Roger Williams University says President Donald Farish has died at the age of 75.
The university says Farish died Thursday at Tufts Medical Center in Boston after a "sudden and serious illness."
Farish served at the helm of the Bristol, Rhode Island, school for seven years and was planning to retire when his contract expired next year.
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Farish's five decades in academia included a teaching stint at the University of Missouri. He later became president of Rowan University in New Jersey.
Roger Williams University Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bready calls Farish's presidency "transformative."
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island says Farish was a great friend and wonderful mentor to students. The Democrat says the state "lost one of its great education and civic leaders."