Updated March 24 at 6:27pm

RWU names Ronald Champagne interim chief, still searches for permanent leader


BRISTOL – Roger Williams University announced Wednesday that its board of trustees has selected Ronald O. Champagne to serve as interim president.

“In seeking the best candidate for the interim president post, we focused on identifying an accomplished leader in education and an individual with the enthusiasm and creativity to sustain the university’s momentum during this important transition,” said Chairman of the RWU Board of Trustees Richard L. Bready.

Champagne has several years of experience as a leader in higher education, including 12 years as president of Saint Xavier University in Chicago. More recently, he held the position of interim president for one year at Shimer College in Chicago and for two years at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass.

Additionally, he served four years as senior vice president for development at the National Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association.

Champagne holds a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University and received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Fordham University. He earned an additional master’s degree from the Catholic University of America.

As interim president, Champagne will be responsible for overseeing the university’s daily operations and working with the senior administrative team. He will also continue the advancement of Roger Williams’ strategic plan, RWU 2020, and manage the school’s internal and external collaborations and partnerships.

“Roger Williams boasts an engaged student body, dedicated faculty members, standout academic programs and the unique, personal feel of a close-knit campus community,” Champagne said. “The opportunity to build on that foundation and to position the university for continued progress made the board’s offer one I was eager to accept.”

The appointment, effective today, follows the resignation of former Roger Williams University President Roy Nirschel in early July. Nirschel had held the position for nine years.

“I am elated to welcome Dr. Champagne to Roger Williams and have no doubt that he will be a strong, capable leader as we select the university’s next permanent president,” Bready added.

Additional information is available at www.rwu.edu.


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Same old, same old at Roger Williams. I think that Champagne is Ralph Papitto's boy. Pretty clear old Ralph orchestrated the ouster of Nirschel. Another great step backward for this school. Nirschel fought a heck of a battle agains the old guard there, the whole cultural of complete incompetency at Roger Williams. Score this another victory for the forces of mediocrity!

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