Roger Williams University names a new president

New president led transformative change at Museum of Science and Tufts University

Posted 2/13/19

The Roger Williams University Board of Trustees on Wednesday announced that Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, who transformed the Museum of Science, Boston into an institution of national and international …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Roger Williams University names a new president

New president led transformative change at Museum of Science and Tufts University

Posted

The Roger Williams University Board of Trustees on Wednesday announced that Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis, who transformed the Museum of Science, Boston into an institution of national and international prominence, will become the university’s new president, beginning in August.

During his career, Ioannis (YAH-nis) Miaoulis (Me-OW-lis) has led large-scale efforts to spark passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) among young learners around the world. He is assuming the RWU presidency as it is completing a new $13.8-million laboratories building for the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management.

At the Museum of Science, Mr. Miaoulis spearheaded the creation of the National Center for Technological Literacy, which developed K-12 engineering materials that have reached an estimated 200,000 teachers and 18 million students in 50 states and many countries. During his tenure, the museum’s budget doubled and he helped it raise more than $470 million, including a record $50 million gift from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

At age 32, Mr. Miaoulis became the youngest-ever dean of what was then the College of Engineering at Tufts University. Working with the faculty, he led the effort to make it a separate School of Engineering. During his tenure as dean, the number of engineering student applications doubled and the number of female undergraduates increased by 30 percent.

Additionally, he significantly increased faculty and student diversity, boosting the proportion of female faculty members from 1 percent to 25 percent. He initiated the first internship program and an entrepreneurial leadership minor at Tufts, reflecting his passion for experiential learning, which is central to RWU’s mission.

Mr. Miaoulis will become RWU’s 11th President, succeeding President Donald J. Farish, who died in July 2018. Andy Workman now serves as RWU’s interim president. 

University trustee Marcia Morris, co-chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said, “President-Designate Miaoulis will be an asset not just for RWU but for all of Rhode Island. He will be a powerful advocate for building on the tremendous array of STEM-related programs at RWU. He is also a big believer in the importance of critical thinking and the role that the liberal arts plays in educating all students. He is a transformative leader with an innate understanding of how to make educational endeavors relevant and fun.”

At Tufts, for example, Mr. Miaoulis drew on his love of fishing and cooking — teaching a fluid mechanics class at Tufts from the fish’s point of view and a Gourmet Engineering class in which students cooked in a test kitchen, explored heat transfer and ate their experiments.

Mr. Miaoulis said, “RWU has all the ingredients to become a national model for transforming higher education. This University is prepared to build on its proud traditions and set itself apart from the crowd, propelled by its unique mix of liberal arts and professional programs, its top-notch faculty and its hub of innovation in Providence. Distinguished by its commitment to experiential education and community engagement, RWU is ready to prepare all learners to excel in a rapidly changing world – and to tackle the problems that matter most to society.”

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.