SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Marc Parlange was officially inaugurated as the University of Rhode Island’s 12th president on Friday.

Parlange took on the role in August 2021 after former president David Dooley retired. Since then, the university says he’s developed 20 new Ph.D. fellowships to attract graduate research students.

Parlange is formerly the provost of Monash University in Australia. He was born in Providence and earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

“You have already made strides that are extraordinary,” Gov. Dan McKee said of Parlange at the inauguration ceremony. “URI is going to play a major role in keeping the momentum going in the state of Rhode Island and in its economy. URI has always done great things, and is now starting to do even greater things under your leadership.”

“We operate best as a team, combining our individual strengths and being open to change as challenges and opportunities arise—can serve as a powerful model for achieving our goals,” Parlange added. “We are building a university for the future, our collective future.”

Shortly after Dooley announced his retirement in 2020, a survey went out to the URI community asking what qualities they would like to see in their next president and what they would want that person to prioritize. A presidential search committee then took the results into account when selecting a successor.

“I must say, he has his own style and it works,” said Thomas M. Ryan, chair of the search committee. “Marc is not just a leader—he is a true servant leader—the best kind… You bring every voice to the table—and you give those voices an opportunity to be heard.”