with students who are on campus this summer, and yes, learning that he can take the No. 66 bus all the way to Providence.

So what does he want to do with the state’s flagship university?

Coming from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Parlange said he sees an opportunity to expand the university’s international partnerships, particularly in Australia and throughout Canada. He noted that URI already has strong ties with Indonesia.

Parlange said that he wants to expand the university’s graduate and PhD programs, while also working with colleges and universities up and down the east coast to continue studying climate change and the blue economy, which is a sustainable approach to developing coastal and ocean resources.

Parlange also said he wants the university to empower student entrepreneurs by creating opportunities to “take the good ideas in our labs to create new companies.”


The neighborhoods around the University of Rhode Island have at times expressed frustration with students, and have moved to limit the number of students that can rent homes together. Parlange said he wants to listen and work with residents in places like Narragansett and South Kingstown to address any concerns.

”These are our friends, these are our partners,” Parlange said. “We want to be good citizens.”


⚓ Providence had another violent weekend, with two Boston men shot dead outside of Fuego Lounge early Saturday morning. Read more.

⚓ Mayor Jorge Elorza acknowledged Friday that several high-profile acts of violence in recent months have left Providence residents fearing that crime is out of control in Providence, but he stressed that violent crime continues to be “very, very low.” Read more.

⚓ A lanternfly was found in Warwick, and that’s not a good thing. Read more.

⚓   Leaders of the Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus on Friday called for the state Democratic Party’s chief strategist, Kate Coyne-McCoy, to step down following her tweet wondering about US Senator Lindsey Graham dying after testing positive for COVID-19. Read more.

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Shannon Carroll, chief executive of the Genesis Center, the organization that is opening a restaurant in the Providence Public Library that is designed to be a workforce development hub for low-income residents. E-mail Alexa Gagosz with suggestions for this weekly interview. Read more.

Health: Scientists have recently discovered that even vaccinated people with mild symptoms may spread the coronavirus. But there’s no consensus on whether those without symptoms should be tested. Read more.


Animals: Pet adoption plummeted after a pandemic surge, which means fewer dogs from “high-kill” shelters in the south are coming to New England. Read more.

Environment: The Earth’s climate is warming at a faster rate than previously thought, and with greater and more widespread consequences, according to a landmark report by the world’s top climate scientists. Read more.

Sports: The Red Sox are fading fast, and Peter Abraham writes that this is more like the team we expected to see at the start of the season. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ It sounds like it will be a cloudy Victory Day, so I recommend binge-watching “Manifest” on Netflix.

⚓ If you’re on Block Island today, it’s Reggae Fest at Ballard’s.

⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.