Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo is stepping down from the leadership of Rhode Island’s oldest public institution of higher education. Her resignation takes effect after graduation in May, 2016 and was prompted by a group of current and former RIC employees who questioned her leadership and requested her resignation.
Her resignation was confirmed by the Office of Postsecondary Education, which said in a statement that the RIC president will step down after 2016 commencement exercises.
Carriuolo drew praise from Bill Foulkes, chairman of the Council on Postsecondary Education. ``The council is grateful for the work President Carriuolo has done to expand diversity and grow the infrastructure at the institution. RIC has a strong reputation for academic excellence, especially in the fields of education, nursing and social work, and the council is eager to find a leader who can build on President Carriuolo's work and advance the college's mission.''
Carriuolo, who has been RIC president since 2008, acknowledged the campus split in an email letter to the RIC community. The email was obtained by WPRI’s Ted Nesi, who first reported this story.
A RIC source who did not to be identified confirmed that Carriuolo is leaving. In her message to the campus community, she stated, ``As we are all aware, recently the campus community has voiced a very public mixture of support and criticism of my time at RIC. I cannot ignore the fact that the college community is divided. Consequently, for the sake of the college, the postsecondary council and I have agreed that I will step down as president after spring graduation.’’
Carriuolo said in her letter that she was proud of the growth of external financial support for the college during her tenure and the expansion of academic programs, including the expansion of the nursing program to a doctorate of nursing practice program.
``Of course, and best of all, has been our collective welcoming of a new student demographic that reflects changes in the diversity of our state,’’ she said.
``I have tackled some of the most critical issues facing the institution, work which I found challenging but rewarding,’’ stated Carriuolo. ``With your help we were able to accomplish important objectives on behalf of our faculty, staff and students during an economic recession that resulted in significant loss of state support. Together we made improvements in campus facilities; the rebuilding of Alex and Ani Hall, significant renovations in other buildings and widespread campus infrastructure improvements.’’
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