Robert L. Carothers served for eighteen years as the president of the University of Rhode Island. Prior to that he was the chancellor of the Minnesota State University system. He was also president of Southwest Minnesota State University. He has a bachelor of arts in English from Edinboro University, the masters and doctorate from Kent State University and the J.D. from the University of Akron. He has been a national leader on the issue of college drinking, and on the boards of many companies and non-profit organizations. Carothers has been a mentor to many aspiring leaders through the Fellows program of the American Council on Education.