SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island state officials have signed University of Rhode Island President David Dooley to a new three-year contract.

The contract, through June 2020, comes after a period of expansion for the school. The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2wXFfL8 ) Dooley expanded the university's connections to both the business world and other public and private institutes of higher learning.

Bill Foulkes, chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education, says under Dooley's leadership, the University has seen increased graduation rates, expanded global education opportunities, improved research enterprises and elevated economic development activity.

Dooley became URI's 11th president eight years ago, after leaving Montana State University, Bozeman, where he served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

This year, he presided over URI's 125th anniversary.